Recruiting 2018-2020

JeremyCuse

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That's right! I forgot about Staats! SU has recruited defensemen pretty well. I hope there isn't a huge drop off on defense next year. I think with Porter and so many SSDMs back, plus Mellen limiting the opponent's top threat, that the defense will be solid.
SU will have some interesting decisions to make at close next year. Mellen is clearly a lock but after that there are multiple options. Kennedy is a terror in the open field but opponents have adjusted to him when he gets in the offensive end and he has looked really good when bumped down to close a few times this year. With a couple of highly rated LSM's coming in next fall and Fernandez back I wouldn't be shocked if Kennedy saw more time at close as I believe he will take over as the lock down defender the following year when Mellen graduates. If Kennedy plays close you have Murphy/Staats/Dipetro battling for the third spot with Kennedy's younger brother and Frosh Zack Lee in the mix as well. Don't know a ton about Owen Hull who is a frosh this year and I think is red-shirting.
 

DoctahLexus

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Zach Lee looks really nice. Big frame with a great deal of speed as well. I think he has a solid shot at taking on the role of Cunningham when he arrives here, but it is obviously impossible to tell if he will need some time to adjust to the D1 game. Mellen certainly didn't and I believe even Cunningham got some run as a freshman off the bench. Kennedy Fernandez and Fusco were also able to start right away. Freshman playing time seems more common for us on defense compared to offense for whatever reason. I have a feeling he could start for us out of the gate or at least see some playing time.

Never was a huge fan of Depietro who always struck me as a tad too slow and a fairly poor decision maker on team defense. However he is certainly strong and hopefully has taken some time in his year off to get a sense of how to improve in slides and other aspects of team defense. His experience should make him a strong contender for one of the two open spots. The main issue could be his health.

Murphy is a big strong bruiser who has put some vicious hits on other teams this year. I imagine the 2 years of short stick D will have a similar effect to practicing your baseball swing with a weighted bat. That bat will certainly feel lighter and ready for some home runs when you have a long pole in your hand after 2 years. The tough spot could be team defense, where he did make some mistakes against Army. That was understandable in that game since he was thrown into it last minute, and it's not necessarily a weak part of his game. He looked great in 1 v 1 situations. I am a big fan of his this year.

Staats for me is a total enigma. I have only really seen him play in some of the worlds tourney games. He did not look all that great but who really could when you are going up against Rob Pannell with severe jet lag? My friend who was on the OCC staff last year says that at the very least he has godly stick skills and is great in transition. These are not as important as team and 1v1 defense. Also health is a very legitimate concern. Clearly the Staats family tree struggles with bad knees. Austin and Randy Staats both seem to be lifetime knee brace wearers, perpetually at risk of taking a year off.

My gut is saying it's Mellen/Murphy/DePietro to start. Lee getting some time would not be too surprising. DePietro is probably the one who will have to fight the most to stay in the starting lineup. Still don't see Kennedy moving down. Fernandez is not as strong as he is in 1v1 middie D and it is crucial to have someone up top who has Kennedy's level of skill to take out the number 1 middie threat. Moving him down would make me very uneasy when we go up against the Aitkens and Nakie Montgomerys of the world. Maybe that would be a more intriguing option when Mellen leaves. Fusco leaving also hurts depth there.
 

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