The parity of talent in college lacrosse is real. Teams all over the spectrum have extremely talented players on their roster, and each year a huge class of great freshmen enter the ranks. Inside Lacrosse recently named their Top 100 NCAA freshman for 2011-12 and while I’m NOT going to nitpick players on the list, the list itself did raise some serious questions: Did EVERY single one of the Top 100 freshman choose to go D1 this year? Are they telling me that not ONE Top 100 player went D2 or D3? And they didn’t even include the MCLA. Are you telling me ONE kid didn’t decide to play club ball instead? Honestly, I find this pretty hard to believe. So is it really the Top 100?
And then we get to the next issue with the list… WHY ARE THERE NO CANADIANS?!?!?!?! Canuck players have been LIGHTING up D1 scoreboards for years now, and yet somehow, none of them are on the Top 100 list. I find that even more bizarre than the fact that no D2, D3 or MCLA players were listed!
I like the concept of the list, because it tries to elevate college lacrosse to a more “professional” level, and as a lax die-hard, I always love more info. But only if it’s good info, or at least framed correctly. And this really isn’t good info, but only because it’s so incomplete this time around. Historically, IL has actually done a pretty good job with their lists, and we’ll use 2007 as a random example. Check out IL’s list from 2007. First off, they did have some Canadians back then, so I have no idea why they don’t for 2011, but whatever. There still weren’t any D2 or D3 players on the list (no Dailey, Hessler, DeLuca, Chadderdon or Casimir? Um, ok), but I’ll let that go for now. Overall, IL captured a lot of great future players.
The Top 50 on IL’s list from 2007 is loaded up with names we all know. In fact, there were only about 4-5 guys who didn’t instantly register with me as very good players. Even when you get to the bottom 50 of the Top 100, the players are great. I mean John Lade is number 98 and Jamie Lincoln was number 90! But I’m certainly not going to bag on IL for putting those two a little low, because hindsight is 20-20, and it’s hard to judge where a kid will be in 4 years. But the fact that these guys were on the list at all certainly means IL was trying to find the best of the best.
So here’s the rub in its simplest form: Why create a list like this, and basically call it the Top 100 Freshman when it’s clearly not?
Call it the top 100 US field playing NCAA D1 freshman, because that’s what it is an attempt to create, and nothing more. I can appreciate that IL wants to be all encompassing with their lists, and cover more of the lax world, and I love that they have those lofty goals, but follow through is equally important, and doing research in other divisions, and other countries is a bare minimum to any true Top 100 Freshman list.
So the big question is, do YOU know of any top level freshman (guys who are freshman RIGHT NOW) that didn’t go the D1 route, aren’t on IL’s list, are Canadian or Australian and that we should be keeping an eye on? There simply HAVE to be players at the D2, D3 and MCLA levels that could be on this list… so WHO ARE THEY? Make your opinion and knowledge heard!