Patriot League Lacrosse Tournament Preview: Army-Bucknell

Andy Lyons

Get your face ready for Black Knights-Bison.

Every Division I tournament. Every team. College Crosse has it all on lockdown. Please send cookies and naptime. Today we're slashing to bits the Patriot League Tournament.

The Patriot League Tournament kicks of its weekend of high stakes laser tag (or something like that) with Army facing Bucknell. The game has all the qualities of a Dashiell Hammett hard-boiled detective novel -- Intrigue! Sex appeal! A crazy daughter that tries to kill the protagonist in an oil field! (that last one is probably a lie, and if it isn't, someone should notify the Bethlehem police) -- and in any other season this game could have been the league's championship matchup.

THE COMPUTING MACHINE SAYS

Log5: Bucknell (50.13%); Army (49.87%)

DOSSIERS

Patriot League Tournament: Army (3) vs. Bucknell (2)
ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS BUCKNELL BISON
OPPORTUNITIES/TEMPO
Pace 66.33 (31) 65.86 (36)
Opportunities Margin +1.00 (24) +3.00 (12)
Possession Ratio 50.75% (25) 52.28% (13)
Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 31.58 (27) 32.00 (22)
Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio 93.81% (12) 92.95% (22)
Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 28.75 (16) 27.50 (8)
Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio 88.01% (3) 87.50% (1)
Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 12.67 (39) 11.93 (24)
Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio 40.11% (27) 37.28% (15)
Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 13.75 (14) 13.29 (19)
Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio 47.83% (7) 41.31% (6)
Lost Functional Opportunities Margin +1.08 (21) +1.36 (16)
Lost Functional Opportunities Margin Ratio 7.72% (7) 11.03% (4)
ADJUSTED EFFICIENCIES
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency 31.03 (23) 32.59 (15)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency 24.09 (8) 25.26 (14)
Adjusted Efficiency Margin +6.94 (14) +7.33 (12)
SHOOTING
Shots per Offensive Opportunity 1.21 (6) 1.13 (22)
Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 26.12% (42) 27.97% (31)
Shots per Defensive Opportunity 0.92 (4) 0.88 (1)
Raw Defensive Shooting Rate 24.51% (7) 29.72% (49)
ASSISTS
Offensive Assist Ratio 67.19% (2) 56.21% (37)
Offensive Assist Rate 21.29 (10) 17.84 (26)
Defensive Assist Ratio 47.73% (4) 69.57% (63)
Defensive Assist Rate 10.71 (2) 18.18 (43)
EXTRA-MAN RATES
Extra-Man Postures per 100 Offensive Opportunities 14.36 (6) 9.96 (37)
Extra-Man Posture Reliance 17.19% (6) 9.80% (45)
Extra-Man Posture Conversion Rate 37.93% (20) 31.25% (40)
Man-Down Postures per 100 Defensive Opportunities 13.27 (54) 9.32 (14)
Man-Down Posture Reliance 19.32% (61) 7.83% (9)
Man-Down Posture Conversion Rate 32.69% (33) 21.95% (4)
MISCELLANEOUS
Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Team) 7.41 (55) 4.56 (10)
Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Opponent) 8.29 (3) 5.31 (37)
Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Team) 27.81 (10) 29.77 (4)
Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Opponent) 18.81 (12) 22.20 (34)
Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team) 43.81 (21) 41.70 (15)
Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent) 54.08 (5) 54.77 (2)
Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team) 25.00 (44) 19.50 (8)
Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent) 26.28 (10) 25.00 (20)
Team "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities) 33.79 (4) 33.41 (5)
Opponent "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities) 28.77 (41) 26.79 (28)
"Run-of-Play Work Rate" Margin +5.03 (7) +6.62 (5)
GOALIE ACTIVITY
Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities 30.36 (48) 26.82 (62)
Saves per 100 Offensive Opportunities 41.58 (61) 36.410 (47)
Team Save Percentage 57.49% (9) 50.64% (47)
Opponent Save Percentage 56.76% (48) 53.21% (31)

THOUGHTS AND STUFF

Two pieces of incredibly important information about each team from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • Any time you talk about Bucknell you have to talk about the 10-man ride. No team has a better ride rate than the Bisons' 22.18 percent mark, and the team's effort in that facet of play is driving Bucknell's nation-leading 87.50 percent functional defensive possession ratio mark. The Bison are terrific at killing defensive opportunities before they are permitted to enter the attack box, and it's a big reason why Bucknell is operating with such a strong overall adjusted defensive efficiency rate. Outside of the Bisons' ride, though, the team has done well -- in the overall -- at killing functional offensive opportunities: Only one team is seeing their opponents turn the ball over more on a possession basis, and Bucknell's opponents this season have kicked away a functional offensive opportunity with a turnover on somewhere around 41 percent of their trips into the box. Bucknell is simply a defensive menace from box-to-box, and it’s heavily influenced by the defense's proclivity for creating turnovers. Army has done a decent job at valuing the ball this season, but if Bucknell is able to turn the Black Knights over and kill Army's opportunities before and during attack box situations, the Bison could neutralize John Glesener and Garrett Thul. If Bucknell can compound this issue with a domination of possession-generation (forcing the Black Knights to score more efficiently than they have over the course of the season), the Bison could put themselves in a nice position to advance to Sunday's championship game.
  • A big focus for Army on Friday is going to be how the Black Knights can expose Bucknell's defense in settled six-on-six situations and open field transition opportunities (regardless of how generated). Army has made a living this season of working the ball into preferred scoring and shooting locations to generate tallies: The team's sharing rate on goals ranks among the highest in the nation, even if the Black Knights haven't exactly shot the ball with the laser-guided precision. John Glesener is the pivot point for this activity, accounting for almost a third of Army's assists this season; his size and vision -- and ability to carry and distribute with aplomb -- creates all kinds of problems for opposing defenses, and Huffner, Place, and Associates, Ltd. are going to need to keep their heads on a swivel when Glesener has the ball in his crosse. This ability to share (creating offense in totem) combined with the Black Knights' heavy shot volume on a per possession basis (driven by the cannon attached to Garrett Thul's shoulder) creates an almost oppressive offensive experience for opposing defenses (even if Army's total offensive efficiency is somewhat less than stellar). Kyle Feeney is a good stopper for Bucknell, but if the Bison hang him out to dry (or if Army forces the Bucknell defense into postures where Feeney is overly exposed), the Black Knights' multi-point offense (in function and approach) could swamp the Bison.
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