Kevin Massa is the greediest man on Earth and his approach to lacrosse -- similar to the Gulf+Western approach to business theory -- is Bryant's defining feature.
Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
Swing Your Sword
February 15: Bucknell; March 1: Yale; March 8: Drexel; March 15: @Albany
What Mike Pressler has done at Bryant is impressive: Taking a small school in a tiny state with little lacrosse tradition to the NCAA Tournament -- while scaring the pants off countless other teams -- is something that deserves praise and unlimited trips to the petting zoo. The Bulldogs, for all their accomplishments since fully entering Division I in 2009, still have something missing, though: Animal heads on the wall illustrating their ability to kill big game. Since 2009, Bryant has not beaten a team in LaxPower's top 15. That's an almost shocking fact considering how competitive the Bulldogs have been in their last five seasons of play at college lacrosse's top level. That doesn't erode Bryant's efforts, but it does provide a line item void on the Bulldogs' resume as a program. In 2014, Bryant will get four shots at elite teams -- three of those games occurring in Smithfield, an advantage that few teams holding membership in non-power conferences can claim -- that serve as important opportunities to define the Bulldogs' position on the national landscape (not just for the coming spring but also into the future).
The Right to Host
March 22: Hobart; April 2: @Sacred Heart; April 5: @St. Joseph's; April 12: Mount St. Mary's; April 19: @Robert Morris; April 26: Wagner
Hosting matters for conference tournaments, but it's not like the home advantage that hosting has for other college sports (like hoops). Thousands of screaming fans aren't showing up in your building for a conference lacrosse tournament, but there are important factors that move in a host's direction: The familiarity with sleeping quarters and the field of play; the lack of travel, which allows for the mitigation of unintended consequences and distractions; and access to the same facilities that you've worked within all season long. Hosting a conference tournament matters, even if it isn't a guaranteed ticket to the NCAA Tournament. For Bryant -- the easternmost outpost in the NEC -- the ability to host its league postseason, based on regular season performance, is incredibly valuable, as it makes the tournament's other three participants travel to Rhode Island and keeps the Bulldogs off the bus. The focus for Bryant this coming spring in securing hosting rights for the NEC Tournament is especially important as the Bulldogs aren't far and away the strongest team in the league this season. What Bryant does in the 2014 regular season matters significantly, if only because it avoids potential disaster.
For All the Whatever in Rhode Island
March 25: @Providence; April 22: @Brown
The Ocean State Cup is a thing. Providence, Brown, and Bryant will play for it. The Bulldogs are looking to steal it from Brown. This is big news for a state that should be sold to Canada for territory to be named later.