Lacrosse the Internet: December 12, 2013

Quint releases his preseason top 20, Lehigh gets the spotlight treatment, and more.

This is obviously your favorite site, but other people actually write important stuff sometimes. Now is that sometimes.

A Full Pint

Quint's Preseason DI Top 20 Rankings
Quint Kessenich takes a lot of heat for simply being Quint (which is, in large part, unfair), but that hasn't changed the way Quint has gone about his business. He does his homework, he's honest, and he's not afraid to support his beliefs -- non-fabricated beliefs (unlike, say, the jamoke that is Skip Bayless) -- even if they prove unpopular or create a poop storm of backlash. This can be a polarizing approach (which is probably why Quint takes an unfair amount of gruff), but it is refreshing considering the amount of sanitized commentary that college lacrosse often breeds. To me, lacrosse needs more folks willing to take positions like Quint does; it ultimately provides more good than it does bad.

Quint's preseason top 20 rankings are a good illustration of that situation: There's a transparency in Quint's thinking about how Division I lacrosse is going to look in 2014 and the rankings are more than off-the-cuff assumptions about teams. Now, his specific slotting of teams is likely to create some blowback as they diverge from that in Face-Off Yearbook (and, presumably, whatever the media poll looks like in January), but his opinions are far from baseless. Independent thought is a valuable asset, and Quint isn't afraid to strike out in waters that others may be hesitant to navigate. That aside, here are some thoughts on Quint's preseason rankings:

  • Quint may be a little aggressive on Albany. There's no question that the Great Danes can score with anybody in the nation (and the Thompson Trio is likely the catalyst for any discussion about Albany as a Championship Weekend-type team), but do the Great Danes have enough defense to merit a preseason top five selection? I'm not sure that's the case based on the team's 2013 performance.
  • As the season progresses Quint's slotting of Loyola in the 12th position may prove prophetic. I think a lot of people, myself included, are slow-playing the Greyhounds until Loyola gets on the field.
  • Quint has Villanova 15th; Face-Off Yearbook has the 'Cats 18th; I didn't have Villanova in my fall top 20. Maybe I'm way wrong on the Wildcats, but Villanova lost a ton of assets after 2013, still has an unsettled situation in the cage, and don't have a solidified identity entering 2014. I'm not sure that the team winning five of its last seven games is enough for me to move the Wildcats right into the heart of the top 20. I can see where Quint is coming from, but I'm not exactly sure that the 'Cats are that kind of team right now. Then again, Quint was an early adopter of Pennsylvania last season before anyone else recognized what Mike Murphy had in Philadelphia.
  • Quint's ranking of Ohio State is lowest individual slotting of the Buckeyes that I've seen since the end of the 2013 season. I kind of like Quint's "Show me!" attitude toward Ohio State considering that the team is now working in a reality without Logan Schuss.

Men's lacrosse head coach Kevin Cassese oversees Lehigh's rise to prominence
I don't know whether Kevin Cassese is going to be at Lehigh forever (there can't be more than a half-dozen ahead of Cassese should a major program opening arise), but what Cassese has done at Lehigh since taking over the program for the 2008 season is nothing short of amazing. In the three seasons prior to Cassese's arrival in Bethlehem, Lehigh was a combined 21-21 (not bad, but not exceptional), had a combined conference record of 9-9 (the team advanced to the Patriot League Tournament in 2005 and 2006, but crashed out in the semifinals in both seasons), put an average of about three players per season on one of the two All-Patriot League teams, held an average LaxPower ranking of 34th nationally, and failed to sniff the NCAA Tournament. In Cassese's last three seasons, Lehigh went a combined 33-17, held a 14-4 conference record (the team advanced to the Patriot League Tournament in all three seasons, winning the title in 2012 and 2013), put an average of about six players per season on one of the two All-Patriot League teams, held an average LaxPower ranking of around 20th nationally, and went to the NCAA Tournament in both 2012 and 2013.

Cassese has completely reshaped Lehigh lacrosse in just six seasons. The Mountain Hawks matter now, and where Cassese is able to take the program is one of the most undersold stories in Division I lacrosse.

Flights

Caelahn Bullen, Canadian native Bullen, lefty goalie, on choice of Cornell: 'It feels like home because of the cold'
[extends middle finger toward the Caribbean]

Syracuse native Chase, now playing in Florida, will be on the attack at Notre Dame
Whoever drew this life map was probably drunk.

Navy men's lacrosse 2014 schedule by the numbers
When you talk about numbers and Navy, only one comes to mind: 3-10 (the team's 2013 record).

Towson men's lacrosse 2014 schedule by the numbers
Do they teach numbers at Towson or is that more of a graduate school expectation?

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