#4 – DUKE BLUE DEVILS
2018: 16-4, lost in NCAA championship
The Blue Devils have a simple but remarkably effective offense; their 37.2 shooting percentage was second in the nation. It is befitting for a program where all four coaches were record-setting offensive players in college. What sets Duke apart is the surprisingly stout defense, both on close and with athletic d-middies. The Blue Devils also have the unerring ability to be at their loosest when other programs are at their tightest.
Recruiting Classes: http://www.insidelacrosse.com/recruiting/college/team/Duke/6/18
#10 – SYRACUSE ORANGE
2018: 8-7, lost in NCAA first round
A young team improved as the season progressed though the ending was rather unsightly. The Orange were outshot for the year (530-515) and gave up 19 man-down goals. Back are the two leading scorers – junior Stephen Rehfuss (20G,28A) and senior Nate Solomon (22G,15A), plus junior Nick Mellen (31GB,22CT), an all-American defenseman. The coaching staff does a remarkable job developing the young talent at hand. But recently there has been almost zero end product in May.
Recruiting Classes: http://www.insidelacrosse.com/recruiting/college/team/Syracuse/12/18
#16 – NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS
2018: 7-7, missed NCAA tournament
There is soul searching following a disappointing season. It featured a seven-game losing streak that looked like something the bad old days when the Tar Heels were doing the disappearing act in ACC play that now is all the rage in Charlottesville. North Carolina last year was young and surprisingly un-athletic. Next year the team will be older. Will it be more fleet afoot?
Recruiting Classes: http://www.insidelacrosse.com/recruiting/college/team/North+Carolina/3/18