|Photo by Lauren Carter|
2. Colby Soden lead his Orange Team to the Midwest Fantasy Championship and electrified his team's offense at THE Fantasy and Northeast Fantasy. Colby Soden's teams consistently had high-powered offenses, with accurate passing and smart penetration. While Soden is a fantastic, agile ball handler with good decision making, it's his ability to develop chemistry and mesh with others that made his fantasy performance impressive.
At THE Fantasy Tournament, Lime Green displayed a balanced offense emphasizing teamwork and off ball chasing. Soden fit right in, working terrifically with Hank Dugie (who stepped into the point guard role) and Katelynn Kazane. On Day Two, Lime Green was devasted by injuries and family emergencies, but had nothing gone wrong, Lime Green might have been victorious.
Soden played fantastically with BGSU's Daniel Daugherty and Meredith Taylor at Northeast Fantasy. Going 4-2 overall, the Pink Team was carried by Daugherty, Soden and Taylor's ability to spread the pitch. With more open space, the three Midwesterners were able to use their speed and agility to drive, juke and score. Always finding the open chaser, Pink scored easily most of the time.
With Orange at Midwest Fantasy, Soden drafted Kansas teammmates Wil Kenney and Grant Daigle. The Kansas trio lost their first game of the day but rebounded, going undefeated the rest of the tournament. They were not over-powering and they lacked star scorers, but with outstanding teamwork, Soden, Kenney and Daigle were able to be very successful.
|Photo by Madeline Finn|
This is kind of how I see Kansas playing out in 2013-14. Leadership from Soden, combined with an athletic chaser core, will be able to make up for the losses of Connor Drake, Hai Nguyen and Ronell Sharp. Able to roll out several top chaser lines, Kansas should be able to run shorter shifts, conserving their players' energy. Spreading the pitch will be vital to their success, because they aren't as big as some of their Midwest rivals. In addition, Soden's success with Daniel Daugherty shows that he may be the perfect partner for keeper Jordan Callison in a dual point guard system. His quickness and Callison's strength and height could give Kansas a very dynamic and hard to defend offense.
Overall, Colby Soden looks to be a great captain and a very reliable multi-role chaser. Kansas surprised a lot of people with their trip to the Elite Eight at WCVI. If the pieces fall into place, Soden has the ability to take his team to new heights: a final four appearance at World Cup VII.