1/14/12 1:00 AM
The Rochester Rattlers entered the 2012 MLL Draft with a pressing need at close defense and were also looking for a lot of help in midfield. After the first seventeen picks in the 2012 MLL Draft they had taken significant steps in filling those needs. The Rattlers selected Mike Manley (D) with the third overall pick in the draft. Then they selected Cornell’sRoy Land (M) and Syracuse University’s Kevin Drew (M) in the second round and Maryland’s attackman Joe Cummings in the third round. Cummings is expected to play in midfield in Major League Lacrosse.
“Mike Manley is a player who has been on our radar for quite some time.” Rochester Rattlers Coach Tim Soudan said. “He’s a lock down defenseman who can walk in and help us right away. I love his character and what he brings to the table both on and off the field.”
After trading middie Jovan Miller to the Charlotte Hounds last night, the Rochester Rattlers had three of the first thirteen picks in the 2012 MLL Draft and five of the first twenty-five picks.
“We knew we had needs in defense and midfield, so we put ourselves in the best possible position we could to improve.” Rattlers owner and general manager Rob Clark said.
In the middle of the draft the Rattlers addressed their need at FOGO by selecting FO Bobby Dattilo from Hobart They traded away their 2011 specialist Anthony Kelly to the Ohio Machine in the off-season. In the fifth round the Rattlers picked one of Inside Lacrosse’s “Diamonds in the Rough” when they selected LSM Tim Henderson from Army. Henderson could be the best athlete in the draft at 6’3”, 210 pounds.
The Rattlers finished up the 2012 MLL College Draft by working on their depth in attack and defense by selecting Hartford’s Carter Bender (A) in the sixth round, North Carolina’s Charlie McCormas (D) in the seventh round, and North Carolina’s Thomas Wood (A) in the eighth round.
“We got some really high value guys who were high on our list late in the game tonight.” Rattlers coach Tim Soudan said. “We’re really happy. We didn’t think we’d be able to get some of these guys where we did. We’re stronger defensively, we’re much stronger offensively, and we’ve got some diversity in midfield now.”
Round 1 – Pick 3: Mike Manley (D), Duke University
The Rochester Rattlers began their 2012 MLL College Draft by immediately addressing a need and drafting D Mike Manley. Manley is a native of Rochester, New York (Penn Yan Academy) and has been a standout defenseman with the Duke University Blue Devils for three seasons. Manley was the top rated defenseman in the 2012 MLL Draft.
Manley was named the ACC Rookie of the Year after his first year with the Blue Devils. As a freshman Manley scooped twenty-three ground balls and helped a defense that surrendered only 8.30 goals per game – the best mark in the ACC and the eighth best mark in the country.
As a junior Manley was named a USILA Third Team All-American. He started nineteen games and helped lead a defense that allowed only 8.98 goals per game. He finished the season with forty-four ground balls and caused seventeen turnovers. Manley caused three turnovers in the NCAA Tournament against both Johns Hopkins and North Carolina. He was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.
The 6’1”, 204 pound Manley missed the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse season with Duke due to injury, but he was back on the field helping warm-up the goalie in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. He should be fully recovered for the 2012 NCAA season and the 2012 MLL season this year.
Manley is the shutdown defenseman that the Rattlers needed to pick up in the 2012 Draft.
Round 2 – Pick 3 (11th overall): Roy Lang (M), Cornell
Roy Lang in a great two-way midfielder who fills another one of the Rattlers needs. Last season he had thirty-six points and scooped thirty-eight ground balls on his way to First Team All-Ivy and First Team All-America honors. He scored twenty-seven goals and added three assists last season. Four of his goals were game winners.
The 6’3” 205 pound midfielder will play defense, get into the transition, create chances, and score right away in Major League Lacrosse. He might struggle early on in six versus six sets, but he will bring his great intangibles with him to the Rattlers midfield.
Round 2 – Pick 5 (13th overall): Kevin Drew (M), Syracuse University
In his first three years on campus Kevin Drew played as a short stick defensive midfielder and helped anchor one of the nation’s stingiest defenses. He was the top ranked short stick in the 2012 MLL Draft.
In 2011 Drew earned Second Team All-Big East honors after playing all seventeen games in midfield. He helped anchor a defense that gave up 6.94 goals per game which was third best in the nation. He scooped thirty-three ground balls and caused eleven turnovers – the only short stick player to cause double-digit turnovers for the Orange. Drew also chipped in three goals and one assist.
