Dixon's analysis of finalists for Tewaaraton Award
In addition to providing expert analysis of the NCAA Tournament, ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon was kind enough to discuss the list of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award. Here is what Dixon had to say.
Question: What’s your assessment of the five finalists – Virginia senior defenseman Ken Clausen, Duke fifth-year senior attackman Ned Crotty, Stony Brook junior midfielder Kevin Crowley, Delaware senior attackman Curtis Dickson and Syracuse junior long-stick midfielder Joel White – for the Tewaaraton Award?
Mark Dixon: "Terrific players. It’s a strong list. I’m shocked that [North Carolina junior attackman] Billy Bitter is not on that list though. I don’t know how you can have five finalists for the Tewaaraton, and Billy Bitter is not part of it. The other big omission, I thought, was [Syracuse junior goalkeeper] John Galloway. He’s just been terrific all year long. I don’t know if a goalie has ever been a finalist for the Tewaaraton before, but if ever there was a year for that guy to be a finalist, it would have been this year. So those are two disappointing things, that Bitter and Galloway are not part of the conversation. … Kevin Crowley is terrific. He came out of nowhere. Everybody in Stony Brook and some of us lacrosse heads knew about him, but now he’s opened up to the rest of the country. Curtis Dickson has just carried this Delaware team into the NCAA Tournament. Clausen and White are both terrific defenders, although I am a little surprised that they ave two long poles with those finalists. And of course, Ned Crotty, everyone’s preseason favorite, has really put it together. Two other omissions I was surprised at – but I guess when you have to get down to five, you have to make some tough decisions – were [sophomore attackman] Rob Pannell from Cornell and [senior attackman] Max Quinzani from Duke. But I am really shocked that Billy Bitter is not on that list."
Q: No defenseman has ever won the Tewaaraton, and Hofstra midfielder Doug Shanahan is the only player to have won the Tewaaraton even though his team did not reach the Final Four. Would you agree that things seem to favor Crotty to win the award?
MD: "When I saw the list, I had a similar sentiment. But look, if Virginia can make a championship run with the story that’s going on with the Cavaliers right now, they’re going to have to play good defense to get it done and Ken Clausen could walk away with the Tewaaraton. It would be unprecedented. I think the only other long pole I can recall being nominated is Brodie Merrill when he was with Georgetown. Is it a conspiracy? I’m not ready to buy into that, but I think when you look at the lay of the land, it’s very feasible that Dickson and Crowley could be eliminated this coming weekend, and then you’ve got two defenders. So maybe you’re thinking conspiracy, but I’m not."