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Q&A with CBS Sports Network's Evan Washburn

Evan Washburn was a starting defenseman on a Delaware team that got to the national semifinals of the 2007 NCAA tournament before losing to Johns Hopkins. Washburn will provide analysis for college lacrosse games as part for the CBS Sports Network.

Here, he takes a spin through the opening weekend, offering his thoughts on some eye-opening results.

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What was the most surprising result to you from opening weekend?

I think you'd have to go with what Marquette was able to do against [No. 16] Lehigh [in a 10-9 win] on the road. I think this is only Marquette's third season as a Division I program, and to beat a top 20 team in Lehigh that I've seen plenty of times, I was expecting more out of [Lehigh]. I know it's early, so I'm not going to read too much into it. But give credit to [Golden Eagles coach] Joe Amplo. Beating Lehigh on the road the way they did, that's a huge win for a program that I hope is successful because it's only better for the game if more teams outside of our hotbeds and traditional markets are successful.

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Is the outcome more about Lehigh playing without three starters who were suspended or Marquette playing better than anticipated?

Yes, Lehigh being depleted the way it was is valid. But I think it says a lot about what Joe Amplo has done there. In the big picture, we saw teams like Marquette, High Point pushing [No. 3] Duke to the brink [in a 16-13 loss]. For these teams to be doing it this quickly is a statement for the number of kids that are playing and the amount of talent coming out of high school programs that did not end up at the top-tier teams. There's probably some trickle-down from early recruiting. There are some of these gems not scooped up by Johns Hopkins and UVA early in the process that are going to places like High Point and Marquette and are providing these programs with some help. No matter who is there for Lehigh, to go on the road against that team, that's something you can hang your hat on.

So was Marquette your most impressive team of the weekend?

I wouldn't say that because Lehigh was without some guys, and while it was a big win, it was more surprising. Impressive to me was what [No. 9] UVA did at [No. 7] Loyola [Maryland in a 13-12 win]. I haven't seen the entire game. I saw some highlights and read all the recaps, but early in the season, to go on the road and play a Loyola team is impressive. Their first midfield was impressive. So when I think about what was the most impressive result, it's UVA getting a big win in a big game.

Is there a team that underwhelmed you?

I was surprised by [No. 14] Bryant dropping one to Colgate [in a 9-5 loss]. I think Bryant's got all the pieces, and obviously based on their experience of making the [NCAA] tournament last year and making some noise in the tournament, I expected more out of them in their first game of the year against Colgate. But 21 turnovers is a lot. I think Colgate's going to be very good. But I thought [Bryant's performance] was underwhelming. And I think Duke opened some eyes with how they struggled and had to fend off a talented High Point team. It's tough to say they were the least impressive because they did win two games in two days and that's difficult for anyone to do. But I think people are expecting Duke – because of what they've done in recent years – to be great again. With a John Danowski team, you never judge them until about April or early May, but they also lost a lot and there were the suspensions. We'll see how that plays out.

What game this weekend are you most looking forward to?

I think it's that [No. 1] Denver-Duke game [on Saturday]. I think Duke, not only are they always in figure-it-out mode in February and March which I find refreshing in our new winter sport here, but John Danowski always manages to keep it to the point where he's testing things and he's not going to judge anything on the first two months of the season. But they lost a lot of players, and I think it'll be interesting to see what they do against a team like Denver, who seems to have all the weapons to not only make another trip to the Final Four but also win one. With what Coach [Bill] Tierney has got there, that's a very talented group. That's the game that I can't wait to see.

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