Doug Tesoriero: An Important Asset for Cornell in 2014

It's just not the fastbreak goals that matter. It's that Tesoriero provides opportunity.

Doug Tesoriero wasn't the highest value faceoff cat in the nation in 2013 -- Bryant's Kevin Massa and Duke's Brendan Fowler were, arguably, more valuable to their teams in 2013 -- but Tesoriero was a fairly important cog in Cornell's destruction machine a season ago. The now-senior finished 2013 ranked 12th nationally in individual faceoff percentage (58.1 percent) -- a solid effort -- but it's what faceoffs meant to the Red last year that made Tesoriero's performances so important to Cornell's success:

TESORIERO'S IMPACT ON CORNELL: 2013
METRIC VALUE NATIONAL RANK
Team Faceoff Percentage 55.07% 16
Estimated Percentage of Offensive Opportunities Earned via Faceoff Wins 38.66% 14

Tesoriero was responsible for 241 of Cornell's 266 faceoff victories last year, accounting for an estimated 35.03 percent of the Big Red's offensive opportunities. That's a big chunk of offensive opportunities directly attributable to Tesoriero's ability to win draws, and considering that the vast majority of faceoff victories lead to functional offensive possessions in the box (either through settled or fast break circumstances), Tesoriero's acumen at dominating the whistle directly impacted the Red's ability to make the scoreboard blink (and there were only a handful of programs last year that featured an offense as efficient as what Cornell tormented opposing defenses with). Moreover, compared to returning faceoff specialists for 2014, Tesoriero stacks up well with his contemporaries in terms of leveraged value derived from faceoff wins and a team's reliance on those wins for offensive opportunities:

RETURNING 2014 FACEOFF SPECIALISTS: THE NITTY GRITTY
PLAYER (TEAM) IND. F/O % (NTL RNK) TEAM % OFF. OPP. VIA F/O WIN (NTL RNK) IND. T/O % ON F/O WIN* IND. G/B % ON F/O WIN^
Doug Tesoriero (Cornell) 58.1% (12) 38.66% (14) 5.39% 55.19%
Brendan Fowler (Duke) 64.4% (3) 45.66% (1) 4.42% 61.65%
Kevin Massa (Bryant) 72.6% (1) 44.04% (3) 7.62% 73.33%
Joseph Nardella (Rutgers) 62.2% (4) 41.73% (7) 4.05% 56.76%
Phil Poe (UMBC) 58.8% (9) 41.32% (8) 6.88% 45.41%

General: To be included, the faceoff specialist needed to be in the top 15 nationally in raw faceoff win percentage and the team he played for needed to be in the top 15 nationally in percentage of offensive opportunities earned through faceoff victories.
*: This is estimated based on taking the ratio of turnovers committed per faceoff win. As faceoff specialists aren't -- from 10,000 feet -- heavily incorporated into offensive midfield situations, the estimation is a fairly decent look at turnovers the players commit after a faceoff win.
^: This is estimated in the same way as turnovers, substituting groundballs for turnovers.

In 2014, Cornell may need more value out of Tesoriero: (1) The Red are going to be adopting a new identity with the graduations of Rob Pannell and Steve Mock, and the efficiency at which Cornell scored in 2013 -- despite the continued employment of Matt Kerwick -- may not register at the same level in 2014; (2) The Red are going through a defensive transition with an unclear goalkeeping situation and the graduations of Jason Noble and Thomas Keith, potentially requiring a limitation of defensive exposure until Cornell can solidify its defensive identity; and (3) The Ivy League is going to be a bear of a conference next spring, and living on the edge in terms of possession margin is a dangerous place to be. Tesoriero is a factor for Cornell, and his value of as an asset may come into full focus in just a few months.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Tesoriero is also art:

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