Over at Inside Lacrosse, Jon Brand has a Q&A with Duke head coach John Danowski about Zack Greer’s decision to play his fifth year at Bryant, in which Danowski says Greer decided not to use his extra year at Duke last fall and looked at graduate school opportunities throughout the year. Greer considered playing hockey and lacrosse and Danowski says he visited Denver and Ohio State and thought about St. Lawrence, a school closer to his home in Ontario.
“Zack and I had talked in the fall and he had said he was not going to come back to Duke,” Danowski told IL. “The whole thing, in the end, has to be viewed from an academic aspect. This game’s just a means to an end and it’s about looking at how you can position yourself the best way possible…He could have gone straight into the NLL; he didn’t have to play college lacrosse again… Our conversations [in the fall] were about what is going to make you happy, what are you going to get out of a fifth year and we talked about his options.”
Another point of note: Brand asked Danowski about the possibility of adding Bryant, led by former Duke head coach Mike Pressler, to the schedule. His response:
“I don’t think so, not this year. With the lawsuit pending and so many distractions, I don’t think it’s the right timing for the sport. We need to get away from the distractions of the situation right now, but maybe one day, when everything goes away–not that it ever really will–it will could happen.”
–by Ben Cohen
Zack Greer, the NCAA’s all-time leading goal scorer, has decided to use his NCAA-granted fifth year of eligibility with former Duke head coach Mike Pressler at Bryant, sources told Inside Lacrosse’s Quint Kessenich Monday.
Pressler was forced to resign from his Duke position in 2006 in light of rape allegations that later proved false. He became coach at Division-II Bryant in August 2006, and he will lead the Bulldogs as they transition to Division I next season, even though the team will not yet be eligible to participate in the postseason. Adding Greer, Duke’s best attackman and leading scorer, will undoubtedly mark a step in the right direction for Pressler’s program.
Greer graduated from Duke in the spring, but, unlike other members of his senior class with the option of a fifth year, had not announced his intentions for 2009. He could have used his fifth year at Duke, as the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer Matt Danowski did last year. Instead, he will be a graduate student at Bryant in Smithfield, R.I., markedly closer to his home in Canada. Greer needs just 68 points to eclipse Danowski as the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer. He amassed 95 points in 2007.
Of course, there are still swirling questions about Greer’s decision to attend a school with no lacrosse history just to play for his old coach. If anything, it is perhaps the greatest athletics-related development in the lacrosse case in a long time. It will likely catapult the story back in the spotlight and place Greer and Pressler under a magnifying glass, at least for Bryant’s first game next year.
We’ll have more reaction, analysis and try to get quotes from Greer as this story develops.
What do you think about Greer’s decision to use his fifth year with Pressler at Bryant?
–by Ben Cohen
For the bargain-basement price of $551, you can out-jockey current high bidder “tommoetj” for an autographed Matt Danowski all-star jersey. Danowski, an attackman for the New Jersey Pride, was named as an injury replacement for Thursday’s Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game. The 2007 Tewaaraton Award winner also participated in the Freestyle Shootout (the Slam Dunk contest of the MLL all-star experience) and had the dubious pleasure of making the finals but following the guy who jumped over two kids while riffling it into the net. The video was posted in deadspin’s morning round-up and shows up with 41 seconds left in the clip.
At the break, Danowski is tied for fourth in points among rookies with 19 and picked up Rookie of the Week Honors in the fifth week of the MLL season.
—by Meredith Shiner
- With a pending contract extension for rising superstar Deron Williams and tons of money tied up in Andrei Kirilenko’s multi-year, multimillion dollar deal, rumors have been swirling about the future of former Duke stand-out Carlos Boozer on the Utah Jazz. The talk—which surrounds Boozer’s potential departure to Miami where helives in the offseason—has been so heated that the Salt Lake Tribune published this story yesterday stating that the Jazz will not petition the NBA to conduct an inquiry into whether the Heat acted improperly in pursuing Boozer before his contract expired. Tribune columnist Gordon Monson penned a column earlier this week questioning Boozer’s real value to the Jazz.
