Everyone cross your fingers and hope that the Big East isn’t super fast on the draw this morning.
I realized yesterday that the preseason awards for men’s lacrosse came on out January 23rd last season, so I knocked together this list of preseason picks to get out in front of the league office. Will it work? I certainly hope so!
In any case, we’re less than two weeks away from Marquette’s first game of the season, so it’s more than time enough to make some preseason picks. Let’s dive in, and please attempt to maintain your enthusiasm for MU’s newest men’s sport as we continue.
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Jake Carraway, Attack, Georgetown
Carraway finished last season second in the Big East in goals per game, third in assists per game, and second in points per game. He trailed teammate, now departed senior, and 2019 Big East Attack Player of the Year Daniel Bucaro in items #1 and #3 on that list, so this was an easy choice.
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Gibson Smith, Defense, Georgetown
Gibson Smith was the only defender on the All-Big East First Team at the end of last season that’s returning in 2020. The end. For whatever it’s worth to y’all, because I would have favored a senior over a junior, this should have gone to Marquette’s Nick Grill, but he is now Maryland’s Nick Grill after transferring following Joe Amplo’s departure to Navy.
Preseason All-Big East Team
Brett Boos, FO, Denver
Matt Campbell, M, Villanova
Jake Carraway, A, Georgetown
Patrick Kennedy, D, Villanova
Keegan Khan, A, Villanova
Connor Kirst, M, Villanova
Danny Logan, SSDM, Denver
Mike Madsen, M, St. John’s
Gibson Smith, D, Georgetown
Colin Squires, D, Denver
Will Vitton, GK, Villanova
Ethan Walker, A, Denver
While there were a number of talented senior departures from the league after last season, this was a relatively easy list to put together. Everyone listed here was either first or second team All-Big East at the end of last season. In fact, I had to knock three Second Teamers out of the picture because I was only going with three attackers, three midfielders, and three defenders. I even included a short stick defensive midfielder and a face-off specialist, because the league loves looking out for those guys. I did not include a long stick midfielder in there, because both guys with all-conference honors at the end of last season were seniors and I really don’t know how to go about deciphering who’s a good LSM other than that.
Predicted Order Of Finish
1 - Denver
2 - Georgetown
3 - Villanova
4 - St. John’s
5 - Providence
6 - Marquette
Yeah, I’m picking Marquette last. Let’s face facts: Marquette doesn’t have anyone on the preseason all-conference team, nor should they. Providence at least had a candidate for the squad as I was putting it together in midfielder Tim Hinrichs, and while that may or may not be enough to put the Friars ahead of Marquette when May rolls around, it’s a big enough difference for this order here.
As for the other end of the spectrum..... well. Look. Since joining the Big East, Denver has lost a grand total of one regular season conference game. That was last year, and they still won the conference title. I’m sticking with them until someone knocks them off. With that said, Georgetown is the clear #2, given that they’re the ones with my picks for both the offensive and defensive individual awards. Villanova has five guys on the preseason all-conference team that I assembled up above, including the goalkeeper, so clearly they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with at some point. That leaves St. John’s in the middle.