"The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack, the Strength of the Pack is the Wolf" pic.twitter.com/MWzOKMa7fH— Gerry Byrne (@byrneirish) March 10, 2016
As you may well know, we have been advocating for the recognition of Matt Landis, not only as the country's top defensive player, but as the top player period. The Tewaaraton committee has released its five finalists, which include Notre Dame's #43.
Does he have a chance to win?
The award has been dominated by offensive stars and has never been received by a defensive player, so in truth it is an uphill battle. So much so, that we are simply excited he was even named a finalist, an exceedingly rare honor for a defenseman.
Having said this, three of his competitors, Duke's Myles Jones (of whom we have written much), Yale's Ben Reeves, and Denver's Connor Cannizzaro have all been eliminated from the NCAA tournament in the first round and will not have a chance to improve their case. This leaves Landis as the only challenger standing to Dylan Molloy.
Brown's Dylan Molloy, the attackman from St. Anthony's HS on Long Island, leads the high powered Bears offense and is on a march to break Lyle Thompson's single-season points record (128). Molloy sits at 114, with potentially three games to play and carrying a ridiculous average of 6.71ppg. At this rate, he would break the record during the finals.
Who could he face in the finals? None other than the Fighting Irish and Matt Landis. A final game with the National Championship, the Tewaaraton, and the single-season points record on the line. That would a fantastic finish. So it doesn't go unsaid, it was Landis who put a lid on Thompson's scoring record.
Truth be told (and we are sure the Irish and Matt Landis would agree), if Notre Dame wins the National Championship, none of this matters, but we do wish him luck in its pursuit and congratulate him on this well-earned recognition.
*The Notre Dame women's lacrosse team also has a player selected as a Tewaaraton finalist! Congratulations to Barabara Sullivan on her second such recognition!!