Carolina Chaos attackman Brian Minicus

Why Chaos offense needs to involve Brian Minicus and Ross Scott more

By Hayden Lewis | Jun 24, 2024

Brian Minicus and Ross Scott haven’t had the opportunity to make an impact on the Carolina Chaos offense this season.

Last year, Minicus averaged 36.7 touches a game and had the fifth-highest touch total (367) in the league. That heavy involvement allowed Minicus to break out of the gates early in his professional career and enabled him to become a key catalyst on the Chaos offense. It’s been anything but that this year for Minicus. 

Minicus is getting 12 touches a game and hasn’t been a driving force on the offense this season. Part of the switch in his game is the move he made to the midfield after Jules Heningburg took over as the X attackman for the team. 

Minicus can be ultra-effective in the midfield because of his speed but hasn’t seen the workload to showcase high-end production. Because Minicus is competing with Shane Knobloch, Kyle Jackson and Eric Dobson for touches out of the box, the isolation speed dodging offensive packages he had last year don’t exist in the same quantity. 

Minicus thrives when he gets to attack defenders one-on-one, and because of the move to midfield and the depth the Chaos have out of the box, he is matching up against short-stick defensive midfielders more often. 

Against the Utah Archers, Minicus recorded a first-quarter goal by taking on an SSDM from the lefty wing and beating the defender with a mix of dodges and muscle before putting one past Brett Dobson. Minicus’ two-handedness on offense makes him a larger threat than most midfielders because he can attack from anywhere. 

Working Minicus down to X in two-man looks can open up his full package on offense if the ball works to him in an exchange because he’ll enable the left-and-right-handed dodging game. Minicus is a heavier scorer than a feeder, and the space he creates with his wheels results in numerous crease dive looks. If a pole sticks with Minicus, it won’t matter because he’s proven that he can beat poles in coverage.

The offense will begin to evolve the more Minicus can dodge from below goal line extended. It would also open up Scott’s game in the midfield. 

Scott doesn’t have excessive quantitative data to prove how effective he can be in professional lacrosse, but his small sample on the field this season, he’s proven he can take over games. 

The third-round draft pick has been described as “quick” and “shifty” by his teammates. Scott even drew a Jordan Wolf comparison from head coach and general manager Andy Towers after an impressive two-goal Week 1 performance against the Denver Outlaws. 

Scott’s first step when he dodges is just as quick as Michael Sowers’, if not quicker. Defenders struggle to match foot speed with Scott, making him a dangerous threat from below GLE. 

Scott hasn’t been able to dice defenses up from the midfield as a dodger and passer. In college at Rutgers, Scott was an X attackman and created his scoring opportunities from within five and five, which has become much harder out of the box. 

Scott doesn’t need a large amplification in his touches to perform at a higher level for the Chaos. A simple move down low to attack would place him in a more comfortable position and give him a few more touches a game to take on the defense. 

Tye Kurtz is the third attackman this season for the Chaos and has played well. Flexing Kurtz to a midfield role wouldn’t be the end of the world, though. 

Kurtz has a more powerful shot than Scott and Minicus, so he can stretch the defense, and he’s an excellent inside finisher who could benefit from being fed by his teammates. Shifting Kurtz to a spot where the defense has to be more aware of him as a cutter and spot shooter would open up the dodging games of Scott and Minicus, along with other teammates like Heningburg and Knobloch.

This season has been about molding a new offense and relying on the defense to play at a world-class level to provide wins. If the Chaos can figure out how to make the offense more consistent, they could go on a deep run in the late stages of the season. If the team continues to struggle scoring goals, something will need to be changed in the offense. 

Scott and Minicus are promising solutions for sparking more offense, but on gameday, it takes all 19 guys to provide a win, not two. 

Someone needs to step up on the Chaos offense against the Philadelphia Waterdogs this Saturday in Minneapolis if Carolina wants to get back in the win column before their bye.