By Paul Ryan | 12/6/13 3:45 PM
The 2014 MLL Collegiate Draft is only five weeks away, on Friday, January 10, at the US Lacrosse Convention. Starting today and for the next five weeks will profile some of the best prospects eligible for the draft starting with the Faceoff position. Don’t forget to mark your calendars to watch the Collegiate Draft live on the MLL’s Youtube channel starting at 8 p.m. on January 10. And if you have draft withdrawal, don’t forget the 2014 Supplemental Draft next Wednesday at 2 p.m., with live updates right here on Majorleaguelacrosse.com
Here are four of the best Faceoff specialists available for next season.
Joe Calvello – UMass
In his junior year, Calvello solidified himself as one of the best faceoff men in the country. Last year, the Woodridge, Ill., native won 184 of the 316 draws he took, good for a 58.2% in the X. His 5.27 ground balls per game were good for 31st in the nation, as he scooped up 79 in total. Look for a team like Rochester, who really struggled in the X last year, to take a guy like Calvello.
Thomas Croonquist – Villanova
Very few collegiate faceoff men found success going up against Thomas Croonquist last season. The 5-11, 207 pound draw taker won 199 of his 356 faceoffs last year, good for 56% in the X. The crazy thing is, this actually brought his career numbers down, as his career average is now 58.1%.
Greg Puskuldjian – Adelphi
Puskuldjian may not have faced the level of competition the other faceoff men faced, but his numbers are still unbelievably impressive. His 154 wins on 229 face offs made him an incredible 67.2% last season, and the top faceoff specialist in D-II. He was named a Division II Second Team All-American for his efforts and will certainly be in the running for First Team this season.
Brendan Fowler – Duke
If there’s one guy that you want in the face off X, it’s Brendan Fowler. The First Team All-American won 339 of his 526 draws last year, which translates to 64.4%. If that wasn’t enough, he collected 209 ground balls last year, good for second in the NCAA. Fowler and the Blue Devils went on to win the 2013 NCAA title, and with Fowler starting each play, it’s not hard to see why. Ohio could use a guy like Fowler, as their 38.9% in the X last year was the lowest in the league.