Inside Lacrosse released its list of the Top 50 Men’s Players For 2023. It’s not an easy assignment and their five-man committee does all of the work in promoting the “big name” players in the sport. There is no bias and I reject the notion that they operate with an agenda.
It can be easy to favor players from blue-blood and playoff programs who advanced deep into the playoffs last spring. It’s not hard to overlook many great players who were less fortunate to be attached to programs that didn’t play in May. A recency phenomenon. There is also the tendency to recognize good players from great teams, as opposed to great players from bad teams. This is a yearly theme that applies to college lacrosse recruiting and the NFL draft.
So reading the Inside Lacrosse Top 50 Men’s Players For 2023, I felt as if some electric performers were left off the list. I threw together my own list of snubs for the 2023 season. Here you’ll find the notable overlooked players, excluding freshman.
The first 22 individuals on this list can be interchanged with the Inside Lacrosse Top 50 without hesitation. These are snubs. Who’d I forget? Who did I leave off the list? I’m sure somebody slipped through the cracks.
Andrew McAdorey (Duke – Attack/Midfield)
McAdorey is exceptionally strong, sudden, and instinctual while putting pressure on defenders to maximize his dodges. “Mac” had 39 points as a freshman from the midfield in 2022, a Duke program record. Not sure how he fell through the cracks after a highly decorated and extended high school career.
Patrick Skalniak (Navy – Midfield)
The Dallas native has First Team All-American ability and would start for any team in the nation. One of the top athletes at the position. When’s he firing on all cylinders, he looks like Jon Reese or Rob Shek. The 2022 season saw him explode for 28 goals and 20 assists for the Midshipmen while drawing the pole and quick doubles. He’s a pro prospect.
Jack Follows (Cornell – Defense)
The Oakville lefty missed a ton of time early in 2022 with a wrist injury before showcasing left-handed stopper talent alongside defenseman Gavin Adler.
Dylan Hess (Georgetown – Midfield)
Hess had a superb freshman year but regressed as a sophomore in 2022. He will play more SSDM and should be a factor in transition.
Adam Poitras (Loyola – Midfield)
Slick lefty from Whitby, Ontario, Poitras was the Hounds best offensive initiator in 2022. Played for Team Canada over the summer in Ireland. Wicked wing-dodger who likes to dip underneath along the GLE or lean topside and get to the middle.
Dalton Young (Richmond – Attack)
Three-time captain from Chantilly, Virginia, Young was a menace in 2022 with 39 goals and 23 assists. As a high school hoops player he drew 33 charges as a senior.
Kenny Brower (Duke – Defense)
ACC and Team USA lock-down defender is all substance and little style. His coverage assignments in 2022 included Sam Handley, Asher Nolting, Connor Shellenberger, Chris Gray twice, Pat Kavanagh twice, Tucker Dordevic, Dalton Young, and Aidan Olmstead. Brower was outstanding for Team USA against Canada in the gold medal match this summer showcasing his textbook hard nose coverage skills at the GLE.
Mason Woodward (Marquette – Defense)
Woodward was Milwaukee’s best player in 2022 finishing with 60 groundballs.
Shane Knobloch (Rutgers – Midfield)
A junior from Morristown NJ, Shane scored 32 goals in 2022 leading Rutgers to the NCAA semifinals and played with the U20 Team USA squad this summer in Ireland. He has 69 points in 32 career games for the Scarlet Knights while growing his game each year. He continues to add wrinkles and release points to his dodging and shooting arsenal.
Alex Mazzone (Johns Hopkins – LSM)
The graduate transfer from Georgetown will greatly enhance the Jays defense and wing play on faceoffs.
Trevor Yeboah-Kodie (Brown – SSDM)
One of the most impressive athletes in Division 1 lacrosse, he is relied on heavily in the Bears two-way scheme and is a future PLL candidate.
TJ Haley (Georgetown – Attack)
Haley is a prototypical pass-first visionary who will tally on points this spring by setting up his talented line mates. He recorded 11 goals and 30 assists in 2022 after tallying 5 goals and 49 assists as a freshman. His eyes and spatial awareness are pro level, but can he become more of a threat to turn the corner?
Scott Smith (Johns Hopkins – Defense)
If he played for a contending team, Smith would be listed on the Inside Lacrosse Top 50. Can Hopkins get back to .500?
Brad Sharp (Yale – Midfield)
Four Yale players were named to Inside Lacrosse Top 50 list, but not Sharp (19G/17A), which isn’t very sharp. How many freshman midfielders score 36 points against a quality schedule? Very few. If you watched this sophomore play late in the 2022 campaign, you’d see that his future is so bright he’s gotta’ wear shades.
Eric Dobson (Notre Dame – Midfield)
Dobson is a Florida product (22G/10A) has drawn the pole because of his range, velocity and size (6’5″ 225lbs).
Zander Dickson (Virginia – Attack/Midfield)
The Cavaliers’ twinkle toed catalyst is a versatile piece that Coach Lars Tiffany can employ from X or in two-man games from the wing. He can shake a shorty or play without the ball and is a quick thinker with good instincts.
Bobby Van Buren (Ohio State – Defense)
A sophomore who was home schooled out of Charlotte, NC, Van Buren will benefit from a spin through the rigors of Big Ten lacrosse. He’s got the footwork and hips to be a top cover man nationally.
Josh Zwada (Michigan – Attack)
Flashy and skilled with soft hands and a variety of release points, Zwada blasted weak competition early in 2022 for 77 points but needs to be able to seal the deal in April for Michigan. The maize and blue get Bryce Clay back in the fold this year and have added UVA to their schedule.
Dylan Watson (Jacksonville – Attack)
Georgetown transfer scored 199 goals as a Hoya and will only need to add sunscreen for success in Jacksonville.
Chris Kavanagh (Notre Dame – Attack)
The youngest of six children, this junk yard dog got his feet wet last spring in the ACC. IL’s No.4 recruit will blossom alongside his brother.
Michael Alexander (Yale – Defense)
Controlled and fundamental, Alexander played LSM for Team USA in Ireland.
Matt Nunes (Goalie – Virginia)
Next level athlete for the position had his ups and downs as a freshman and will improve from the tutelage of Kip Turner in Charlottesville. I won’t be surprised to see special things from the Houston area net minder in 2022, especially if UVA can improve their SSDMs.