Film Study: Grant Ament vs. Jack Rowlett

By Joe Keegan

PLL Analyst

Aug 19, 2021

Blaze Riorden vs. Adam Ghitelman. Ian MacKay vs. Connor Fields. Tony Resch’s Archers defense vs. a Canadian-heavy Chaos offense. There are fights all over the field -- but Friday night’s main event will be between Jack Rowlett (Chaos LC) and MVP favorite Grant Ament (Archers LC).

Rowlett has owned this matchup. In three meetings, Ament has shot 2-for-10 (20.0%) with 4.3 turnovers per game; against the rest of the league, Ament shoots 31.5% with only 1.5 turnovers per game.

“Jack has a nasty streak to him that really puts pressure on anybody he covers,” said Chaos LC head coach Andy Towers.

That tenacity is compounded by Chaos’ trust in Rowlett. They’ll be slower to slide, leaving him on an island to match feet with Ament. Some teams would send a double to one of these rollbacks. Chaos wants to cover up off-ball and dare Ament to beat Rowlett as a scorer.

Slow-to-go defenses have disrupted this Archers offense’s rhythm. Only Chrome -- who held Archers to 2-for-25 (8.0%) shooting off the dodge -- frustrated the Archers initiators more than Chaos (7-for-40, 17.5% off the dodge in two matchups this season).

Early possessions set the tone against those defenses. When the Archers torch the short-sticks out of the gates, like on Sunday against the Whipsnakes, their opponent rethinks the scheme. Should we help sooner? Can this guy handle that matchup?

“The strength of trying to defend those guys is in the change of the schemes,” said Towers.

When the scheme works, Rowlett feels comfortable taking chances. He’ll throw (and land) over-the-head checks.

“Jack doesn’t have an ounce of self doubt,” said Towers.

Expect the starting scheme to call for Rowlett to fight through all picks. Chaos switched more than anticipated last week in Albany -- and looked good doing so. During the month of August, opponents are shooting 4-for-31 (12.9%) off two-man games. MacKay, Mark Glicini, and Resch have been strong on switches -- but given what we’ve seen Ament do to short-sticks, don’t expect Chaos to invite switches.

Ament’s dodge-to-shoot game is improving -- up to 37.5% from 21.1% during his rookie campaign. He loves isolating on the wing. This underneath, on-the-run answer is preferred to the lefty fadeaway (especially against Blaze, who saves 64.2% of left-handed shots from that side of the field).

If Archers cannot draw switches, we might see them turn back to their 2-2-2 set from earlier in the season. With Will Manny and Marcus Holman screening, slipping, and cutting inside, Chaos’ off-ball defense would be put to the test.

Ament majored in 2-2-2 offense at Penn State. He can hit the mirror, the interior, or the skip thru while running full speed off a razor pick. With either hand. Any time he has his hands free, Chaos’ off-ball defend will need to be glued to their assignments. Every pass on the field is available to him.

“I don’t think there’s a pass on the offensive end of the field that he doesn’t think he can make,” said Towers.

When those passes connect, the ball is in-and-out of Manny and Holman’s stick before the goalie can adjust his arc. Teammates are burying 40.7% off feeds from Ament.

“It’s playoff time,” said Archers LC head coach Chris Bates. “The best players are gonna play their best.”

Ament's best against Rowlett's best. For 48 minutes on Friday night at 8:30PM on NBC Sports.

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