Definitely Johns Hopkins. They have similar problems, but Johns Hopkins to me is a team that doesn’t have any kind of attack-dodging presence. From [junior Zach] Palmer to [senior Chris] Boland, obviously [sophomore Brandon] Benn is not a dodger, and [freshman Wells] Stanwick can’t run by a quality pole. Their midfielders are kind of predictable in their moves from [sophomore Rob] Guida, [junior John] Ranagan, [junior Lee] Coppersmith and now [junior John] Greeley with the injury questions. Their shooting all of a sudden has gone really cold against Maryland and now Navy. And my biggest concern is there’s nobody coming off the bench, there’s nobody who’s been developed. The February and March games, while Hopkins won them, I’m not sure they created any stars of the future or guys who have an upward trajectory late in the season. That’s why Duke is doing well. They’ve got guys who didn’t play well in February and March but are coming of age now. I don’t know who on the Hopkins roster is coming of age right now.
What’s been plaguing Virginia, which has dropped its last three contests at home?
Their offensive depth isn’t great, and they don’t play a lot of people. In that third attack spot, going into the ACC Tournament, they only got eight goals and eight assists out of [redshirt freshman] Owen Van Arsdale. That’s a weak link. The midfielders have lately been hit or miss. [Redshirt senior] Colin Briggs always plays at a high level. [Sophomore] Rob Emery has been hot and cold. When he’s hot, he’s as good as any player in the country, but he has disappeared in a couple of games. They don’t get that much from the second midfield lately. And I just don’t see the dodging. This is a Virginia team where beating your man one-on-one used to come very easily for the Virginia Cavaliers. This team has to do a lot of two-man games, a lot of picks, and so that dodging dominance isn’t there. They’re not running very well from defense to offense, and they’re getting really no transition. And they don’t ride, so they’re not scoring as many unsettled goals this year.
Would it be fair that Syracuse, Cornell and Denver must win their respective conference tournaments to make the NCAA Tournament?
With two weeks to go, I’d be afraid to say that. I kind of take it week by week and look at the RPI as if the tournament [bracket] was to come out today. I say that because so many things can change. If you look at Navy last week, they came in with a losing record and zero top-10 wins. They beat Hopkins and the next thing you know, their RPI moved up. So thing can change so much depending on what goes on in the conference tournaments. Whether Colgate, Lehigh, Army or Bucknell can win the Patriot League, that’s a big deal for teams because they might be sitting on Colgate wins or Army wins or Lehigh wins. Cornell got a double whammy, I think. They lost to Brown and their win over Syracuse is completely thrown from being a top-10 win to possibly not even being a top-20 win now. And with the struggles of the Ivy League, both RPIs for Cornell and Princeton have dropped. So much of this revolves around upcoming games. Every game matters. There will be some games that people think are meaningless games, but they really impact everybody’s RPIs, and that final top 20 is what matters. The good news for Syracuse is they can play for the AQ this year because last year, the Big East did not have a tournament or an automatic qualifier. Denver can win the ECAC, and they still have to play Duke. Colgate still has to play Maryland. Army still has to play Hopkins. So there are more good games left on the schedule.