Just like Eri, I spent two hours of my first morning back home in suburban Philly (shout out to Montgomeryville) on the annual 2016 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships Media Call. I covered the NCAA Championships last year and had to listen to a replay of the call since I decided to sleep in, but who cares about my life right now!
Eri put up a great post about BOSS Tiffany's journey from a farm on the Onondaga Nation Reservation near Syracuse to Championship Weekend earlier today, so I hope you stop reading after this sentence and check that out before returning to this post unless you already read it.
Oh great, you're back. So I won't be going into too much details about what each Division I coach had to say, but let's get started!
Maryland BOSS John Tillman
- Brown's style is very unique with a great FOGO in Will Gural, a great goalie in Jack Kelly, and a great transition game. Even though the Terps have played teams with aspects of their game (like #RUUUUUUTTTTGERS, #FreeRutgers), Bruno is very unique.
- Team is throwing out rankings, and when asked about if this Final Four has a different feel, BOSS said it does, but the approach is the same. Fix mistakes they made Saturday against Cuse, and "trust the process" (the inner Pro-Hinkie me was ecstatic).
- Team tries to address every aspect and tries to maximize to the best they can. Maryland works on being the best team they can be by working their butts off and trying to have a lot of fun doing so. BOSS said that some people say that Maryland has a lot of "pretty good" players, not a lot of "great" players.
- When asked about how to plan with or without Dylan Molloy (more on that in a little bit), BOSS said that there's three plans: one with a 100% Dylan, one with a so-so Dylan, and one without Dylan. He said his team needs to be aware of the Brown offense they're going to go against, with or without the Tewaaraton finalist, and also noted that Brown's offensive system is stronger with Molloy in the fold. It's still a great offense, and players will have to step up, such as Bailey Tills and Foster LeBoeuf.
- In regards to growing the game, BOSS said that Isaiah Davis-Allen and Pat Young are two great men on and off the field, and have helped grow the game as well. Tillman also mentioned that growing the game is the reason why they've played in California the past few years.
- Team has to stay content about the weekend, and it's been a race to improve all season, and to also have the most fun.
- BOSS commended Maryland's play. He said that it's a combination of extreme skill with phenomenal game sense and intelligence, and compared them to pro lacrosse players with their decision making. He used the Aesop fable of the Tortoise and the Hare where UMD is the tortoise (funny because Maryland's mascot is a Terrapin and they're both turtles).
- Big key for the Brown defense is if they can maintain a razor sharp focus for a minute to a minute and a half while Maryland's offense works.
- With Bernlohr as a leftie, BOSS gave us a sneak peak of their practice for today with making a right handed goalie play left handed. He's doing this because Brown does not have a left handed goalie. He's also doing this due to emotional and tactical reasons. Go team righties!
- BOSS and the players wanted to make three trips to Philly this year. They defeated #PhillyPhourPhocus teams Villanova and Penn earlier in the season, and will make trip #3 on Thursday. Being at Championship Weekend in Philly made Haverford School grads and current seniors Henry Blynn and Will Gural very happy.
- BOSS compared goalie Jack Kelly to a field general, one reason is because Kelly never lets his guard down, while BOSS might let his down at some times. Also, BOSS wants his goalies to focus on the ball and the man with the ball, but as Kelly's different style continued into his sophomore year, BOSS let him do his whole thing.
- The question you've all been waiting for: BOSS updated us on Dylan Molloy's status. He still has a scooter and has crutches, and is unlikely that he plays. Womp womp.
- BOSS wants his players to enjoy and embrace the weekend, but his teams needs two hour of focus in the morning with practice, followed by another in the afternoon for film.
- BOSS is very proud of what the team has accomplished. He talked about how a solid senior leadership developed in the fall, but at points in the Spring, most of the guys were looking for someone to make plays that guys such as Joey Sankey, Jimmy Bitter, or Chad Tutton might have made. But as the season continued, player development has improved, especially with Brian Balkam. BOSS gives credit to Brian Holman on working on his confidence, clearing, and stance. He's most improved in being consistent, and his voice has been huge as well.
- Loyola is a very well coached team and is sound everywhere. On the question of how to defend Pat Spencer, BOSS said that the team has to be good defensively and will try to limit Spencer's opportunities. He's also talked to Duke and Towson about how to stop him, as well as a number of other coaches. #FreePatSpencer
- BOSS is very happy about former Tar Heel Brian Sherlock playing in Championship Weekend with the Greyhounds. He called him a terrific player and a terrific young man.
- BOSS also talked about how the culture of winning is used during recruiting, and mentioned that UNC might even stand for "University of National Championships." (I guess he forgot about Kris Jenkins?) He said that there's no better opportunity for coaches to work with other coaches and student athletes with recruiting and tactics and other things. It's a very good environment.
- Eri wasn't able to ask Breschi about his infamous DAB.
- BOSS wants his Greyhounds to pause and breathe and enjoy the moment, but also work hard in practice.
- Zach Herreweyers has been the Robin to a lot of Batmans, from Justin Ward, to Nikko Pontrello, to Pat Spencer, a young man who's very talented. #FreePatSpencer
- BOSS saw signs of Spencer replacing Nikko Pontrello in the fall and also said that the game has slowed down for the freshman BALLER.
- After losing to Duke and Navy in back-to-back weeks, BOSS switched Grant Limone with freshman Jacob Stover in goal, and it lit a fire underneath the defense. He also made changes with switching John Duffy from the defensive midfield to the second line midfield and other personnel switches.
- When referring to Stover, BOSS said that he plays with a lot of emotion, and gets the sideline going after a big save.
- Besides his star freshmen, BOSS noted that the other freshmen play a pivotal part this weekend with scout reps. On the other end of the spectrum, BOSS mentioned that it's big having fifth year guys such as Jeff Chase and Mike Kutzer.
- BOSS had another great quote as well, saying that he wants his team to "dance with the lady that brought you," meaning that he wants his team to run clean sets, share the ball, stay composed, and attack their respective matchups.
- UNC has quick strike offense, with a good substitution game which BOSS refers to as a "yellow" substitution, which is Loyola's sign for a player to come off (La Salle also does this, with their head coach, a Loyola alum, implementing this).