For most of the 2013 campaign,
The team has not won more than 50 percent of its draws in five of its last six contests, and Raffa has taken 109 of the 115 faceoffs over that span, winning 54 of them. He has taken 193 of Maryland’s 247 draws (78.1 percent) and senior Curtis Holmes ranks second with 34, but coach
"We like to spread the wealth because I think the more people you can involve, the better, and I don't think if we go to Curtis, there's much of a drop off," Tillman said during his weekly conference call Tuesday morning. "Faceoffs are tough because I think if you ask any faceoff guy, they like to get into a rhythm. There's something to be said for getting in there and getting into the flow and feeling comfortable and staying warm. As the game goes on, if a guy is doing fairly well or has taken a number of reps, you kind of about and you wonder, 'OK, this guy hasn't taken a faceoff in the past 45 minutes, and he'd be coming in without any reps since pregame. Are we putting him in a position where he could be the most successful he can be or are we better off with the guy that's been out there running around? He's been down, he's been set, so he can maybe anticipate the whistle a bit more because he knows the flow of the game and the way the officials have been calling it.' It does make it a little bit of a gut feel and sometimes that's what you have to go through, but all the while, we try to have as much of a systematic approach as we can based on what's happening out there."
Holmes, a Marriottsville native and McDonogh graduate, was an honorable mention All American in 2011 when he won 62.9 percent (222-of-353) of his faceoffs and collected 78 ground balls. Injuries have plagued him, but Tillman said he has no qualms about going to Holmes if the situation arises.