Southeast Regionals 2012: Open Preview

by | May 4, 2012, 6:50pm 0

This preview and the 2012 College Tour are presented by Spin Ultimate

The Southeast Regional has it all . There are power houses Florida and Georgia, contenders in Central Florida and Georgia Tech, and also a few dark horses in Florida State and Tennessee. With only two bids to nationals there are going to be some good teams ending their season this weekend.

Location: East Point, GA
May 5 – May 6
# of Bids:
Full Schedule

What  a world of difference seeding makes. 

Georgia theoretically screwed the pooch coming into this weekend by losing the 2nd place game in Conferences to Tennessee. Although Agent Orange is more than happy with this outcome. Why is this important? Georgia Tech is now forced to square off against rival Georgia in pool play, which means putting their depth to the test early. If there’s one team I’m concerned of making it through the whole weekend, it’s them.

After winning their conference Florida has corralled the one seed and has the “easier” path to the finals. Although, they did get knocked off by Florida State in pool play, who could come out the winner of pool D. Everyone is scrambling to at least make semi finals, because the road is long and dirty otherwise.

But that’s why they play the games..

Florida’s road to Boulder…

Florida has the advantage of the easiest pool, and we should expect Travis Catron and Co. to make it through to semi finals without too much worry. They will then likely face off against Tennessee or Florida State, while not easy, more favorable than the original thought of facing Georgia.

If the vertical stack is working well, Florida will have a great chance to qualify for finals on day one. I have not had an issue with their defensive intensity all year long, but would like to see guys step on the offensive side. Catron runs the offense well, and his long reach allows for the break throws necessarily to keep flow going. I’m looking at Alan Baird and Jeff Kale to step up as play makers this weekend, and it’s going to be important as we go later into the tournament.

Should seeds hold, we’ll see a rematch with Central Florida in the finals. I don’t know who is going to come out of that one, but I think Central Florida might be in better shape than Florida if they have to play in the back door game to go. Florida’s offensive depth isn’t what it used to be, and the line has looked gassed by the end of the day on Sunday.

Central Florida’s road to Boulder 

Central Florida really impressed me after the changes they made going into Easterns. Mischa Freystaetter lined up on the defensive side, automatically gaining a mismatch on a turnover. John Best ran the offense consistently, Alex Bullock eliminated the trap of the zone with his hammers while Mike Ogren, Quint Wharton, and others did great work.

The Dogs of War path through pool play isn’t that intimidating like Florida’s. At semis they are looking at a much harder opponent, either in Georgia or Georgia Tech. In games at Warm Up, Georgia Tech played Central Florida close twice. Close is not the same thing as a win, but with the game on the line, it’s all going to be dependent on who steps up. After that, a finals game against Florida would give them the opportunity to seal their first trip to Boulder.

Georgia Tech’s road to Boulder

Everyone knows about Nick Lance, and he’s certainly worth talking about. Jay Clark is also a big reason why Georgia Tech is where they are. Clark’s experience with Tufts and natural athleticism lets him take the pressure off, and also reel in  long distance hucks. We can talk about Georgia Tech’s lack of depth, but there are also guys deserving of talk that will beat you. Andrew Fish is a 5th year returner who usually helps the defensive line on the back end. EJ Layne is often the target, as his experience from Voodoo makes a difference. Taylor Rasco, Tyler Cable, Nick Hunter, and Ramu Annamalai will be making plays that get this team victories.

Tech may have the hardest road, and the worst possible scenario despite winning their conference.  Should they run the table they would have to defeat Georgia, Central Florida, and Florida in succession. It’s going to be important to put the rest of pool play out of their misery early, while finding ways to keep it going through the semis on Saturday. Lance and Clark will certainly feel it the most, but if they can get to the finals, I like their chances in winning it.

Who else ?

Florida State has to be happy with their potential road to Boulder, as they are looking to take down Tennessee and a Florida team they proved to themselves they already beat. It’s always tough to beat an opponent twice, but Nick Fletcher and DUFF has come a long way in the past few years. Peter Van De Burgt has now been in place for a couple of years, and gotten the squad playing up to competition. Elijah Grady will make big plays in the air, and Jordan Huston is also a sly thrower to watch.

Admittedly, I don’t know too much about Tennessee, and that’s the wild card in this scenario. Matt Radcliffe is the name I keep hearing, but they did take down Georgia, so we shall see where things end up.

Last year after a dismal Eastern’s Georgia told me “don’t worry about us”, and they gave Florida a run for their money in the regional final. I know they gave it everything they had in the game against Georgia Tech at Conferences, and once again it’s hard to beat a team twice. Max Leonard will be putting discs deep, while Charlie Herrig, Fletcher Hartline, and Brian Walter will be ripping them down. Elliot Erickson is a question mark, as he re-injured his hamstring at  Easterns. Those type of injuries are slow to heal, but he would be an incredible difference maker.

I’ll be in Atlanta this weekend to watch all the action. Stay tuned to @No_Look_Scoober for updates and audio play by play coverage of at least the finals.

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