Eulogizing the 2012 College Lacrosse Season: (14) Ohio State

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: Ohio State Buckeyes

2012 Record: 8-7 (5-1, ECAC)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): 0.68 (26)

2011 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): 0.46 (25)

Winning Percentage Change from 2011: +3.33%

2012 Efficiency Margin: 5.68 (14)

Efficiency Margin Change from 2011: +2.24

II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT

  • Logan Schuss gets all the ink for Ohio State, but the Buckeyes defense maimed folks all season. This was a gruesome unit, sitting towards the top of the country in so many metrics that it looks like a kill list from numerous sorties: a defensive assist rate of 11.16 (first nationally); a shots per defensive possession rate of just 0.87 (second in the country); a strong ride, seeing opponents clear at only an 81.02 percent rate (12th nationally); and an overall defensive shooting rate of just 25.53 percent (good for 10th in Division I). The end result was Ohio State holding all but four of their opponents below their average offensive efficiency value: Detroit (-8.06); Denver (-0.76); Massachusetts (-13.03); Penn State (-14.85); Robert Morris (-6.68); Bellarmine (-20.59); Loyola (-9.97); Hobart (-6.73); Air Force (-15.46); and Fairfield (-18.07, -3.90). This unit has been Ohio State's calling card since Nick Myers took over the program from Joe Breschi and it may have been the best it's been under Myers in his four-season tenure.

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

  • Outside of Schuss, Ohio State's offense was pretty drunk. It wasn't horrible, but you also wouldn't send it a card on its birthday to show that you care. The Buckeyes dominated the ball (again) this season, finishing 25th in the country in estimated time of possession and 36th in pace. Despite that kind of offensive patience, Ohio State really had trouble putting the bean in the net despite Schuss' ability to crush the souls of opposing goalies. Only 21 teams had a worse overall adjusted offensive efficiency value at the end of year and it had little to do with turning the ball over: Only eight teams saw opposing keepers make more stops per offensive opportunity for the Buckeyes and only 10 teams held a raw shooting percentage that was worse than Ohio State's 25.91 rate. If Schuss hadn't held the usage he had in 2012, the Buckeyes would have been in tough shape. The past season showed the importance of Schuss, but also reflected how far along his supporting cast needs to come if Ohio State is going to break through in the ECAC.

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

  • Nick Myers is 31-31 since taking over the Buckeyes. Considering Ohio State's league and their schedule, that isn't necessarily a bad mark. It is, however, just about time for the Buckeyes to break through a little bit and start putting heat on Loyola and Denver in its conference. The big fix for Meyers this season is focusing on development transition: building out an offense to complement Schuss (which was hampered with some youth last season) and plugging three big holes on the defensive end in goalie Greg Dutton and defensemen Joe Bonanni and Keenan Ochwat. A .500 record is a decent mark, but the Buckeyes may have more wins in them in 2013.

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