As the calendar turns to April, fans and media begin to look at the wins and losses of candidates for the NCAA tournament. One intriguing profile is that of No. 12 Johns Hopkins.
The Blue Jays (6-3) have one of the toughest schedules in Division I, but just one top 20 win against No. 15 Virginia on March 23. They have lost to No. 8 Princeton (11-8 on March 1), No. 9 Syracuse (13-8 on March 16) and No. 3 North Carolina (11-10 in overtime last Saturday).
Johns Hopkins may be looking for a signature win, but that's of no concern right now to coach Dave Pietramala as he tried to prepare the team for a visit from No. 19 Albany (6-3) this Friday night.
"What we have is we've won the games we're obviously supposed to win," Pietramala said Tuesday. "We have a top 20 win against Virginia. The key is what comes. We have three more games left against teams in the top 20 [Albany, No. 4 Maryland on April 13 and No. 10 Loyola on April 27], and those are important games. So I think right now, to evaluate a resume for anybody is foolish. You just can't do it. … We're not one to look at our resume and say, 'This is where we are.' We've got to focus on the next game, and the good thing is we've got another top 20 team coming in here in Albany, a team that we have great respect for. We're well aware of who they've beaten. They've beaten some good teams. So that's the key. You have to be careful and not look and say, 'OK, if we do this and if we do that.' If you start to forecast, then you lose sight of what it is you have to do. We have one task at hand right now and that's to do our job against Albany. So we haven't done that. We haven't sat down and said, 'Here is where we are. Here is what we have to do.' That's for folks like you guys to do. That doesn't concern us."
The Blue Jays' candidacy could be strengthened with wins against Albany, Maryland or Loyola – especially if those three teams do well in their respective conference tournaments.
"A lot is going to change in the next four or five weeks, especially with these teams that have tournaments," Pietramala said. "What we have to do is, we have to go out and do our job and our job consists of trying to be successful against Albany. The worst thing we can do is try to forecast with a group of 17-to-23 year olds. We can't worry about anything else going on there. We can't worry about what our resume looks like right now. We can only control what we control, and what we control right now is what happens against Albany."