Leftovers from Q&A with CBS Sports Network's Evan Washburn

Former Delaware defenseman answered questions about No. 4 Maryland, No. 10 Loyola and No. 12 Johns Hopkins

April 02, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

CBS Sports Network analyst Evan Washburn took part in a Q&A on Monday. The former Delaware defenseman, who can be followed on Twitter at @EvanWashburn, also addressed a few questions about No. 4 Maryland, No. 10 Loyola and No. 12 Johns Hopkins.

Do you have any concerns about Maryland or did the 9-7 win against No. 15 Virginia last Saturday re-solidify the Terps’ claims as a title contender?

I don’t really have any concerns. I was able to watch that Virginia game, and all year, I’ve said that I think it’s Maryland and then everybody else. I still feel that way. I think they’re as complete a team as there is. [Redshirt junior goalkeeper] Niko Amato is playing really well. When I did that Loyola game [when the Terps won 12-10 on Feb. 23], I always thought it was the defense around him, and he’d make a couple big saves. But he’s really impressed me over the course of the season. So I think Maryland’s ahead of the rest. That’s not to say they can’t lose. We all saw them lose to North Carolina [10-8 on March 23]. But when you watch their games, they’re by far better than anyone I’ve seen.

With Loyola winning five straight, is this the Greyhounds team everyone expected at the beginning of the year?

I think that’s a fair assessment. [Senior short-stick defensive midfielder Josh] Hawkins coming back is hard to ignore because he is a difference maker, and same with [senior attackman Mike] Sawyer getting healthy again. The producer of one of my games asked me for my sleeper teams, and my reaction was, ‘Well, I kind of think that Loyola is a sleeper team.’ He said, ‘How can a sleeper team be the one that won the national championship?’ After the early-season struggles, people started to write them off, saying they’re reading press clippings or they’re dealing with all the things they have to deal with when you’re trying to repeat. I think they’ve put themselves out of the national spotlight – at least for the past couple weeks – and now they’re starting to play good lacrosse. They’re getting healthy, they’ve got Hawkins back. I thought what they did at Ohio State [9-4 last Saturday] – which I think is a really good team and I still think that – was impressive. So they’re trending in the right direction. I think the ECAC is going to be an interesting conference tournament, and we’ll see how that plays out.

Should No. 12 Johns Hopkins be concerned with the 11-10 overtime loss to No. 3 North Carolina or is the aftermath different from the setbacks to No. 8 Princeton on March 1 and No. 9 Syracuse on March 16 because of the back-and-forth nature of the loss to the Tar Heels?

I think it’s a push. I think there’s obviously concern because at the moment, they don’t have a marquee win. They don’t have a big win that they can put on their tournament resume. So that’s an issue and that’s a concern. But I mentioned it after watching them play Virginia [15-8 on March 23], the way they shook up the midfield was genius and long overdue, and I still think we’re seeing the benefits of that. That might take a couple games to see more production. I don’t think there’s a panic button, but this Friday night is going to be one of the most intriguing games to watch. I’m really curious to see them play [No. 19] Albany not because it will be that marquee win that they’re looking for, but because Albany is as wild a team to play as there is. They do things that no other team in the country does. So how they’ll respond after the tough loss and as they continue to try to find themselves, I don’t think they have a real identity. You always used to be able to say that Hopkins has a great defense or they play really efficiently. The defense hasn’t been great. So the team is still finding itself. So I’d say don’t panic, but maybe start getting concerned.

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