- Football head coach David Cutcliffeannounced the hiring of five new staff members Thursday, including new video coordinator Tom Long, assistant strength and conditioning coach Luke Barthel, and equipment staff members Jay Bissette, Todd McMinn and Wesley Pickell. Barthel spent the past two years on the strength and conditioning staff at Ole Miss, where he played four years of baseball, and Long was a video assistant with the Washington Redskins before working for a private technical support firm.
- The 2008 All-ACC Academic teams for lacrosse were announced Thursday, with the men’s side placing a league-leading 15 athletes on the squad and the women boasting a league-leading nine members. The athletes honored were: Matt Danowski, Mike Catalino, Zach Howell, Chris Loftus, Dan Loftus, Tony McDevitt, Parker McKee, Terrence Molinari, Nick O’Hara, Sam Payton, Max Quinzani, Brad Ross, Steve Schoeffel, Michael Ward, Michael Young, Carolyn Davis, Aiyana Newton, Allie Johnson, Jess Adam, Kim Imbesi, Megan Del Monte, Danielle Kachulis, Emma Hamm and Sarah Bullard.
Keep checking The Chronicle Sports Blog for all your Duke athletics summer updates.
—by Meredith Shiner
Inside Lacrosse talked with Duke head coach John Danowski last week, and he told the lacrosse website that midfielder Brad Ross and defenseman Kevin Mayer will use their NCAA-granted fifth years of eligibility at Duke, while attackman Josh Covalevski will use his at Delaware and midfielder Bo Carrington will forego his extra year. Attackman Zack Greer, the most important player with the option of returning, is still undecided, Danowski said.
Ross played a critical role in Duke’s Final Four run this year, starting every game and finishing fourth on the team with 25 goals, trailing only Greer, Max Quinzani and Matt Danowski. His 33 points were fifth-most on the team. Mayer played in 12 games and Covalevski saw time in 14, posting seven points. Carrington scored five goals in 11 games, but suffered from a career-ending herniated disk that will keep him out of action next year.
Greer, a Tewaraaton Trophy finalist, did not declare for the MLL Draft and has either the option of returning for another year in Durham or attending graduate school at another institution. The NCAA’s all-time leading scorer and the top goal scorer in the country this year would obviously affect Duke’s quest for its first national title next season.
“Zack’s a very private person,” Danowski told IL. “I think that we all assume because he hasn’t used his eligibility that he’s coming back. I assume he’s going to play somewhere but I don’t know where.”
We’ll continue to report this story from our end and let you know when we hear more about Greer.
—by Ben Cohen
HBO has acquired the rights to former Duke lacrosse head coach Mike Pressler and Don Yaeger’s book, It’s Not About the Truth. The book chronicles the Duke Lacrosse allegations, from the initial indictments in March 2006 all the way until their pronounced innocence in April 2007. If produced, the film will be the first movie about the case.
The book from Pressler and Yaeger, a former SI associate editor, was released in June 2007 and came out in paperback in May. The other most famous book about the lacrosse case, Until Proven Innocent by K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor, was released in September.
So now comes the obvious question: Who are the actors? Offer your suggestions in the comments section below, and we’ll compile a list in the next few days.
–by Ben Cohen
Inside Lacrosse, the mecca of online lacrosse coverage, has been rehashing the details of the 2008 college season and announced the “Top 10 Surprises” Wednesday. Not surprisingly, Duke’s loss to Johns Hopkins in the national semifinal made the list, coming in at No. 2, only behind national champion Syracuse’s turnaround season.
As we all know by this point, the Blue Devils decimated Hopkins 17-6 April 5, only to be slowed down offensively by the Blue Jays in Foxborough and lose 10-9 with their season and national title hopes on the line.
>>SEE MORE LACROSSE COVERAGE.
–by Ben Cohen