Lax Links 12-22-11

Division-1

A trio of Detroit Mercy lady laxers (and Wes Steen from the men’s program) volunteered at the Holy Trinity Children’s Christmas party, which helps bring the holiday to llocal kids whose families can’t afford to.

412 Lax tries to predict Michigan’s inaugural varsity season, and (drumroll please)…

Coach Tumbas picks the Wolverines to go 1-13 on the year. Obviously I’ll have much more season preview-type material as the spring approaches, but that seems to be a pretty common guess for Michigan’s season (poor Mercer).

Michigan Wolverines women's lacrosse

Michigan women reversible.

The 2012 Michigan varsity women’s team (which, it should be noted, does not exist) has custom reversibles designed by Fit2Win Athletics. The design features men’s sticks, the horror!

Recruiting

Speaking of the Michigan women… ESPNHS is reporting the first known verbal commitment to the Michigan women’s varsity program: Annapolis (Md.) Midfielder Madeleine Dion. She’s a member of the class of 2013, which will likely be the first class that Wolverines coach Jenny Ulehla signs.

ESPNHS’s top college commitment story last week was one with a Michigan connection. The verbal of Warren De La Salle goalie Jacob Takacs to Hendrix College (linked by GLS here) earned the most pageviews of any story in the category.

Michigan has picked up its first 2014 commit.

Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Dylan Swanson will continue his career at Detroit.

MCLA

Grand Valley State alum Cam Holding was named to the roster of the NLL Colorado Mammoth.

If you want to follow MCLA lacrosse this season, the MCLA Lax Mag is no longer your go-to source. Inside Lacrosse is absorbing the publication, and will cover the league on its own pages. There are  couple ways to look at this move, but it certainly gives the MCLA a bit more legitimacy in the eyes of the casual fan.

High School

Brother Rice lacrosse was featured on STATE CHAMPS! HS Sports last weekend (or at least that’s when the Youtube video was uploaded):

Bizarre timing for a lacrosse story, but whateva.

As always, follow on Twitter @GreatLaxState for the latest. Lots of parentheses today.

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10 Responses to Lax Links 12-22-11

  1. Michiganlaxer says:

    Heard an unofficial, official word from Detroit that Joel Matthews will be eligible and that Shayne Adams is completely healthy. My prediction for the inaugural game for Michigan:

    • Michiganlaxer says:

      After posting this I thought that I was a bit hasty and didn’t post facts, which is always appropriate.

      Facts:
      1: Detroit’s defense was #1 in the country in caused turnovers. They are extremely aggressive. I’m not just saying this from stats, I’m saying this after watching them.

      2. Michigan folds under pressure. I’m not talking about the MCLA pressure, I’m talking about the pressure they saw vs Towson (yes I saw the game). They couldn’t handle it.

      3. The last two seasons the best freshman goal scorer in the country has worn the red and white of the Detroit Titans. 2010: Matthews with 37 goals, 2011 Adams with 35 goals. Matthews sat out 2011 for academic reasons.

      4. Just because they have two great players that are now going to play together for the first time in D1 Lacrosse doesn’t mean those two will have chemistry… BUT… they are both from the same home town and have been playing together since they were little kids. 37 goals plus 35 goals plus already built chemistry spells a ton of goals for this Titan offense.

      5. The Titans run a Canadian offense which many teams in D1 are used to, but UofM is not. They have not faced this kind of offense with the possible exception of Simon Frasier. Incidentally they played them once two years ago.

      I think there will be a to of reaction to my comment, but I stand by it.

      UDM will run away with this win.

  2. CKLaxalum says:

    Michiganlaxer:

    1. Fact. NCAA stats.

    2. Opinion. Subjective observation based on one game.

    3. Opinion. Leading freshman goal scorer doesn’t (necessarily) mean best freshman goal scorer.

    4. Opinion. Conjecture, even you admit it in the post.

    5. Opinion. It could easily be argued that teams such as Jacksonville, Robert Morris, MSM, Lehigh, and Bellarmine don’t face “Canadian-style offenses”. However, all of those teams beat UDM.

    • Michiganlaxer says:

      Jacksonville’s leading scorer is Cameron Mann (A canadian)
      Robert Morris faces a “canadian” offense every day in practice. Their three top players last year were all Canadian. Two from BC, one from Ontario.
      Same with Bellarmine. Loads of Canadians on that team.
      Lehigh’s offensive coordinator last year… Taylor Wray from none other than beautiful Edmonton Alberta.

