Eulogizing the 2012 College Lacrosse Season: (53) Providence

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: Providence Friars

2012 Record: 2-12 (1-5, Big East)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -1.92 (48)

2011 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -0.62 (38)

Winning Percentage Change from 2011: -6.71%

2012 Efficiency Margin: -8.76 (53)

Efficiency Margin Change from 2011: +1.07

II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT

  • There is zero intelligent rationale for how and why Providence knocked off Villanova to close its 2012 campaign. Zilch; nada. The Friars entered the game on an 11-game losing streak, Villanova was desperate for a win to salvage its postseason possibilities, Providence had scored double digit goals only twice prior to the game with the Wildcats, and the Friars' only win on the on the year before its face-smashing defeat of Villanova was a 13-5 groping of Wagner. And yet . . . Providence dropped Villanova, 15-11, in what became Chris Burdick's farewell address to Rhode Island. Crazy brain worms: Your captain of the S.S. 2012 College Lacrosse Season. Other than Canisius blowing past Siena in the MAAC Tournament final and UMBC somehow scooting past Maryland in the regular season, this Providence win may have been the upset of the year.

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

  • You don't lose 12 games without having lots and lots of boneheaded moments. (Well, they aren't necessarily moments; they're more like extended boneheaded signatures.) Like lots of teams that get curb-stomped, the Friars were really good at turning over the ball when given offensive opportunities. In fact, on around 57 percent of Providence's offensive opportunities the team gave the ball away without even asking for consideration in return (that mark ranks as the fifth-worst in the country in 2012). It's not even that the Friars were turning the ball over a bunch when opponents were riding them as the team's overall clearing rate was right around the national average. The end result? A shots per offensive opportunity rate that ranked fourth-worst in the country (and this is important as Providence actually had an offensive raw shooting percentage that hovered around the national average). That's a huge factor in Providence losing games to Manhattan (9-11), Georgetown (6-7), and Rutgers (7-8 (OT)) instead of pulling out victories.

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

  • Deliver on the promise made to Chris Gabrielli and the Providence community. Providence Athletic Director Bob Driscoll mentioned in both Burdick's dismissal press release and Gabrielli's introductory press release that the college was going to really invest in the lacrosse program -- facilities, scholarships, etc. Gabrielli may have the juice to get the Friars pointed in the right direction, but without stronger support from his employer he's going to have to move Earth with not a lever but an empty can of StarKist tuna.

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