TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

March 22, 2015 — More Kentuckies on the horizon?

The third round of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament concludes today.

And much like in the last eight months, the talk of the collegiate basketball world is Kentucky.

The Wildcats have, by either pure luck or through other means, have assembled a team which can have two entire platoons of McDonald’s All-Americans on them.

The concentration of talent on one team has concerned me since LeBron James convinced players like Chris Bosh to join him in Miami several years ago. By the same token, Cesc Fabregas was lured from Liverpool to Barcelona by a number of his Spanish national soccer teammates.

But it isn’t only free-agent professionals exerting an unnatural influence on competition. Because players in other sports have conversations with each other at national events and on social media, you’re beginning to see overwhelming assemblies of talent threatening to make the chase for a national championship a laugher.

Take, for instance, the Maryland women’s lacrosse team. They may have lost the recruiting race for some individual talents, but won the lottery with their current attackers Megan Whittle, Brooke Griffin, Kelly McPartland, and current Tewaaraton Trophy winner Taylor Cummings.

And as loaded as this attack is, it could have been even more stacked if Jen Cook and Halle Majorana had not transferred.

Though there is competition for blue-chip recruits across the nation these days, Maryland has recruits coming in the next few seasons like U-19 national-teamer Brindi Griffin and Kelsey Cummings, the sister of Taylor.

There is a similar concentration of talent occurring at the University of North Carolina field hockey team. Austyn Cuneo, the leading scorer for the United States Youth Olympics qualification team of last year, will be joining with Meredith Sholder, who led the U.S. Indoor national team in the recent Big Apple Tournament, have both committed to UNC along with Alexandra Rushton of Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.) and Ashley Hoffman of Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.).

It almost makes you forget that UConn, not UNC, is the two-time defending national champion.

Thing is, both field hockey and lacrosse operate differently from the current environment of men’s basketball. The chief difference, of course, is that players stay in school rather than flee for the immense riches of the pros.

This, of course, presents a problem to a coach with a loaded recruiting class. But that’s a subject for another day.

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