Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lone Star Roster: Day Three

Day Three
Lone Star QC announced seven names for their roster today on their facebook page including top beaters, Hope Machala and Savannah Allison. With players coming from all positions and four different alma maters, the group announced today is diverse in talent and playing style. Adding their first out-of-region collegiate players in Kansas chasers Connor Drake and Ronell Sharp, Lone Star adds more solid defense and lots of experience. Rounding out today's list was Texas A&M chaser Nicole Galle, LSU beater Seth Segura and chaser/seeker Nash Mock.

Lone Star will have the best female beaters in the country. Already with Mollie Lensing, the additions of Hope Machala and Savannah Allison are really exciting for the future of female beating. As some top teams move towards playing two male beater sets, Lensing, Machala and Allison might be able to reverse the trend. Quick, strong, smart, experienced and well-rounded, these three have handled pressure in big games, debuting new strategies that lead their teams to victory.
Photo by Lauren Carter
A crucial part of Texas' championship run and season, Machala became a household name after her World Cup performance. Arguably the best female beater in the nation, Machala clings to bludger control while being extremely efficient. If total number of beats were tracked, Machala would probably be in the top five due to her mobility, accuracy and time of with a bludger. She is focused and always on top of her game.

Photo by Lauren Carter
I've been waiting for Savannah Allison to break out and become dominant for a while now. Allison has the athleticism and pitch awareness to be a great beater, but with Texas A&M tanking in the quarterfinals of World Cup VI, she wasn't given a chance to play in the final four. If Texas A&M had won the World Cup, Allison could easily have gotten as much attention as Machala. Lone Star is going to win a lot and playing at the level she has played, Allison should start to get recognized as an elite beater.
Photo by Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff
Connor Drake, former Jayhawk keeper, is the first big name quaffle player Lone Star has added that I think might have trouble fitting into the UT style offense at first. Drake's greatest skills are his ball handling, decision making and control of the offense. If LSQC keeper Stephen Bell is RG3, then Connor Drake is Andrew Luck. Drake is not bad in transition, but the transition attack Kansas ran this past season is nothing like the attack Texas ran. Andrew Luck can run, but not like Robert Griffin. Being able to play well in the half court is incredibly important for Lone Star, as I'm confident some team (Baylor, UT and the Lost Boys have the best shot I think) will find a way to stop the fast break offense championed by guys like Marshall, Arends and Bell. That's where Drake become essential. Lone Star's captains need to have confidence in Drake even though he doesn't have the transition speed of Stephen Bell. If you place the right weapons around him, and let him take the quaffle up the pitch, he will ease into a comfort zone and be very dangerous. In particular, I think a dual point guard system with Drake and Simon Arends would be dynamite. A sudden change in pace and style can be brought on with one substitution in Connor Drake and throw off the opposition's gameplan.

Photo by Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff
Next we have Drake's former Kansas teammate Ronell Sharp. Sharp is known for his tenacious point defending and with Lone Star, he will team up with two more of the world's best point defenders in Kody Marshall and Simon Arends. All three can learn from each other and make each other better point defenders. If Marshall and Arends become Lone Star's primary point defenders, Sharp is a terrific off ball defender, keeping up with his man and intercepting telegraphed passes.

Nicole Galle is a big addition behind Sarah Holub on the female chaser depth chart. Galle, a former Aggie, will have to get used to the fast paced offense I expect Lone Star to run, as Texas A&M played most in a half court style offense. Seth Segura provides much needed male beater depth, seeing that besides Reed Duncan, LSQC doesn't have a single male beater that has played a season before.

Will we see two female beater sets from Lone Star QC? How will UT's Machala work with A&M's Lensing, Duncan and Allison? Will the two schools' difference in strategy be a barrier at first?

Although she will probably end up third on the female beater depth chart, will 2013-14 be the year Savannah Allison becomes a household name? It will have to be if Lone Star's going to win World Cup VII.

Will Connor Drake fit into a fast paced offense? Will Drake stay primarily a point guard keeper or will he be playing off ball chaser more? Can the Lone Star captains figure out how to use Drake?

I asked yesterday who would point defend more between Marshall and Arends, but does Sharp have what it takes to beat out the former Longhorns and become the primary point defender?

No comments:

Post a Comment