Apr 1, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels midfielder Cam Wood (21) checks John Hopkins Blue Jays attack Wells Stanwick (42) at the Big City Classic at MetLife Stadium. North Carolina Tar Heels defeat the John Hopkins Blue Jays 13-9. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
It's the 2012 NCAA Tournament! Take out the nice napkins and make sure that your kid doesn't have crap all over his face. College Crosse has this all under control, so feel safe, friends. If you missed anything -- and you really shouldn't because you're only hurting yourself if you do -- click this fancy highlighted text to get all caught up.
My prediction for this game? Pain.
Anyway, here's the heat on Stony Brook at Johns Hopkins.
Johns Hopkins Blue Jays: Tournament Two-Seed (Hopkinspendent, At-Large)
|BIG STATS||PACE STATS|
|Record||11-3||Clear %||89.10% (7)|
|Adj. Off. Efficiency||29.56 (32)||Opp. Clear %||77.14% (1)|
|Adj. Def. Efficiency||21.76 (2)||Faceoff %||56.90 (8)|
|Poss. Percentage||53.28% (4)||Pace||65.73 (29)|
|Off. Poss./60 min.||35.02 (14)|
|DEFENSIVE STATS||Def. Poss./60 min.||30.71 (13)|
|Saves/Def. Poss.||0.27 (53)||OFFENSIVE STATS|
|Opp. Sht. %.||24.38% (7)||Goal Differential||+43|
|Opp. Effective Sht. %||24.79% (7)||Shooting %||28.03% (37)|
|Def. Assist Rate||0.12 (4)||Effective Sht. %||28.73% (39)|
|Man-Down/Def. Poss.||0.10 (37)||Assist Rate||0.16 (35)|
|Man-Down Conversion %||26.32% (14)||EMO per Off. Poss.||0.10 (37)|
|Man-Down Reliance||0.10 (22)||EMO Conversion %||42.86% (11)|
|C/T per Def. Poss.||0.20 (40)||EMO Reliance||0.15 (12)|
|Turnovers/Off. Poss.||0.37 (2)|
|Opp. Saves/Off. Poss.||0.33 (44)|
Stony Brook Seawolves: Unseeded (America East, Automatic Qualifer)
|BIG STATS||PACE STATS|
|Record||7-9||Clear %||87.20% (13|
|Adj. Off. Efficiency||32.36 (19)||Opp. Clear %||86.33% (44)|
|Adj. Def. Efficiency||27.68 (22)||Faceoff %||38.46% (59)|
|Poss. Percentage||47.30% (57)||Pace||60.90 (55)|
|Off. Poss./60 min.||28.80 (60)|
|DEFENSIVE STATS||Def. Poss./60 min.||32.10 (27)|
|Saves/Def. Poss.||0.32 (26)||OFFENSIVE STATS|
|Opp. Sht. %.||27.64% (24)||Goal Differential||+9|
|Opp. Effective Sht. %||28.08% (23)||Shooting %||31.98% (8)|
|Def. Assist Rate||0.17 (34)||Effective Sht. %||32.80% (7)|
|Man-Down/Def. Poss.||0.07 (7)||Assist Rate||0.21 (13)|
|Man-Down Conversion %||37.84% (38)||EMO per Off. Poss.||0.12 (12)|
|Man-Down Reliance||0.09 (16)||EMO Conversion %||42.86% (11)|
|C/T per Def. Poss.||0.20 (38)||EMO Reliance||0.15 (11)|
|Turnovers/Off. Poss.||0.47 (31)|
|Opp. Saves/Off. Poss.||0.32 (35)|
Three pieces of incredibly important information from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:
- Look: Stony Brook isn't terrible; it's just that they aren't all that good. They got hot at the right time in the right tournament and managed to squeeze their way into the NCAA throwdown. The Seawolves do have some offensive talent and force -- Jeff Tundo is a sharp player and Mike Rooney and Robbie Campbell are dangerous -- but as wicked as the Stony Brook offense can be in totem, there's one fact looming large over everything: Johns Hopkins' defense is going to try and suffocate it to death. Pierce Bassett, while his save percentage this season hasn't soared, is still a solid ballstopper and he has the luxury of playing behind a defense that doesn't yield anything close to a good look. When Bassett is on and Durkin, Lightner & Sons are causing havoc, this Blue Jays defense is just as good as Notre Dame's or Lehigh's. Johns Hopkins' defense simply prohibits a team from doing what it wants to do and with a week to prepare, I'm pretty confident that Dave Pietramala is going to have all the pieces in place to stifle what is generally a pretty decent Seawolves offense.
- As good as Johns Hopkins has been on defense this year, the Jays' offense hasn't really put together a resume that requires a positioning greater than middle management. Part of that has to do with the run of injuries the unit has faced since the season's starting gun, but a bigger part of the team's inability to make the scoreboard blink regularly has been an odd incohesion between the attack and midfield. Basically, other than getting the ball to Zach Palmer and letting him do amazing things with it, I'm not really sure what Johns Hopkins is looking to do in the offensive end. The team doesn't shoot particularly well (and doesn't shoot all that much), they don't share the ball particularly well, they tend to rely a bit on extra-man situations to score (even though they don't play in those situations all that much), and opponents are doing a decent job at ball stopping against the Jays' attempts on the cage. It's a somewhat patient offense that operates as such on account of the need to be somewhat patient; it's a circular cycle that functions, in large part, on what Palmer can make happen. Now, Rob Guida, Brandon Benn, Wells Stanwick, and the re-emergence of Chris Boland necessarily round out the offensive strength of the team but this is still a team that has relied heavily on Palmer to make things happen (which isn't necessarily a terrible thing; see, Steele Stanwick). The more the Jays can get out of the entirety of the offense -- whether it be a continued emphasis on the attack or through the midfield with John Ranagan and Rob Guida -- the better off Hopkins will be. I think that Stony Brook is going to have a hell of a time handling the Jays offense on Sunday, but with Johns Hopkins disappearing at points during the season, I'm not 100 percent sold that the Jays are going to mercilessly pick the Seawolves apart.
- With that said, though, Hopkins should have tons and tons of opportunities to attack the Stony Brook defense. The Seawolves have been playing about three fewer offensive possessions per 60 minutes of play than their opponents while Hopkins has gone in the opposite direction, playing about four more offensive possessions per 60 minutes of play than their opponents. This possession margin should be dictated almost exclusively this weekend at the face-off dot -- Mike Poppleton has been crushing fools on the whistle this season and Stony Brook (with JJ Laforet and Mike Andreassi) have been getting kicked in the teeth. This kind of offensive possession volume should be more than enough for the Jays to simply overwhelm the Seawolves' defense.