Another wild summer of transfers and coaching movements is over, with most schools being at least a week or two into fall ball and scrimmages getting underway as October approaches.
While the impact of coaching movements and transfers are always difficult to gage early on, there are those moves that instantly make a program’s stock rise, at least according to where the program was prior.
Let’s take a look at some programs and positional units that have seen their stock rise and fall over the summer. Whether their stock has improved or worsened, there’s still plenty of time for the market to fluctuate between now and the start of the 2020 season in February.
Following a 2019 season that saw the Crimson go 5-8 overall and 1-5 in the Ivy League, Harvard’s stock may have risen more than anyone during the summer coaching carousel. The Crimson went out and got former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Gerry Byrne. And don’t get it wrong, Notre Dame is Kevin Corrigan’s program, but Gerry Byrne was the heartbeat that helped make everything run so smoothly for as long as it did.
Byrne and his staff at Harvard have brought newfound energy that the decimated Crimson program needed. Along with the young and experienced talent they bring back, such as sophomore attackman Austin Madronic and senior attackman Kyle Anderson. This program looks to be on its way back to the top of the Ivy League, a place it hasn’t been for quite sometime.
The Transfer Portal giveth and the Transfer Portal taketh. In The Hoya’s case, goalie Chris Brandau transferred to Maryland over the summer and has left a hole that needs to be filled in cage. In addition, they lost two big pieces of their offense in Lucas Wittenberg and Daniel Bucaro to graduation.
While they return senior attackman Jake Carraway and did get North Carolina transfer Colin Munro, the Hoyas are still more of a question mark on both ends of the field than they have been in the past two seasons. Georgetown still may surprise some people, but they are certainly not the Georgetown they were at the end of the season.
Rising: Syracuse’s Offense
As I mentioned in an article a few weeks ago, Syracuse may have won the summer of 2019 with the addition of highly coveted transfer Chase Scanlan and the hiring of former Princeton offensive coordinator Pat March.
Syracuse has been good in recent years, but not up to the Syracuse standard that was set back in the ’80s, ’90s, and early ’00s with the Orange were seemingly always on top. During those days they had fast-paced offenses that would just run right through defenses. With a proven offensive mind like March leading great players such as Scanlan, Tucker Dordevic, Stephen Rehfuss, and others who’s not to say that the Orange won’t find success on that end of the field, even with some loses at the attack position.
While the hiring of Andy Whitley and retaining of Kyle Bernlohr and Steve Soriano as assistants brings stability to a program that hasn’t had much over the past few seasons, especially on the field. Any hope for the Knights to be major contenders on the SoCon within the next few seasons may have been set back a bit.
Riley Seay, the 2019 SoCon Freshman of The Year, has transferred to Loyola and Jim Mitchell left after one year as head coach. While things are better now, that still leaves a bad taste in players mouths that takes time to overcome. Whitley can put the Knights on track to success, but without a bonafide star, it may take longer than originally thought.
Rising: Penn’s Defense
The Penn Quakers had one of the most impressive runs last season, losing their first three games and then not losing again until getting beaten by Yale in the NCAA Quarterfinals. While they do lose goalie Reed Junkin who was a crucial part of that defense, the Quakers went out and grabbed sophomore Virginia transfer Patrick Burkinshaw from the transfer portal.
While it may take Burkinshaw and the defense as a whole some time to adjust to playing together, there is no doubt that he can start day one at Penn and help lead them to another Ivy League title. With sophomore LSM/D BJ Farrare, senior defenseman Kyle Thorton, and others back on that defense, this Penn team may be just as scary as they were last season.
In addition to losing three of the best players to graduation, offensive coordinator Anthony Gilardi took the head coaching position at Stony Brook. With that much turnover in personnel, one has to think what the Tigers will look like in 2020, especially on the offensive end.
While Towson may still be a top team in the CAA, this 2020 Towson squad may be one of the weakest we’ve seen in recent years. They have holes to be filled at faceoff, goalie, attack, and midfield. However, the brad that is the Towson defense seems to never fail, and they might need to lean on that just a bit more this season.
Under head coach John Tillman, the Maryland Terrapins have been one of the most consistently dominant teams in the nation. They don’t rebuild in College Park, they reload.
The Terrapins were one of the biggest winners of the NCAA Transfer Portal, landing defenseman Nick Grill from Marquette, goalie Chris Brandau from Georgetown, LSM Michael Ubriaco from Villanova, and faceoff man Joel Truckess from Lehigh. While the Terrapins will look pretty much the same of the offensive end, they have seemingly improved their defense from a talent and depth standpoint with the transfer portal. In addition, they have another good recruiting class coming in once again.
Losing Tewaaraton winner Pat Spencer due to graduation is bad enough, but things only got worse for the Greyhounds when Chase Scanlan transferred to Syracuse. Loyola may still have some pieces, but nothing like last year or even the past few seasons.
The Greyhounds only two starters returning on offense are Kevin Lindley and Aidan Olmstead. While they did add Bellarmine transfer Riley Seay and have some good young talent coming in, that burden will still be a lot for Lindley and Olmstead to carry. In addition, losing Jacob Stover hurts the Greyhounds defense immensely.
While Lloyd Carter did a great job at building the foundation at Hampton, newly minted head coach Rashad Devoe looks to take them further as they get closer to a full DI schedule in 2021. Entering year five, they have eight DI opponents on the schedule and there is a lot of energy building around the Pirates. In addition, they have a lot of young talent returning which is a good sign and should help Devoe instill his culture quicker.
Falling: Boston U.
Chris Gray transferred to North Carolina and James Burr graduated. That’s 155 goals gone right there. The Terriers may have had the worst summer just based on those two facts right there.
While they did lose their top two scorers from last season, they do have a fairly young offensive group coming back with sophomores Timmy Leh, Jake Cates, and others. They also add Towson transfer Phil Weis and return goalie Joe McSorley, which are two big positives for the program. However, with a young core and a key transfer coming in there could be some friction as far as chemistry goes, and even with the positives they still lose a ton of production and leadership.