Do you need to score a goal? Kevin Crowley can do that.
Do you need a guy to carry, dodge, and dish? Crowley has you covered.
Do you need a guy to go clandestine and relieve your neighbor's dog of its living privileges? Crowley can handle that, too. He probably won't follow through, though, because dogs are adorable creatures and getting blood and doggy hair out of your killing crosse is a real pain in the ass.
This guy is pure combustion, son. You can try to control him, but at some point he's going to explode. It's just the nature of the beast: When the elements dictate, his reaction is blazing heat.
Despite Crowley's potential for turbulence, however, his Stony Brook team is staring down the potential of not making the NCAA Tournament if the Seawolves fail to capture the America East crown. The team's record is solid (9-3), but the other metrics used in at-large selection aren't really favoring Stony Brook at this moment.
That's a sad, sad state of affairs. As it stands currently, the Seawolves are fourth-nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency, first in the country in offensive effective shooting percentage, and fifth in offensive assist rate. This is a rocket show offense -- an addiction that I love more than Sour Patch Kids sandwiches -- and if the Seawolves don't make the show of all shows, I'm going to be sadder than I would be if Crowley killed my beagle with his lacrosse stick.
Let's get into the Stony Brook offense and "Combustion's" impact on it. If you're new to this, a good place to start is this piece that I wrote on Scott Perri and his contributions to the Drexel offense. It lays out the questions that I'm looking to answer.
Plus, you know, free page views for me and such.
We start, as always, with a romp through Stony Brook's double-digit point scorers. In the last column is "Total Offensive Value," which is merely a completely inappropriate way to say "individual points per 100 offensive possessions":
No doink, right? Crowley is spark plug-meeting-gasoline important to the Stony Brook combustion cycle. He ranks fifth-nationally in "Total Offensive Value" and is 10th in the country in individual assist rate (assists per 100 offensive possessions). What makes this Seawolves team a little more interesting than Scott Perri's Drexel team and as exciting as Rob Pannell's Cornell team is that Stony Brook has four guys in the top-125 in individual "Total Offensive Value."
KABOOM! That's a nice handful of guys getting it done on the offensive end. Multi-faceted: It's just not for investment portfolios anymore.
When you move on to the scoring distribution table you can really see how functionally destructive this Seawolves offense is. While led by Crowley, the team's top-seven guys are handling business in a host of different ways:
Note: There are more combination tandems than those listed. I simply stopped at four because I was sick of populating the table. If you want the full boat of tandems, leave a comment and I'll fill you in.
Check out Crowley's production: 11 tallies all by himself, he's assisted on 22 more, and got help on 15 others. His value is nuts. Also, there's an important combination trend here: While Jordan McBride has gotten on the board twice this season with an unassisted goal, he is really relying on Crowley to get him the bean in a scoring position -- a full 42% of his goals this season have first started in Combustion's crosse.
Jordan McBride is good (in fact, he's the America East Player of the Year), but Crowley (and to a lesser degree, the rest of the Seawolves big offensive sticks) makes him truly dangerous. Here's some other quick points:
- Crowley is the key guy here (duh), but check out Robbie Campbell's scoring distribution: He's kind of doing it all by himself with only four assisted goals on the season. This cat is living large on the attention that Crowley, Compitello, and McBride receive from opposing defenses. What makes this especially dangerous is not only that Campbell is capable of getting it on his own, he's also moving the ball pretty well with nine assists (the majority going to McBride and Crowley). That's a nice fourth option to have.
- Tom Compitello doesn't get the kind of ink that Combustion gets, but he's the attackman that gives balance to the midfield depth of Crowley, Russ Bonanno, Timmy Trenkle, and Campbell. This is another guy that is making Jordan McBride sing in-close: He's provided him with four assists on the season. It's a one-way relationship (McBride's there to finish, not to feed the feeder), but Compitello doesn't seem to mind. What's also interesting is that Compitello is really spreading his 16 assists around: Outside of the four helpers to McBride, four more have gone to Brett Drost, two to Crowley, three to Trenkle, and two more to guys that aren't in Stony Brook's top-seven. You just don't know where this guy is going to go with the ball.
- Trenkle and Bonnano have to love playing with Crowley this year. Their unassisted goal count is likely attributable to having every pole on the field concerned with what Combustion is going to do. Bonnano probably won't have this kind of freedom next season. You can knock the fact that these guys aren't getting the shares you'd like out of pieces of your midfield, but it isn't too big a deal if they're getting the ball in the back of the net.
- Gun to your head: Before I wrote this would you have thought that Crowley and Compitello had only hooked up four times this season? If you answer yes, you're a dirty rotten liar.
- What I love about this distribution chart is that there's a high-value bunching in the first through fifth hole. In the Drexel distribution chart, almost all the offense was run through Scott Perri (unassisted) or through guys getting the ball in Robert Church's stick. In the Cornell chart, there was a huge plurality of Pannell unassisted tallies. Here, for the Seawolves, there's lots of guys doing it lots of ways (usually unassisted). I like that; you can never have too many guys that can beat you different ways.
Here's the sharing chart for the top-five point-producers. It shows assists-out and assists-in: