2013 College Lacrosse Preview: Big East, Patriot League Coaches Pick Favorites

Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Also, the league's coaches select preseason offensive and defensive players of the year.

There's no time for fancy introductions. Fancy introductions take effort and skill, and with my inbox filling with press releases at a pace that can only be described as "Unsubscribe; send me only Groupon deals for laser cannon death rays," time wasted writing flowery paragraphs to simply increase word count is unnecessary. Which is weird, because that's exactly what this lede is doing. Whatever.

First up: The Patriot League -- the freedom fries of lacrosse conferences -- released its preseason coaches poll and picked its preseason offensive and defensive players of the year. This is how the conference's gym teachers see the league shaking out in 2013:

1. Lehigh -- 69 (9)
2. Colgate -- 65 (5)
3. Army -- 48
4. Bucknell -- 43
5. Navy -- 35
6. Holy Cross -- 20
7. Lafayette -- 14

It's interesting to see the tiering that the coaches consciously adopted in the league for this upcoming season: Lehigh and Colgate are close, but are presumed to be in their own bracket at the top of the conference; Army and Bucknell occupy the next tier, with similar assumed ability; Navy sits just below in its own realm; and Holy Cross and Lafayette bring up the rear at about the same rate. I'm not saying that's wrong -- in fact, I ascribe to how the coaches envision things right now -- but it's interesting to see how well it is defined.

As for preseason players of the year, Colgate's Peter Baum -- the reigning Tewaaraton Trophy winner -- took home offensive honors and Bucknell's Mike Huffner took home defensive honors. It'd be interesting to know where Lehigh's Ty Souders finished in the overall voting for preseason defensive player of the year. He's poised to step into the national spotlight this year headlining what should be a soul-crushing Mountain Hawks defense.

You can see the rest of the Patriot League's preseason all-league team by clicking that link up there to the conference's press release.

Next, the Big East. Fresh on the heels of this site's Big East outlook, the league's coaches stayed the course and didn't do anything too crazy in their preseason poll for the conference:

1. Notre Dame -- 35 (5)
2. Syracuse -- 32 (2)
3. St. John's -- 23
4. Villanova -- 21
5. Georgetown -- 19
6. Rutgers -- 9
7. Providence -- 8

Like the Patriot League, you can see the tiering in the coaches' ballots: Note Dame and Syracuse sit, somewhat insulated, atop the league; there is a big logjam for the third through fifth positions between teams that are interchangeably similar in terms of questions entering the season and perceived competitiveness; and the bottom of the league is the bottom of the league with little disagreement. It should be noted, though: I am not alone in believing that the Hoyas could be dangerous this season; the league coaches affirmed that in their preseason vote.

As for preseason individual accolades, St. John's Kieran McArdle took home preseason offensive player of the year honors while Notre Dame's John Kemp and Syracuse's Brian Megill split defensive player of the year honors. The entire preseason all-league team can be found by clicking the link above to the conference's press release.

What do you knuckleheads think? Like what the coaches did in each conference?

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