Thursday, May 09, 2013

College: DI Tournament Man-to-Man California match ups

I'd like to see man v man match ups between California guys in the NCAA DI Tournament. Just because I'd like to see those match ups doesn't mean I will. Here, I go through the first round games, trying to find head-to-head match ups between California players. We may end up with none!

First, some principles to live by:
1) In extremely consequential games, coaches shorten rosters rather than expanding them
2) In extremely consequential games, coaches are nervous about playing Underclassmen. For example, of the 11 California Freshmen who are in the Big Dance, only one has participated in more than half of his team's games.

OK, given that, let's look at the Round of Sixteen games:

#1 Syracuse v Bryant: Niko Dutra of Bryant is the only Californian in this game. He doesn't have a Syracuse counterpart to match up against. Possible head-to-head match ups: 0

#2 Notre Dame v Detroit: Four ND players from California, but Detroit has nobody from California
Possible head-to-head match ups: 0

#3 Ohio State v Towson: Neither team has any California players
Possible head-to-head California match-ups: 0

#4 Denver v Albany: Despite 6 Californians on the Pioneers' roster, Detroit has no players from California, thus there is no chance for a head-to-head match-up between California players. Possible head-to-head match ups: 0

#5 UNC v Lehigh: UNC has 1 Californian and Lehigh has 2. Nonetheless, Middie Michael Tagliaferri, of UNC, has not played at all this year due to injury. I expect he's a Redshirt and do not look for him to play in the Tournament. Therefore, although Lehigh has two good middies in FO/OMid Will McKee of SI and DMid Noah Molnar of CDM, they have no one from UNC to match up against. Possible head-to-head match-ups: 0

#6 Maryland v Cornell: This is a game between two powerhouses, each of which has California players on their teams. Maryland has Zach Fixen, a Frosh Midfielder, who has been in 4 games and has 1 GB to show for it. Cornell has Soph Connor Hunt from DLS, who has appeared in 5 games, producing 3 GBs and 1 CTO. Additionally, Frosh Attack Sean Doyle, from Torrey Pines, has seen action in 7 games and has 2 goals to show for it. Both Maryland and Cornell are "Programs" and one earns one's PT slowly in Programs! Applying Principle #1 and Principle #2, I do not expect to see any head-to-head match ups between California players in this game. POSSIBLE head-to-head California match ups: 1 between Cornell's LSM Connor Hunt and Maryland's Frosh Middie, Zach Fixen. I think it's unlikely, but I'd love to see it!

#7 Duke v Loyola MD: Duke has 3 California players, Loyola has 2. Duke's 2nd/3rd team goalie, Ben Krebs has played well this season, but both Principle #1 and Principle #2 are working against him in the Tournament. Loyola has two Californians, WIll Fredericks Sr. A from SI and Blake Burkhardt Soph FO/M from Corona Del Mar. Burkhardt takes lots of faces for the Greyhounds, and has scored a goal. This is a possible head-to-head match up! I think Ben Krebs will get PT if the score is widely unbalanced either way. I expect Burkhardt to take some faces. I rate this as POSSIBLE for a head-to-head match up.

#8 Penn State v Yale: Penn State has 4 California players and Yale has 3, totaling 7 – the largest contingent of Californians in any of the eight games in the round of 16. Penn State's John Bogert is a Junior defender who leads the team in GBs and CTOs. He has started all 16 of Penn State's games and was named All conference this year, as well as making the CAA All-Tournament team. He's a good one! JW McGovern of Yale is a Freshman who has been starting on the EMO team for the last eight games. He is a contributor on EMO, with 3 G and 3A. Still, he is vulnerable to Principle #2. Assuming he continues to start on EMO, and assuming John Bogert plays on PSUs MDD, this would likely be a match up! Mr. Bogert would, almost certainly, have primary coverage responsibility for Yale's Tewaaraton Nominee, Brandon Mangan. Still, EMO cuts, picks, screens, skip passes, and off-ball motion, in combination with MDD slides, recoveries, and rotations, would likely provide moments of coverage by Mr. Bogert on Mr. McGovern. I'd say this is most LIKELY to be the head-to-head match up between Californians. Biggest risk to my forecast is Principle #2 causing a change in Yale's EMO. Penn State's Erik Myers, Jordan LaTendresse, and Jordan Weiss have all seen the field and all have "Statistical Events," but I believe they are hostage to Principle #2 for this playoff game. For Yale, I expect Frosh O Middie Michael Keasey to see some field time, as he's been rising on the depth charts lately, and Junior Alex Moffitt, on Close D, is unlikely to see the field in this game. However, even if all of them see the field, it is unlikely that these additional players has potential head-to-head match ups with the others.

That's how I see it for the 1st round of the DI tournament. When all the results are in, I'll take a look at match ups in the 2nd round.

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