The PLL has been releasing their Top 50 list as voted by the players over the last week.
Two names popped very much so.
Bryan Costabile landed at 36.
Myles Jones was a day one announcement at 45.
Costabile fell from 13.
Jones dropped from 14.
As a reminder, this list is voted on by the players.
You can attribute both sliding in the rankings due to disappointing team results. The Woods opened the season on a 2-5 run and only won two games in a row once.
The Bulls got off to a 4-1 start then never won consecutive games again.
Both squads were soundly defeated in their playoff game.
Jones finished third on the team in regular season scoring with 22 points on 9 1G, 3 2G, and 7A. He only had 1 point in the playoff to go along with 2 TO. His turnover numbers have dramatically decreased since posting 20 in 2019 and 10 in the 2020 bubble.
He was held without a point in two games.
Costabile produced 20 regular season points on 10 1G, 1 2G, and 8A. He also scored only once in the playoff game. He only posted one pointless game but over the course of the final four games, he struggled to find the back of the net going 3 for 27.
Overall, Jones finished 21st in points and Costabile finished 24th in regular season points.
Not entirely sure how the PLL stats determines tie breakers.
Compare those numbers to 2021.
How about the middie checking in at 8th. Bet, you wouldn’t have guessed that.
Can either return to that level in 2023? How about we just ponder who has the better campaign next summer and leave the larger question for another day.
Costabile is the knee jerk reaction. He’s 24.
Jones is 29. He recently started a job as a real estate agent. And, he had his first child.
Costabile shot 29% in 2021 and 17% in 2022.
Jones regressed as well going from 36% to 22%.
It feels more likely Costabile returns above 20% than Jones cracks 30% again especially since Jones shot attempts increased from 39 to 55 in 2022.
Dive in a little deeper and Jones might be better positioned to have at least a points increase next summer.
The coaching change for the Bulls is still pending but the bigger issue is that rookie attackman Chris Gray (34) soaked up a lot of Costabile’s points in 2022. You don’t limit his touches or Jeff Teats.
TD Ierlan struggled this past summer over going through his first NLL winter
Ierlan’s first four games in 2022 were hardly what the Woods were expecting after they drafted him with their first round pick in 2021.
And, after he posted 65% that summer including four 70%+ outings, their worst case scenario couldn’t have been less than 58%.
The Woods went 1-3 during that stretch scoring 36 total goals. The 12-3 loss to the Chrome in Week 2 produced a timeless sideline reaction from head coach Nat St. Laurent.
They were outscored 48-36 over those matches.
However, Ierlan appeared to be himself again at the first USA scrimmage. If he’s better prepared for the NLL, the Woods should have more possessions.
Jones reclaiming his place among the top 15 players in the league in 2023 seems like a tall order given his age and new demands off of the field.
When player voting comes around next winter, Costabile should also have the shine of a gold medal.
But, a resurgent Ierlan and Jones being the clear number two in the Woods offense should be enough for him to improve on his 2022 production.
Looks like we answered the larger question after all.