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10 Man Ride: What if…?

By Joe Keegan

PLL Analyst

Sep 3, 2020

CLEAR! The ride is on. We’re covering your “what if?” suggestions, some NBA playoff correlations to our sport, an amazing Zed Williams feature, and a 2022 World Games update. Let’s go!

1. Crease Collapse of the Week 

This is chess on a lacrosse field. Matt McMahon fills toward Matt Gaudet, so that the Archers can slide from the crease if they need to. They don’t. Jordan Wolf (McMahon’s assignment) attempts to cut the fill – a savvy move! McMahon swivels his head and finds Wolf before he can complete his cut.

McMahon’s brain wins the race against Wolf’s feet.

2. Weekly Watch

Today’s Weekly Watch is looking at Mikey Diggs’ favorite rule change of the past decade. Can you guess what it is?

:80 shot clock?


Crease dive?

More faceoff rule changes?

Subscribe here to find out – and I’ll weigh in with some thoughts on the rule next week.

3. Strength of the Wolf

Nelson Rice’s feature on Zed Williams is a must-read. My favorite excerpt – Zed describing his “why”:

“I know they are watching and my family is watching,” Williams said. “Their happiness is my happiness. That’s what drives me — to bring out their smiles. That’s what the game of lacrosse does.

“That's why I play.”

Read the full article on US Lacrosse Magazine’s site. (And be on the lookout for Zed’s highlight reel, dropping today!)

4. Ireland Lacrosse voluntarily withdraws from 2022 World Games 

“Once World Lacrosse received the welcome news from the IWGA that the Iroquois Nationals are eligible for selection, we knew it was time to play our part and voluntarily step aside.”

-- Michael Kennedy, CEO of Ireland Lacrosse

Full release here. It is looking like the Iroquois Nationals will be part of the eight-team field in Birmingham, Alabama.

5. Stat of the Week

4.9% of shots went off the post.

14.3% of shots set up by Grant Ament’s passes went off the post.

One of the league leaders in assists probably should have had a few more dimes. Dude dished 14 assists as a rookie – and that was unlucky?! Like he told RJ, he’s only getting started. Can’t wait to see what Ament does in year two.

6. What if?

Last week we covered the biggest “what if?” in PLL history, the ping pong ball that bounced the right way and sent Zed Williams to the Whipsnakes.

I asked for your “what if?” moments. Here are some of your responses:

What if Tom Schreiber hadn’t been injured in the Redwoods-Archers 2019 postseason game? Typically, I stay away from injury-related what ifs. The Archers would’ve had a better shot at winning is the obvious, short-term answer. But this game had long-term implications. If the Archers had won this game, would the Redwoods have won the first pick? Who would they have taken? Bryan Costabile? How far would Grant Ament have slipped? Are the Archers better off in the long run for having lost this game and landed Ament?

What if Andy Towers had never started Miles Thompson over Connor Fields? The water is still rippling from this move. It’s difficult to imagine Fields will don a Chaos uniform ever again. Who will make a move for him this offseason? What will the price be?

What if the Waterdogs had drafted Rob Pannell over Zach Currier? Pannell to the Waterdogs. Currier to Chrome? Jesse Bernhardt to Atlas? That’s a significant shuffle.

What if the Whipsnakes hadn’t protected their entire defense? Ha! Sorry, Hutton – I don’t think Coach Stagnitta would’ve let any of those guys walk. He played the expansion process perfectly en route to a repeat.

7. Mike Rabil on ‘Grateful and Full of Greatness’

Co-founder and CEO Mike Rabil appeared on Mark Glicini’s “Grateful and Full of Greatness” podcast to discuss his journey as an entrepreneur, his passion for the mission, building a team, finding a common purpose, blocking out time from 9:30-10:30AM to think more, and his morning Peloton routine.

Listen to the full episode on Spotify.

8. NBA Playoffs

On both a micro and macro level, basketball and lacrosse skills and strategies are intertwined. Lacrosse players can learn a lot from watching hoops.

One action we’re seeing more in the NBA: guards picking for bigs.

Guards aren’t accustomed to defending the picker. Uh oh. Do they drop? Switch? Show? They’re more likely to stray from the gameplan than a big who defends in that spot routinely. This Pascal Siakam-Fred Van Vleet pick-and-roll produces an easy triple.

That action looks a lot like an attackman with a pole picking for a short-stick matchup. Jamie Munro has been a huge proponent of that look. Bringing a pole to the ball is a conventional no-no – but the predicament it puts a defense in is worth it!

Coaches can learn from watching basketball, too. Brad Stevens has my Boston Celtics rolling – and he is moving Kemba Walker around defensively to prevent the Raptors from exploiting his size. @HalfCourtHoops broke it down with film. Stevens has been doing this well since Isaiah Thomas was on the team. Lacrosse coaches could steal some of his schemes to protect offensive midfielders and faceoff athletes who get trapped on defense.

9. Matt Dunn on PLT

Whipsnakes LC defenseman and Defensive Player of the Championship Series Matt Dunn joined Pro Lacrosse Talk to discuss why he chose Maryland, how he earned playing time on a close defense with overwhelming athleticism, and winning the 2020 Championship Series.

Listen to the full interview on Spotify.

10. Thank you!

The fan survey results are in. And I cannot thank you all enough. 10 Man Ride readers proved their dedication to the league in nearly every metric.

This number stuck with me: The average 10 Man Ride reader watched 15 games during the Championship Series.

I love the cult of coaches and film junkies that we’ve built. Let’s keep the X’s and O’s conversations going all offseason. Shot charts, statistical trends, and the All-Film Team are on the way…

Thanks for reading!

Spread the word, submit any questions you want to see answered in this space to me on Twitter (@joekeegs), and I’ll talk to you next week!

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