DURHAM, N.C.-Since 2033 Duke has had six players selected among the top three in the annual Major League Lacrosse Draft. The Blue Devils have one No. 1 selection, a No. 2 choice and four third picks in the 11 drafts held. Duke's current players begin their campaign Feb. 9 against Denver at 12 p.m.
Current Lehigh University head coach and Duke All-American Kevin Cassese joined the MLL ranks as the No. 2 choice in the 2003 draft. Cassese played five seasons in the MLL, scoring 52 goals, 11 two-point goals and handing out 24 assists for 87 points. At the faceoff X, the Blue Devil leader went 107-of-217 and picked up 127 ground balls. In addition to playing in the MLL, Cassese captained the U.S. National Team to the 2010 FIL World Championship Gold Medal, his second such title in his career.
The 2007 Tewaaraton Award winner in 2007, Matt Danowski became Duke's highest pick in program history at the time as the No. 2 overall selection. Danowski, who continues his MLL career, quickly made his impact felt on the league as he was named to the MLL All-Star team in each of his first three seasons. In his MLL career, Danowski has 198 career points on 102 goals, 20 two-point scores and 76 assists in 59 career games. His 20 two-point goals currently rank seventh all-time in MLL history.
Duke's career goals leader, Zack Greer was picked third in 2009 and he quickly went on to become an All-Star in his inaugural season in the league. Greer went on to play two seasons in the league, scoring 29 goals and five assists for 34 points.
In 2010, Ned Crotty became Duke's first No. 1 overall pick in the MLL draft. Crotty, the 2010 Tewaaraton Award winner, went on to become the 2010 MLL Rookie of the Year after he amassed 11 goals and 13 assists in just seven games for the expansion Chicago squad. Crotty was named a MLL All-Star in 2011 and has played in 31 games with 55 goals and 50 assists for 105 points.
That same year, All-American Max Quinzani went two picks later at No. 3. Quinzani quickly reached the pinnacle again as he led the Boston Cannons to the MLL title in 2011. He netted the game winner in 2011 semifinal victory as he captured his second title in as many years. In his two-year career in the league, Quinzani posted 36 goals and 15 assists for 51 points in 18 games.
Defenseman Michael Manley rounds out Duke's list of top three draftees, going third in the 2012 draft. Manley in his rookie season with the Rochester Rattlers played in 11 games and picked up 35 ground balls. He, along with Crotty and Greer, is currently playing in the indoor National Lacrosse League.
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