Whether he was working the officials early or doing some '90s style dissing on a rival of his since the '60s, Johns Hopkins coach Tony Seaman added hype to a game that doesn't need any.
Tonight at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse can become the third collegiate lacrosse program to reach 600 wins. The opposition is none other than Hopkins, the record-holder with 744 victories. The Orangemen (8-2) of coach Roy Simmons Jr. are ranked No. 3 and the Blue Jays (10-2) No. 4, but many feel that both have just as good a shot at the NCAA title as current No. 1 North Carolina and defending champion Princeton.
It's an odd moment to supply the opposition with bulletin board material, but tell us what you really think, Tony.
Seaman on Syracuse's no-checks-barred defensive style: "Roy [Simmons] will crucify me for this, but they don't play organized team defense. They consistently throw so many checks that the refs up there get tired of calling penalties. Roy will tell us that's an excuse, that we're just a bunch of preppies in Baltimore, then cry when he gets 30 penalties called on him down here."
Seaman on Syracuse's improvement after early losses at North Carolina and Loyola: "They always get better as the year goes on. They weren't outside early, that was the big excuse, but you'll improve if you spend seven hours a day playing catch."
Seaman on the Carrier Dome, where graduation weekend and halftime ceremonies honoring the Syracuse title teams of 1983, '88, '89 and '90 could mean a crowd of 15,000: "They've got a lot going for them in the Dome. It's noisy all the time, and you can't see the lines."
Seaman and Simmons have been going at it since the 1960s, when the former was an attackman at nearby Cortland State and the latter was an assistant to his father at Syracuse.
Syracuse has been pounding the opposition since its March 20 overtime loss at Loyola. An experienced cast that was ranked No. 1 in the preseason has thrived since, starting with Chris Surran in the goal.
"I think he's the best in the country," Simmons said.
Matt Riter (34 goals, 12 assists) and Jamie Archer (14, 31) lead the attack, midfielders Charlie Lockwood and Dom Fin were first-team All-Americans, and sophomore Ric Beardsley is one of the nastiest defensemen in the game.
SYRACUSE TO START INTERNAL PROBE
Syracuse University will conduct an internal investigation concerning possible rules violations by its lacrosse program, officials said yesterday.
University spokesman Robert Hill said an investigative team will look into possible infractions during the past 13 years.
Hill said the investigation also will cover present players and could include "major" violations.
Hill did not say whether tonight's game against Johns Hopkins would be affected.