Eulogizing the 2012 College Lacrosse Season: (54) Rutgers

Mar 3, 2012; Hartford, CT, USA; The Rutgers Scarlet Knights mascot performs during the second half of the second round of the 2012 Big East Tournament as they take on the Marquette Golden Eagles at the XL Center. Rutgers defeated the Marquette Golden Eagles, 52-43. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

You spent the better part of four months meticulously dissecting the 2012 college lacrosse season. You shouldn't stop now because cold turkey is a bad way to go through life, man. College Crosse is providing decompression snapshots of all 61 teams and their 2012 campaigns, mostly because everything needs a proper burial.

I. VITAL SIGNS

Team: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

2012 Record: 6-9 (1-5, Big East)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -1.34 (44)

2011 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -2.15 (55)

Winning Percentage Change from 2011: 0.00%

2012 Efficiency Margin: -9.37

Efficiency Margin Change from 2011: -4.85

II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT

  • If you had put Rutgers on the field with the 20 worst teams in Division I lacrosse last year they probably wouldn't end up in the bottom half of that particular group. That, however, doesn't necessarily mitigate the fact that the Scarlet Knights weren't all that good in 2012, which concludes the longest route possible get to this statement: It could have been a lot worse for Rutgers in 2012. With a new coach and a roster featuring 23 underclassmen and 16 upperclassmen, things could have gotten out of control for Brian Brecht. Yet, Rutgers suffered through only one three-game losing streak (a Villanova-Princeton-Syracuse stretch) and managed to gut out some wins when things weren't looking all that good. The schedule was difficult for a roster that didn't exceed or match the slate's strength, and the Scarlet Knights ended up with the six wins that it probably should have gotten in 2012. That isn't too bad when things could have been much worse.

III. "YOU'RE GROUNDED UNTIL YOU QUALIFY FOR THE AARP!" FACT

  • There isn't anything in particular that sticks out as so-awful-my-eyes-are-bleeding, but there was something lurking in the mist: In its six wins last season, Rutgers knocked off teams ranked 26th, 40th, 47th, 53rd, 58th, and 61st in adjusted efficiency margin; the aggregated margin of victory was 14 goals. In its nine losses on the season, the Scarlet Knights were dropped by teams ranked fourth, eighth, ninth, 15th, 24th, 29th, 34th, 36th, and 45th in adjusted efficiency margin; the aggregated margin of loss was 49 goals. A -35 differential on the season (and the difference of opponent strength that generated that differential) shows that Rutgers wasn't ready for prime time -- or even late-afternoon current affairs programming -- and that needs to change for a program that is situated in the heart of one of the stronger areas of the game.

IV. MR. FIX-IT HAS A ONE-FIX ENGAGEMENT, AND IT'S . . .

  • Not necessarily a fix but rather a request: Give Coach Brecht time to fix this thing. Brecht turned Siena into a horse in his seven seasons as Chief Saint, and with some resources and a fertile local recruiting base, he could potentially get Rutgers pointed in the right direction. The Big East isn't going to get any easier until Syracuse departs for the ACC, and with St. John's looking to have things going in the right direction just up the road, Brecht is going to have to work like a crazy man on a meth kick to get the Scarlet Knights out of the league's basement. With time and room, though, he may have enough to get it done.

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