1/6/11 12:52 PM
In the fast-paced, shot-clock world of Major League Lacrosse, strong middies are a must. Here’s a look at a few D1 middies who should be front runners in the draft on January 21 – and who should dominate the NCAA this spring.
Kevin Crowley, Stony Brook
We kick off the middie parade with yet another Canadian – a Team Canada member, in fact. Crowley made an immediate impact when he got to Stony Brook, playing in every game his freshman season and winning All-America East and All-Rookie team honors. By his sophomore year, he was on the Tewaaraton watch list and, ranked first on the team with 51 points, was named a first team All-American. He continued to dominate as a junior, holding the highest points per game average, 4.53, in the NCAA. Poised to break the Stony Brook points record this season, Crowley is sure to go early in the draft.
Shamel and Rhamel Bratton, Virginia
Will the twin brother threat out of Virginia stick together in the MLL? Might be tough, as they’re both probable early round picks. Both Brattons played in every game freshman year, Shamel starting and Rhamel on the second line. Shamel made first team All-America both sophomore and junior years, with Rhamel named to the second team last year, with All-ACC Tournament Team honors to boot. With 69 career goals, Shamel sits at 9th on the all-time list for UVA. We’ll see if the draft works out to keep these lax bros together – or if they’ll be pitted against each other for the first time.
Zach Brenneman, Notre Dame
Brenneman hasn’t missed a game in his entire career at Notre Dame, a tradition of discipline he might hope to pass on to his younger brother, who joins the team this season. Brenneman scored in his first game for the Fighting Irish, had 25 ground balls and 24 points as a sophomore – included three game-winning goals – and led the team as a junior with 29 goals and 42 points. We’re sure Brenneman plans to make every game again this seasons, and we’ll see after the draft where he might keep his streak alive as an MLL player.
Jovan Miller, Syracuse
While d-middies don’t always get the goals and glory, they can be an integral part of a successful team. As a sophomore, Miller played in every game and scooped 28 ground balls. An All-Big East 1st team selection and 3rd team All American as a junior, Miller was second on the team with 48 ground balls and contributed to the nation-leading defense, which allowed just 7.4 goals per game. For an MLL team looking to strengthen their short stick defense game, Miller will be at the top of the list.
Jeremy Thompson, Syracuse
Thompson continues the Iroquois tradition at Syracuse. He calls Marshall Abrams and Brett Bucktooth cousins and would have played with them on the Iroquois Nationals team should they have been able to play in Manchester in July. As a face-off specialist, Thompson is a key component to jump-starting the ‘Cuse offense, leading the Big East with a .582 win percentage. After beginning his college career at Onondaga Community College, Thompson has found success on the big orange stage, which could continue in the pros.
Steve Serling, Hofstra
Serling graduated in 2010 from Lafayette, but since he missed the 2009 season with an injury, decided to play his last year of eligibility as a grad student – and Hofstra was happy to have him. As a senior at Lafayette, Serling led the team with 49 points on 37 goals and 12 assists, earning Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors. The decision to stick around the college game to further develop might prove to be beneficial for Serling – and the MLL team that drafts him.
David Earl, Notre Dame
In Notre Dame’s impressive run to the national championship game last year, Earl made a name for himself, scoring five goals in the 8-5 win over Princeton in the first round. For his career high 22 goals and six assists on the season, he was awarded All-Big East 2nd team and an All America Honorable Mention. A Connecticut native, perhaps Earl will continue his career closer to home with the Cannons?
Next up, defense and goalies – stay tuned!