Eulogizing the 2012 College Lacrosse Season: (37) Delaware

March 11, 2012;Upper Marlboro, MD, USA; Delaware Blue Hens cheerleaders talk prior to the game against the Drexel Dragons in the championship of the 2012 CAA Tournament at Show Place Arena. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-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: Delaware Blue Hens

2012 Record: 6-9 (1-5, THUNDERDOME!)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -0.08 (36)

2011 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): 0.76 (23)

Winning Percentage Change from 2011: -21.11%

2012 Efficiency Margin: -2.06 (37)

Efficiency Margin Change from 2011: -1.50

II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT

  • I hope Delaware gave Grant Kaleikau, like, a card and candy and stuff at the Blue Hens' year-end banquet. The attack was one of the best in the country in 2012 despite the fact that he ran through a pretty mediocre offense last season. When the final whistle blew on Delaware's season -- as opposed to a surrender flag, which would have been appropriate if college lacrosse was actually a war game -- Kaleikau finished the season ranked 18th nationally in Total Offensive Value. (Total Offensive Value is basically a simple (and somewhat flawed) way to measure points per offensive possession, adjusted for defenses played.) His 33 turnovers were dastardly, but when you consider the usage that Delaware required out of him, it is somewhat forgivable. It's kind of a shame that the Blue Hens swooned the way they did in 2012 because Kaleikau's season was arguably worth an Honorable Mention All-America nod.

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

  • How do you endure a three-game losing streak followed by a four-game losing streak? Well, this probably helps: Playing man-down possessions at a volume that ranked 53rd nationally; only stopping 53.23 percent of those man-down possessions (a mark that put Delaware in the bottom eight of the country); and seeing opponents rely on your man-down proclivity to the tune of scoring almost 20 percent of their goals with the personnel imbalance in their favor (that's third-worst in the nation). Bob Shillinglaw needs to roll up a newspaper, smack his team on their nose, and say, "No! Bad lacrosse!" Discipline: Get some.

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

  • Delaware's work in special situations is going to need to improve in 2013. Outside of the too-much-man-down/horror-pain-bleeding-scenarios, the Blue Hens were tragic in their clearing game in 2012, pushing the ball into their opponents' end on just around 79 percent of their attempts (that ranks 54th in the country). While it only impacted overall offensive opportunity efficiency last season, the team's clearing game could play a significant factor in Delaware's 2013 production -- with Dan Cooney and his 60 percent face-off win rate heading into real life (hopefully devoid of Ramen Noodle Casserole), the Blue Hens may have a harder time creating possessions to offset wasted ones from incomplete clears. It's all about maximizing opportunities, and if Delaware can't get its clearing game together, 2013 could be a painfully frustrating experience for the Blue Hens.

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