Face-Off Classic Participant Profile: Cornell

via www.hufsd.edu

The Face-Off Classic is dynamiting your lacrosse universe on Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Six teams are set to square off in a triple-header starting at 11:00 A.M. Get your brain full of all kinds of delicious information with College Crosse's profiles of each of the festivals' participants.

We're living in a different kind of world these days. A Highlanderzillatron-less world, to be specific. The Highlanderzillatron has a flat tire and its going to take the mechanics -- at best -- about six weeks to fix the problem. We are all lesser men and women because of it.

Here's the heat on Cornell.

CORNELL BIG RED (IVY LEAGUE)

There's two issues with extrapolating information from Cornell's tempo-free profile: The Big Red have only played three games and the statistics account for a game-and-a-half with Rob Pannell and a game-and-a-half without him. Combine this with the fact that Cornell has only played one halfway-decent opponent thus far this season -- Army -- and you can see why I'm a little skeptical about what follows.

Regardless, here's some food for you jackals:

CORNELL BIG RED
BIG STATS PACE STATS
Record 3-0 Clear % 81.97%
Raw Off. Efficiency 42.52 Opp. Clear % 78.43%
Raw Def. Efficiency 25.27 Faceoff % 65.48%
Poss. Percentage 58.26% Pace 72.67
Off. Poss./60 min. 42.33
DEFENSIVE STATS Def. Poss./60 min. 30.33
Save Percentage 52.08%
Saves/Def. Poss. 0.27 OFFENSIVE STATS
Opp. Sht. %. 28.75% Goal Differential +31
Opp. Effective Sht. % 29.59% Shooting % 35.29%
Def. Assist Rate 13.19 Effective Sht. % 35.95%
Man-Down/Def. Poss. 0.14 Assist Rate 21.26
Man-Down Conversion % 30.77% EMO per Off. Poss. 0.09
Man-Down Reliance 0.17 EMO Conversion % 50.00%
C/T per Def. Poss. 0.27 EMO Reliance 0.11
Turnovers/Off. Poss. 0.42
Opp. Saves/Off. Poss. 0.35

Three pieces of incredibly important information from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • This is the kind of offense that you love: Cornell shares the ball like mad (about 21 assists per 100 offensive possessions), they pepper the cage like they're having a shot liquidation sale (about 1.2 shots per offensive possession), and the Big Red have crushed the bean at a sexy rate (Cornell is shooting at a 35.29 percent clip). If you're looking for a potential offensive fireworks show, you can't do much better than Red-Cavs. While Rob Pannell simply being Rob Pannell has driven a large portion of these metrics, Steve Mock, Matt Donovan, and Connor English have all contributed to this multi-faceted attack. When you can also roll Roy Lang out on the field to provide another dimension, the Big Red's offense looks even stronger relative to the rest of the country. The question, though, is whether the loss of Pannell -- one of the best one-on-one players in the country as well as a vastly underrated facilitator -- is going to impact this offense significantly. You can make a strong argument that Cornell's shooting percentage is heavily correlated to the team's assist rate, and when you take the team's best helper off the field, the impact is, probably, moving towards the negative. You can't replace Pannell, but the rest of this offensive crew is going to need to pick up the slack.
  • Cornell has been dominating the possession percentage game and it's due to two things: Doug Tesoriero is winning 68.12 percent of his draws and Cornell is benefiting heavily from opponents failing to clear the bean. With these extra possessions, the Big Red offense has been able to drop bombs from 30,000 feet and push Cornell to victory. The problem, of course, is that Virginia rarely blows a clear (the Cavaliers are clearing at a 91.51 percent clip) and Virginia -- as a team -- is winning 59.74 percent of their draws. (The Cavaliers also dominate possession in their games, unsurprisingly.) So, this is all going to come to a head on Saturday: One selfish object against a similarly selfish object. Each team's domination of possession percentage has been a major success factor -- probably more to Cornell than Virginia, though -- and it'll be an interesting metric to watch.
  • Cornell has been a little sloppy with the ball this year. You can see this two ways: In the team's turnovers per offensive possession rate (.42, which, for comparison purposes, is as giving as North Carolina has been on the year) and in the Big Red's clearing rate (only about 81.97 percent). This could spell trouble against Virginia: The Cavaliers have held opponents to only a 80.58 percent clearing rate and are generating turnovers at .30 rate (caused turnovers per defensive possession). Even if Virginia is going to sit in its zone for stretches, the Cavaliers will likely attempt to expose this issue with Cornell. This is a problem for Cornell even with a player of Rob Pannell's caliber; the problem is exacerbated without him.

For more on Cornell's opponent -- Virginia -- check out the Cavaliers' profile here.

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