Easterns Preview

by | March 18, 2011, 1:20pm 0

This weekend, the biggest tournament remaining on the regular season schedule takes place in Wilmington, NC. 14 of the participating teams attended nationals last year, with the only 2 that did not qualify being Virginia and Ohio. I will be teaming up with Jonathan Neeley from Inside Breaks to provide tweets of scores, player interviews, game summaries, and maybe even some live coverage.

Neeley has been providing some great history pieces over at Easterns.org. I suggest you check it out, as there are several pieces about the unknown aspects of teams.

Check out the pools.


I have to say that this seems like an extremely well seeded tournament. With the stiff competition, it’s going to be important for the top seeds to win quickly and easily or I think we’re going to start seeing some upsets.

Showcase Games:

Iowa vs. Harvard:

We’ll get to see George Stubbs and Red Line battle it out against Iowa’s Gleasons Army. Stubbs has to be the front runner for Callahan, and gives a Harvard a shot in any game. I haven’t seen either team this year, but I think my attention is going to be devoted to the Colorado vs.Carleton

Carleton vs. Colorado:

This is the game to pay attention to Friday night. It might be possible that Colorado and Carelton see each other 3 times this weekend, showcase, cross over, and championship bracket. I have been excited about Colorado after seeing their sophomore laden team at nationals last year. Colorado was my pick way back in the summer, along with Pitt to make it the finals of the college championship. Mamabird should have ample opportunities to beat CUT. I will be recording play off of stopped disc, and uploading it as close as I can get to real time. I will be testing out some QIK capability on my phone to see if I can get some live action.

Pool Play:

Pool A:


I don’t think CUT is going to have a difficult time going through Pool A. Virginia certainly has the talent to hang with them for spurts, but I don’t think they’ll have the metal to go the distance.


I would be lying if I said I wasn’t rooting for Virginia. These guys play very well as a team, and it’s a treat to watch their offense when it’s flowing. They space their cutters very well, and seem to have a plethora of options. 5th year left Matt King will be leading the charge at a tournament I think Virginia has the opportunity to do very well at. They will have to survive the game against a strong California team, playing against Andrew “Less no Hagen, More” Hagen. I think they’ll take second in the pool and will probably have to settle for a tough cross over game at the end of the day.


Don’t know much about these guys except that Hagen is a beast and another player to watch at this tournament. If Sam Kanner is in fact able to play, then you can’t count UGMO out of any game. Another team fighting for their lives at the end of Saturday.


The Seattle Seahawks of the Metro East, Cornell is looking to prove some of the doubters wrong. These guys still have talent left on this team with Neil Butler, Alex Kadesh and many others. I don’t think they’re going to have much luck on Saturday, but I think they can at least give UVA and California a game.

Pool B:

These guys had their backs against the wall at the Stanford Invite in the quarters against UBC and in the semis against Colorado, both times rallying to victory. They didn’t have enough in them to pull out the Trifecta, losing 15-7 to Carleton in the finals. If these guys didn’t have to go through the #3 and #4 teams in the country before facing the #1, I think you would have seen a different game. If they can take care of business Saturday, I think we could see some monster games on Sunday.


I already mentioned that George Stubbs is the man who makes the Red Line run, but it’s going to be a big deal with Andrew Vogt (who is questionable with a wrist injury) can’t go for Harvard. Vogt is an excellent handler who allows Stubbs to be dominant as a cutter. Depending on conditions, I could see Harvard getting upset by Minnesota requiring them to go through a two seed in the cross over game.


Grey Duck has a strong juniors presence on their team, with Josh Klane being their big pickup. I’ll be interested to see how the youth gels with the experience in this last big tournament before Regionals. Grey Duck had some impressive wins in the fall, but failed to continue that streak in their early spring tournaments. They have a big win over Iowa in the finals of Mardi Gras, and should be giving it their all to try and nab a 4th bid for the North Central.


Wilmington had a slow start to the spring season with lackluster results at Warm Up and Easterns Qualifier, but were able to put up some good wins in a round robin involving UVA, Michigan, and Georgia that is not on score reporter. Unless UNCW plans on just gunning for the top spot in the ACC, now is their time to get a second bid for that region. Based on previous results, it’s going to be a struggle to make it to quarters, let alone the cross over.

