2023 NCAA Lacrosse Rankings: No. 12 Brown (Men)

PHOTO BY RICH BARNES

Devon McLane erupted for 71 points in his first full season as a starter.


The 2023 college lacrosse season is almost here. As is our annual tradition, we’re featuring every team ranked in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Preseason Top 20.

Check back to USALaxMagazine.com each weekday this month for new previews, scouting reports and rival analysis.

NO. 12 BROWN

2022 Record: 10-6 (4-2, Ivy League)
Final Ranking (2022): No. 10
Coach: Mike Daly

TOP RETURNERS

Devon McLane, A, Sr.

In his first full season as a starter, McLane erupted for 71 points (47G, 24A) to earn honorable mention All-America and second-team All-Ivy honors. Don’t expect a let up. “It’s best for a coach when your best player is also your hardest worker. Nobody watches more film, nobody shoots more than Devon,” Daly said.

Connor Theriault, G, Jr.

The fifth-rated goalie in his recruiting class, Theriault lived up to the hype last season, earning first-team All-Ivy and honorable mention All-America honors in his first year as a collegiate starter. Theriault made double-digit saves in 12 of 16 games and finished with a 53.7 save percentage.

Trevor Yeboah-Kodie, SSDM, Sr.

A standout in football and lacrosse at Garden City (N.Y.) High School, Yeboah-Kodie has remained versatile on the lacrosse field. An honorable mention All-American playing primarily short-stick defensive midfield, Yeboah-Kodie also contributed 13 points (7G, 6A) on offense.

KEY ADDITIONS

PJ Behan, M, Fr.

A USA Lacrosse All-American at Midwest power Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School, Behan is one of three Brown first-year players ranked among the Top 100 (No. 88) in the country by Inside Lacrosse. He had 45 goals and 29 assists as a senior at MICDS and 120 points over his final two years.

Gibson Linnehan, D, So. (Providence)

Linnehan brings collegiate experience to the Bears, having played in 13 games with six starts at crosstown rival Providence. A two-sport captain during high school (hockey and lacrosse) at Princeton Day School, Linnehan had 25 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers for the Friars last season.

Marcus Wertheim, M, Fr.

The highest rated first-year player in Brown’s rookie class (No. 76) by Inside Lacrosse, Wertheim was an All-Long Island selection at Smithtown East. The two-year captain had 131 points over his final two high school seasons.

KEY DEPARTURES

Graduations: Ryan Aughavin, M; Luke Gaydos, D; Silas Newsome, D
Transfer: Andrew Geppert, D (North Carolina)







STORYLINES TO WATCH

How do the Bears replace their graduates?

There’s no question that Brown returns many of the key pieces from last year’s NCAA tournament team, but Brown also lost a ton — 17 seniors, five of its top seven scorers and the starting defensive trio of Luke Gaydos, Andrew Geppert and Silas Newsome.

That trio was a big reason for goalie Connor Theriault’s success. Brown has been well-known for its offensive exploits in recent years, but its defense helped the team take a leap forward — its 10 wins matched the most since Daly took over the program in 2017. It was also Brown’s first NCAA trip since the memorable semifinal run of 2016.

The legend in goal.

When Brown knocked off three straight top 10 opponents last season — Penn, Yale and Cornell — there were a lot of reasons, but Theriault was a major factor and became a bit of a cult hero in the process.

Theriault made 52 saves in those three wins, including 24 against eventual NCAA runner-up Cornell, and former Brown star Larken Kemp thanked Theriault for taking a picture with him, only to post a picture of a brick wall on Twitter. A Twitter exchange between Kemp and former Syracuse goalie Drake Porter helped spark the nickname “The People’s Goalie.”

There’s more than just a catchy nickname and saves to the 5-foot-7, 210-pound netminder. Daly says Theriault’s never had lower than a 4.0 GPA at Brown. “He just competes in the classroom, on the field, in practice, honestly even during his warm-ups.”

What can he do for an encore?

Help from within.

It’s always easy to look at first-year players and transfers for impact, but Daly thinks a couple of returning players are primed for big years in 2023.

Like many of Brown’s seniors, Griffin King finally got a chance to play a significant role after COVID wiped out his first two seasons. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound midfielder finished the year with 20 points (13G, 7A). He scored a goal in each of Brown’s final seven games and has the tools to make a leap this season.

On defense, 6-foot-4, 215-pound junior defenseman Mark Witt should make his presence felt after an injury-riddled 2022 campaign limited him to just six games. Witt was a USA Lacrosse All-American at Phillips Academy and was a starter as a freshman in Brown’s lone 2021 game.

ENEMY LINES
WHAT RIVALS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE BEARS

“Those guys can really score the ball. A guy like McLane, you think you can match up with him athletically and then he finds a lane.”

“He’s one of the scariest goalies to face. If he steals a few early in the game, your shooters start looking to shoot around him.”

BEYOND THE BASICS
POWERED BY LACROSSE REFERENCE

98th

Ah, life in the Ivy League. The annual exodus of eligible-according-to-the-NCAA but ineligible-according-to-the-Ivy-League players hit the Brown Bears especially hard this year. The Bears return just 52.4% of their production (as measured by EGA). Even within the Ivy League, that is very low. Dartmouth had the next-lowest figure with 70% returning. It’s even more striking in their assist numbers; just 47% of their team assists were by players who are still on the roster this year. If they are able to keep up the momentum from last season, it will likely be because Trevor Glavin continued to post stellar efficiency numbers in an expanded role. Here’s a taste of his 2022 campaign: He had eight assists over seven games, which given his limited role, works out to an assists-per-touch rate that is in the 98th percentile overall.

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