As a sophomore Drew played defensive middie on a team that led the nation with 7.4 goals allowed per game.
As a freshman he played on an Orange defense that allowed 7.39 goals per game which was fourth in the nation. Drew has scored ten goals and scooped fifty-three ground balls from his defensive midfield position.
Kevin Drew is a lock down defensive middie who has been essential to the Orange defense. From the day he walks into Major League Lacrosse he will be one of the fastest players in the league. He is a terrific defender who can match up one-versus-one. He will help the Rattlers continue to create depth in their midfield line.
Kevin Drew was suspended from Syracuse University after an off-field incident last fall, but he is back in school and back on the team.
Round 3, Pick 1 (17th overall): Joe Cummings (M), Maryland
Joe Cummings is the best off the ball midfielder in the draft. Last year he was named a Third Team USILA All-America after scoring twenty-seven goals and adding five assists for thirty-two points. Four of his goals were game-winning goals. Cummings scored two goals against the Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA Semifinals during the ‘Terps Cinderella run to the NCAA Final.
Joe Cummings has great instincts and lacrosse intelligence. He can score goals in bunches. Cummings will complement the Rattlers ball carriers Marty Cahill and Matt Striebel in the midfield.
Round 4, Pick 1 (25th overall): Bobby Dattilo (FO), Hobart
Bobby Dattilo wass the top ranked FOGO in the 2012 MLL Draft, and he has been among the best face-off guys in the country the past two years. He has ranked in the top ten in the nation in face-off percentage as a sophomore and junior with the Statesmen. Last season Dattilo went 192 for 296 (.649%) from the “X”. He finished third in the nation in face-off percentage and eighth in the nation in ground balls (93). Datillo won better than 53% of his face-offs in every game that he played on his way to earning First Team All-ECAC honors.
Datiilo provides the Rattlers with another option at the FOGO position after they traded their 2011 FOGO Anthony Kelly to the Ohio Machine in an off-season deal.
Round 5, Pick 3 (35th overall): Tim Henderson (LSM), Army
Tim Henderson is a big, athletic long stick midfielder. The 6’3”, 210 pounder is at his best causing turnovers and getting into transition. Last season Henderson caused eighteen turnovers, scooped forty-five ground balls and recorded eight points (5G – 3A).
The Tully, New York native was a First Team All-Patriot selection in 2011. He has great stick handling ability and the ability to cover up top as a long stick midfielder.
Round 6, Pick 3 (43rd overall): Carter Bender (A), Hartford
Carter Bender helped lead one of the best stories in college lacrosse in 2011. He led Hartford past Stony Brook in the America East conference and into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Bender, the 6’3” 205 pound attackman, scored thirty-five goals and added eighteen assists for fifty-three points and earned All-America East, America East All-Tournament, and Honorable Mention All-American honors.
Bender has a quick release after his upbringing in Canadian box lacrosse. He is going to look to add depth to a Rattlers attack that already features Ned Crotty, Grant Catalino, Dan Hardy and potentially Mike and Kevin Leveille.
Round 7, Pick 3 (51st overall): Charlie McComas (D), North Carolina
Charlie McComas was the North Carolina Tar Heels Freshman of the Year in 2009 and a USILA Honorable Mention All-American as a sophomore in 2010. McComas scooped 41 ground balls and caused 17 turnovers in seventeen starts as a freshmen, and collected forty ground balls and caused 14 turnovers in fifteen starts as a sophomore. Last year McComas collected 30 ground balls and caused nine turnovers.
Charlie McCormas is a 6’2”, 200 pound defender who has gotten stronger in the off-season. During his senior season he is working on developing from a good one-on-one defender into a great one by working on his patience and consistency in defending. He is also looking at taking on a leadership role this season with the Tar Heels.
Round 8, Pick 3 (59th overall): Thomas Wood (A), North Carolina
Thomas Wood has had back-to-back successful seasons for the Tar Heels. Wood was selected as UNC’s Most Improved Player after his sophomore year when he scored thirty goals and added thirteen assists for forty-three points. As a junior Wood scored twenty-one goals and added thirteen assists for thirty-four points.
As a college player Wood has proved himself to be a great scorer with a terrific shot. He has great speed, can handle the ball, and get to the cage. He can also feed the ball with both hands. In Major League Lacrosse the Rattlers are going to look for Wood to play off the ball for guys like Ned Crotty, Matt Striebel, and Marty Cahill who love to carry the ball.