Pool C:


Colorado could get a few tests in pool play, but I doubt there will be any upsets. Wisconsin is young an athletic and will definitely put up a fight. I don’t think Michigan or Georgia will be able to get too close to them. Thus I think we’ll set our sights for the likely 2nd match-up of the weekend against Carleton in the cross over.


Wisconsin is one of the two seeds at this tournament along with Florida that has the capability to upset any team. They are very passionate and athletic, and play a high risk, high reward game. They use physical man defense to produce turnovers, and try to capitalize by sending deep hucks on any opportunity. Hector Valdivia helps control the stream of emotions at the coaching position, ensuring that the high energy doesn’t act as a detriment. The Hodags use their conditioning to their advantage, attempting to the run the other teams in the ground.


Michigan had an impressive showing at Queen City Tune Up in the high winds, avoiding some upsets with timely veteran play. Yoni Rafael is the man to watch when the offense needs a guaranteed cut. They have a plethora of solid playmakers, and often times some of the young guys like Jesse Brauner end up coming through in the clutch. Ollie Honderd provides stable handler play, and brings some experience from junior worlds. At times, it can be easy to overlook Michigan in this mess, but I like the experience they bring into big games. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them upset a couple of teams to make it into quarters on Sunday morning.


Jojah is one of the most confusing teams so far in this college season. They often play down to the lower teams, but raise their game when playing the big dogs. Matt Bailey is a player to watch, along with Michael Slade, and Elliot Erickson who had junior worlds experience. I don’t expect too much of Georgia, but they were impressive at the round robin in Charlotte. It’s going to be hard to get a second bid for the South East region, and this one of the last chances to get it.

Pool D:


Oregon lost several players last year, but have successfully retooled their roster. Dylan Freechild, Cody Bjorkland, and Josh Wardle lead the way for EGO this season. They had a disappointing loss against Harvard after being up big, late in the game.  They are definitely right back in the national title hunt, and have a great chance to go deep in this tournament. The Florida game will be the most hyped pool play match-up, and could decide who is fighting for their lives on Saturday.


Florida is another team that was expected to drop off after losing Brodie Smith last year. The system is still the same, and most of the time it works. They won’t be unstoppable at this tournament, but I’m not going to count them out of any game they play. They are one of the teams that has the power to be a bracket buster, especially if they run into Carleton. Carleton hasn’t had trouble beating all of the other teams, but Florida seems to have their number.


This is a huge tournament for Iowa, as they would love a 4th bid to nationals. So far the other three teams have the leg up on Iowa, which means they could be the odd man out in May.


Ohio is the new kid on the block at this tournament, and the only team besides Virginia that didn’t attend nationals last year. I would love to say that they’ll be some upsets on Saturday by them, but each game is going to be tough. They have club experience from top to bottom, and won’t be intimidated by anyone. Besides, Pitt, they are number two in their region at the moment. I’m sure they would still like to maintain a bid cushion, and any big losses would hurt their region.


Pool A:

Both me and Zack Smith have this pool going to seed. Kanner is out with an achilles for this tournament, making it less likely for an upset.

Pool B:

With Harvard not at full Strength, Pitt is going to take first.

Zack Smith: I have a gut feeling that Minnesota is going to be the odd man out, and UNCW is going to take third.

Bryan Jones: I think Minnesota can upset a Harvard squad without Vogt, and can take second in the pool. Harvard will survive taking third.
Pool C:

Zack Smith: This tournament is seeded well, I don’t want to call many upsets. This pool will also go to seed.

Bryan Jones: I’m going to be a little more bold, and I like Michigan’s chances against Wisconsin. I think it won’t matter except for cross over match-ups because I have Georgia getting 4th.

Pool D:

Bryan Jones: I have Iowa as the odd man out here, with Ohio pulling out the upset. Otherwise, Oregon will most likely take the pool. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised with Florida winning the pool.

Zack Smith: Oregon, Florida, and Ohio are going to advance.

Cross Overs:

We have the same one seeds, so we’re going to ignore those games as they’re inconsequential except for bracket placement.

Bryan Jones: I have Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, and Minnesota into the quarters.

Zack Smith: Virginia, Wisconsin, Harvard and Florida are going to advance to the quarters.

Look for tweets from no_look_scoober, and video coverage posted on easterns.org!



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