McAnaney: ‘Syracuse does not have a cake walk to the title’

Eamon McAnaney is an on-air host, a play-by-play announcer and reporter for SNY and ESPN. He has also spent time at MSG Network, NBA TV and TNT Sports. Prior to his journalism career, McAnaney was a four-year letter winner at Notre Dame and captain in 1991 on men’s lacrosse as a defenseman.

With Syracuse opening the NCAA tournament this Sunday against Bryant at the Carrier Dome, we caught up with McAnaney to get his take on the Orange.

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McAnaney: Syracuse will have a tough road to a championship

The Juice Online: Has Syracuse separated itself from the parity in college lacrosse recently?

Eamon McAnaney: It depends which Syracuse team shows up so I guess that is a no. When they have been highly motivated to play a ranked team the Orange have been dominant but then there is a loss to Hobart and a street fight with Rutgers that just doesn’t make any sense. Obviously they should have to worry about emotional letdowns in the NCAA tournament.

TJO: What is the biggest reason their defense has been so good?

EM: It starts with Brian Megill and the emergence of Dominic Lamolinara but the other 5 guys know their roles and execute. Steve Ianzito and Matt Pratt have become exceptional going from defense to offense. Nobody knew who Sean Young was 3 months ago, and now he is taking away Brandon Benn, Steve Mock and Jack Rice. Dave Hamlin has been tough. You have to credit Leland Rogers for finding the right pieces to the puzzle and putting these guys in positions to succeed.

» Related: The goal for SU is to get to Philadelphia

TJO: Do you look at all of their one-goal games as a good or a bad thing?

EM: Back to point 1, a one goal win over Cornell and at Princeton are good things. One goal loss to Hobart and a goal win at home over Rutgers are head scratchers. Everybody across the country has had a heavy dose of one goal games this year so I don’t think it will be a factor in the post-season.

TJO: How far do you think SU will go in the tournament?

EM: The Orange are the number 1 seed so they are expected to win it but in 2013 the difference between the #1 seed and a team like Loyola is miniscule.  Syracuse does not have a cake walk to the title. If it’s Penn State next round, it has to face one of, if not the best, goalies in the country in Austin Kaut. If it’s Yale, JoJo Marasco might not touch the ball because of Dylan Levings. The face-off game has been the kryptonite for this team. Credit Chris Daddio for making the adjustments and being effective against Thomas Croonquist of Villanova, but with R.G. Keenan or Chase Carraro potentially down the road, the Orange may play a game where they get dominated in time of possession.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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