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We put together our second installment of our Tewaaraton Watch 2021 series with Chris Gray of North Carolina jumping into the top spot.

Tewaaraton Watch 2021: Chris Gray Takes the Lead

Welcome to Tewaaraton Watch 2021! The idea here is simple: our “esteemed” panel of LAS contributors will submit their own ballots every few weeks of the season. From there, I’ll tally up the results, then give you a breakdown of which guys our staff thinks have the best shot to take home the trophy this season.

For our second installment, we’re taking a look at things through roughly eight to 10 games of play. Our preseason favorites are making a comeback, but some new names have risen up the rankings since we last spoke. Let’s do this thing, starting with our No. 1 voted player, and then proceeding through our top 10 as voters.

You can find past updates of Tewaaraton Watch 2021 to check on how the race has gone here:

March 5

Tewaaraton Watch 2021 – Week 6 Update

#1: Chris Gray, Senior, Attackman, North Carolina

Stats so far: 8 GP, 30G 23A

Highest/lowest ranking: 1st/1st

Our staff is all in agreement: if the season ended today, Chris Gray would win the Tewaaraton. The Tar Heel star has been an absolute menace so far this season, leading the nation in total points (second in points-per-game). UNC still hasn’t lost a single game since Gray transferred over from BU. That streak is on the line in the heaviest of heavyweight fights in UNC’s next game as it travels to Durham to take on Duke.

#2: Ryan Tierney, Senior, Attackman, Hofstra

Stats so far: 4 GP, 23G, 7A

Highest/lowest ranking: 2nd/2nd

We also agree on second place, though that’s where our agreement ends. Tierney, unfortunately, hasn’t played a game in the three weeks since we last checked in on the race. He’s still leading the nation in points-per-game, though. Assuming the Pride can get back on the field soon (eff off, COVID), Tierney should still have enough games left to win the trophy. Barring a last minute setback, they’ll return to play Friday against Fairfield.

#3: Jared Bernhardt, Senior, Attackman, Maryland

Stats so far: 5 GP, 19G, 10A

Highest/lowest ranking: 3rd/5th

In Maryland’s first matchup with a top-10 Rutgers team, it was Bernhardt who shone brightest under the big lights. He led both teams with seven points, racking up a full sock trick on the Terps’ way to a 19-12 victory. Bernhardt doesn’t have the same numbers due to fewer games than the ACC guys, but he’s eighth nationally in PPG and leading one of the top-three teams in the nation. My guess is that he’ll need a strong playoff performance to edge out the competition given the Big Ten’s conference-only slate, but he’s more than capable.

#4: Jake Carraway, Graduate Student, Attackman, Georgetown

Stats so far: 6 GP, 24G, 9A

Highest/lowest ranking: 3rd/7th

Carraway, like Georgetown in general, may be getting overly punished in our Tewaaraton Watch for the Hoyas’ loss to Denver. He’s still averaging 5.5 PPG, even if Denver held him to just two. Unfortunately for both, they don’t have a ton of marquee games left on the slate. Both Carraway and his team will need to put on their best performances against Loyola and in their rematch against the Pioneers in order to make sure both are where they want to be for the postseason.

#5: Brendan Nichtern, Junior, Attackman, Army 

Stats so far: 4 GP, 13G, 12A

Highest/lowest ranking: 4th/10th

Nichtern is in the same boat as Tierney: zero games played since our last Tewaaraton Watch. Still, Nichtern has a good resume so far and will only have missed one game off of Army’s original schedule. He’s fifth nationally in PPG, and Army’s upset over Syracuse looks better and better as the Orange continue to look more like the top-five team we expected. A weaker schedule remaining is a knock, but Army should be a playoff team if it continues playing how it has.

#6: Michael Sowers, Graduate Student, Attackman, Duke

Stats so far: 8 GP, 18G, 26A

Highest/lowest ranking: 2nd/8th

For full disclosure, we voted on this list before the Duke-Syracuse game. That might be why Sowers is a bit lower than expected, considering his six-point performance against the Orange. For what it’s worth, Sowers being 15th in PPG shouldn’t really be shocking considering the level of talent he has around him this year. Still, I think people expected something more resembling Chris Gray’s season for Sowers. Regardless, if Duke stays on top and he stays on his current pace, Sowers is a finalist lock and a strong contender to win it.

#7: Stephen Rehfuss, Graduate Student, Attackman, Syracuse

Stats so far: 5 GP, 12G. 13A

Highest/lowest ranking: 5th/NR

Rehfuss not being on the initial Tewaaraton watchlist is a joke. The ‘Cuse attackman might not be the biggest name, but he’s coming up bigger than anyone for the Orange this season. He’s always been the best passer out of this crop of ‘Cuse guys, but his scoring has seen a leap this year to add to it. Watching Rehfuss and Sowers duel Thursday made it clear what both guys mean to their offenses. I kind of feel like Rehfuss won’t get nominated, but he’s absolutely worthy of consideration.

#8: Pat Kavanagh, Sophomore, Attackman, Notre Dame

Stats so far: 4 GP, 7G, 19A

Highest/lowest ranking: 6th/NR

Has Notre Dame played anybody yet? Not really, no. Sorry, Bobby Mo. Still, what Kavanagh is doing can’t be overlooked. He’s first in the nation in assists-per-game, third in points-per-game, and the offensive catalyst for the Irish. They’re about to enter ACC play. We’ll learn real quickly whether or not Notre Dame (and Kavanagh) are for real.

#9: Daniel Maltz, Sophomore, Attackman, Maryland

Stats so far: 5 GP, 20G, 4A

Highest/lowest ranking: 4th/NR

Despite Jared Bernhardt and Logan Wisnauskas both still hanging around, it’s actually Maltz who leads the Terps in goals so far. He’s been a goal-scoring menace so far, averaging four goals-per-game. He’s almost certainly not going to beat out Bernhardt to be Maryland’s top option for the Tewaaraton, but he’s still playing great.

#10: Nick Grill, Senior, Defenseman, Maryland

Stats so far: 5 GP, 18GB, 10CT

Highest/lowest ranking: 7th/10th

If you’ve watched the PLL in the last two years, you’ll know that Maryland cranks out elite defensemen like nobody’s business. Well, Grill is sure looking like the next in line. At only 5-foot-8, he’s still taking opposing offensive players to task, leading a Maryland defense that has only allowed two opponents to score double-digit goals and hasn’t allowed more than 12 goals in a game so far this season.

Also receiving votes: Asher Nolting (High Point attackman), Koby Smith (Towson defenseman), Jared Conners (Virginia defenseman), Logan Wisnauskas (Maryland attackman).

That’s our Tewaaraton Watch 2021 top 10 through another three weeks of the season! We’ll be back again in three more weeks to check back in on the state of the race. Think we forgot someone? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram.

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