      • AndyD says:

        I don’t think the Canadian offense argument holds a lot of water. Defense is defense. How you defend the two-man / motion game comes down to how well prepared you are and how talented you are, just as much as defending a more traditional offense. Simon Fraser turned out a ton of future pro players, including eventual NLL all-stars. Michigan has seen Canadian talent before, and that was a team that was 100% Canadian. Not just a couple of guys.

        Where Michigan will fall short is talent. That’s obvious. Maybe three years ago they could have beaten UDM, but in their fourth year of D1? No way. To me this is similar to UDM going up against Delaware last year. There is a talent gap. In this case it won’t be closed for a few years until UM has filled the roster with D1 recruits, which is what UDM has been doing for the past three years. Four or five years from now is a much more accurate gauge of where the programs really stack up. By then both of them will be completely mature as D1 teams. For now UDM is potentially beating up on a club roster. Whoopee.

        As always, I’m just excited that Michigan made this move. I have realistically low expectations in the short term and very high expectations in the long term. Bad losses this year and maybe next year are not indicators of where the program is headed.

        As for Michigan folding, you can’t use one scrimmage as an indicator of that. In fact, if anything, they have a history of not folding that is pretty remarkable. They got killed by Towson because they aren’t very good. Not because they fold. In fact against Providence they came back and tied the scrimmage late after being down. I believe that is the opposite of folding (unfolding?).

  3. CKLaxalum says:

    Michiganlaxer, having a Canadian player(s) doesn’t (necessarily) mean that a given team is running a “Canadian-style” offense.

    AndyD, I would say that UDM has an increasing level of D1 talent on their roster, but that it’s not yet (completely) filled with D1 talent. Considering that the Titans are only entering their 4th year AND that they want half their roster to be local players (also note that a number of those local products are not the top local products), there are still plenty of “Average Joes” on that team that probably wouldn’t make another D1 roster. UDM is headed in the right direction, but they’re not out of the “expansion team” phase yet.

  4. AndyD says:

    That’s why I said a few years down the line is a better indicator. Michigan will get there faster. In a few years they will both be fully loaded, or at least as fully loaded as each of them can get.

    In the meantime, UDM certainly has a starting group that is legitimately D1. Michigan does not.

  5. CKLaxalum says:

    AndyD, I agree with your first paragraph and somewhat disagree with the second part.

    UDM obviously has a starting group that is ‘legitimately’ D1 because they’ve already done it for the past couple of years. I would say that UofM’s starters are ‘D1-caliber’ for a few reasons. First, they’ve already hung in there for three D1 Fall Ball games. Second, most, if not all, of the starters were at least recruited by D1 teams when they were coming out of high school. Third, the difference between top level club and the lowest levels of D1 (as well as top club players versus the reserve rosters of all but Top 20 or so teams) really isn’t as vast as some people think.

    • AndyD says:

      We’ll agree to disagree on that one CK. Even if Michigan has players who are comparable to UDM’s starters (I don’t think they have more than two or three), they aren’t D1 battle-tested. That makes a huge difference. UDMs players, even the mediocre guys, have been playing at D1 game speed against D1 opponents. That makes a huge difference. Just the fact that they are playing each other early in the season, before the UM players have time to really adjust their game (assuming they are capable), is a big difference-maker for UDM.

  6. CKLaxalum says:

    AndyD, I don’t think we necessarily disagree as much as it might seem in print.

    1. I’d say UDM has a handful of starters (that term can include anyone that plays significantly, mainly 2nd midfield, 1st d-mids, and 4th a/d) that are (purely) better than anyone from UofM.

    2. UofM has 2 or 3 guys that would probably start at UDM.

    3. Everyone else, on both sides, are generally equal in terms of raw talent/athleticism…except for the D1 experience, which obviously greatly favors the UDM players.

    4. Neither team has anyone that would be cut from the other team.

    5. The early season aspect has benefits and drawbacks for both sides. You’ve already mentioned the UDM advantage, so I’ll say that the Wolverines could catch UDM sleeping (earlier rather than later) as the UofM advantage.

    6. I disagree with the analogy of Deleware vs UDM as UDM vs UofM. Yes there is a talent gap. However, the former was an established, upper-level team going against a new, lower-level team. The latter is two newer, lower level teams (albeit one with a 3 year D1 experience advantage). Other than two teams starting completely from scratch, this is as close to a newer team matchup as one can get.

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