When lacrosse sticks meet hoops
Kyle Harrison and Brett Hughes are back for Week 2 of their all-things-college-lacrosse debate. Between the Virgina-Hopkins thriller over the weekend and the stars putting on a show (Danny Glading had two goals and three assists while Shamel Bratton had two and two in the Cavs' 16-15 win), it looks like Kyle won last week's head-to-head battle. The guys go at it again -- with something extra in store.
Which player in this year's men's basketball Sweet 16 would you want to see play lacrosse?
Brett Hughes: Mr. K-Harri, I know if you could, you would pick your boy Steph Curry from Davidson. But he got knocked out of the NIT last night, so find a new guy.
My choice would be Tyler Hansbrough. (Joe Breschi, maybe you could get him to walk on after March Madness.) He is the guy you want on any team, in any sport. When your work ethic is compared to Michael Jordan -- His Airness --- then it's not even an argument. Put him on defense or on the attack and watch how many "garbage goals" this guy would have.
If not Hansbrough, give a stick and a few private lessons to anyone on the Memphis team. The Tigers have a few 6-foot-8 and 6-9 guys with 40-inch verticals, so the Air Gait could be taken to a whole new level. What do you think, K Harri?
Kyle Harrison: Of course I love the Jordan reference, but I'm not trying to see Tyler Hansbrough on a lax field! Not hating on his basketball game, because he's clearly one of the best college basketball players ever, but his game isn't exactly what you'd call "clean." He's got a sloppy hoops game and I'd imagine his lax game would be even sloppier. I'm going to go with sophomore superstar Jonny Flynn from Syracuse! He'd be absolutely perfect to play behind the goal to quarterback an offense, just like he does in basketball. Can you imagine people trying to cover him? It'd be an absolute nightmare. And, just from watching him play basketball, he seems like one of those athletes who is good at whatever he does, so I bet he'd pick up the sport pretty quickly.
It's early, but who is your Cinderella team for May?KH: For my Cinderella team, I'm going with Hofstra. I think the kids at Hofstra have always played extremely hard. Maybe they haven't always been the smartest lacrosse players, but they've always left it all out on the field. However, with coach Seth Tierney leading the charge now, the kids are not only playing as hard as they possibly can, they are learning the game and the right way to do things. He's got them playing like there is no tomorrow, and that's a scary team to face at any point in the season. Don't be surprised to see Hofstra make a run at this thing in the end.
BH: I am not sure what Cinderella means this year. I think I am going to go with Harvard -- the Crimson have a schedule that tests them but also allows them time to grow and build enough confidence to carry them in May. I think the coaching staff has been waiting to make a jump onto the scene and this may be the year they do it. Jeff Cohen is a blast to watch and keeps climbing up the ranks in the scoring column, and they have the real deal in goal with Joe Pike. He can keep them in any game long enough to make a run or have the ability to be a wall, stopping teams from coming back into a game in the fourth quarter. It is a bit of a long shot, but seeing Harvard make a run to the Final Four would be pretty fun to watch, and I think it could happen if they are seeded favorably.
This weekend: Hopkins or Carolina?
BH: Hopkins bounces back.
KH: What do you think? Hop.
Georgetown or Navy?
BH: G'town gets on track.
Penn State or UMass?
BH: Penn State -- UMass gets upset.
KH: UMass, no upset here son.
Top point-scorer for the weekend?
BH: Bryant's Zack Greer
KH: Virginia's Danny Glading -- he has a huge weekend coming up.
Where is the hardest place to play in college lacrosse?
BH: The Dome hands down, Homewood is a tough place to play but just because Hopkins is consistently a great team. I think it's an honor to play next to the Lacrosse Hall of Fame in Baltimore, but the fans are nothing like they are in Syracuse. The fans not only support the Orange but go out of their way to hate the opposing team. It's also different than any other venue in college lacrosse. And legend has it that if you open two doors to the field at the same time, it can knock you out because of the compression of the actual dome. I have never seen it happen, but it sounds pretty cool.
P.S. -- I'll be home from travel in a week, so make sure the apartment (and my room) is clean. Thanks!
KH: Well Hughey, I've heard a lot of people say Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field is a hard place to play. But I clearly loved it, as it was my home field in college and, in my opinion, there is no better place in the world to play lacrosse than that field. So I'd have to go with Syracuse's Carrier Dome as being the toughest place I've ever played. The Syracuse fans absolutely hate any team that comes in there to play, and any time you go in there, it's a playoff-type atmosphere. It's one of those places as an athlete where you love playing because of the hostile environment. The Dome is definitely the toughest place to play, but I loved playing there.
And if by clean your room, you meant throw all of your clothes off the balcony into the ocean, then consider it done.
Brett Hughes is the lacrosse editor of ESPNRISE.com, ESPN's high school sports site. Check out his blog.