The 2013 season is six months away. Let's punch fate in the face and make wild assumptions about what could be the best 20 teams in the country next year.
Team: St. John's
Important People: Kieran McArdle (A); Kevin Cernuto (A); Jeff Lowman (G); Dillon Ayers (LSM);
Formerly Important People: Harry Kutner (A); Terence Leach (M); Harrison Freid (D)
Final 2012 Poll Positions: Media: 20; Coaches: NR
2012 Record: 8-7 (3-3, Big East)
2012 Snapshot: Hey, pretty lady!
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Losing Kutner via transfer to Charley Toomey's execution squad at Loyola burns St. John's in two ways: (1) Kutner had size (6-1, 187), experience, and a hammer with the ability to finish that really flourished in man-up scenarios; (2) With Cernuto and McArdle, two of the stronger rising juniors in the country, Kutner helped anchor an attack that would have been one of the best -- if not the best -- in the Big East in 2013. Kutner's decision to run wind sprints on Charles Street next season leaves a big hole in St. John's offense, likely forcing Colin Keegan -- which is a nice element, but not a game-changing one -- into an increased usage position. Combined with the loss of Terence Leach to graduation, the Johnnies become differently dynamic than they were in 2012 and how that will impact the Red Storm's production is unclear.
A Thousand White Doves
Jason Miller is stockpiling one of the stronger junior- and under-class rosters in the country. Unlike many programs in St. John's position -- still finding their way through Division I lacrosse -- the Johnnies are moving with velocity in the right direction, eschewing growing pains for simply imposing pain on their opponents. McArdle and Cernuto are 12 feet of combined destructive offensive force; Lowman -- all 200 pounds of him -- is one of the more impressive keepers in the country, carrying a heavy load of responsibility and delivering; Ayers was a groundball machine for the Red Storm last season, led the team in caused turnovers, and has a little two-may momentum in his game; Addona and Mark DiFrangia return to drive the close defense; and there's some sneaky ability through the offensive midfield with Ryan Fitzgerald and Alex Lagodich. St. John's probably isn't ready to challenge Notre Dame and Syracuse for a league title this coming year, but Miller has enough at his disposal to tear a hole in the lacrosse-time continuum and make some serious noise with all of this developing talent.