NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: Loyola at (7) Duke

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Everything you need to know about the Greyhounds and Blue Devils ahead of their first round game.

It's the 2013 NCAA Tournament! Take out the nice napkins and make sure that your kid doesn't have crap all over his face. College Crosse has this all under control, so feel safe, friends. If you missed anything -- and you really shouldn't because you're only hurting yourself if you do -- click this fancy highlighted text to get all caught up.

From 10,000 Feet

Date and Time: Sunday, 5:15 P.M.
Location: Koskinen Stadium, Durham, North Carolina
Broadcast: ESPNU
Game "Fun Factor" Rank: 4th (4.7644)
log5 Victory Probabilities: Duke -- 41.72%; Loyola -- 58.28%

From Right In Front Of Your Face

(7) Duke Blue Devils: ACC, At-Large

DUKE BLUE DEVILS
BIG STATS PACE STATS
Record 12-5 Clearing Rate 87.50% (21)
Adj. Off. Eff. 38.98 (4) Riding Rate 15.61% (20)
Adj. Def. Eff. 30.92 (31) Faceoff % 61.94% (3)
Adj. Eff. Margin 8.05 (10) Pace 67.76 (24)
Pyth. Win Exp. 67.20% (14) Off. Opps./60 Min. 36.76 (6)
Opps. Margin 5.76 (3) Def. Opps./60 Min. 31.00 (14)
Opps. Ratio 54.25% (3)
DEFENSIVE STATS OFFENSIVE STATS
Save % 49.85% (49) Sht. % 33.52% (4)
Saves/100 Def. Opps. 31.69 (40) Opnt. Save % 46.89% (10)
Shts/Def. Opp. 1.11 (33) Saves/100 Off. Opps. 33.76 (34)
Opnt. Sht. % 28.82% (39) Sht/Off. Opp. 1.14 (22)
Def. Assist Rate 16.70 (30) Off. Assist Rate 22.40 (6)
EMD/100 Def. Opps. 13.47 (56) EMO/100 Off. Opps. 7.52 (61)
EMD Conversion % 35.21% (38) EMO Conversion % 40.43% (13)
EMD Reliance 14.88% (51) EMO Reliance 7.95% (60)
Opnt. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 52.75 (6) T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 39.36 (10)
Opnt. Unforc. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 27.89 (2) Unforc. T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 24.80 (46)
Caused T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 24.86 (18) Opnt. Caused T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 14.56 (2)

Key

One piece of incredibly important information from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • There are probably three things that are going to drive Duke's successes or failures against Loyola: (1) How much possession margin the Devils can generate against the Greyhounds; (2) With those extra offensive possessions (putting the ball in Jordan Wolf's crosse and letting Duke's offense attack), the efficiency of the Devils' offense when operating against a pretty strong Loyola defense; and (3) Whether Duke's defense will provide enough value to complement the team's offense. The Blue Devils have an advantage at the dot with Brendan Fowler; the specialist is the major component to Duke's ability to generate possession margin: Of the Devils' approximately 625 offensive opportunities this season, around 46 percent are attributable to Duke winning a draw. If Fowler is able to dominate the whistle, the Blue Devils can insulate their defense a bit and provide opportunities for their strongest unit to dictate how the scoreboard looks. Additionally, if Duke clears at a higher rate than normal (the Greyhounds don't deploy their ride as a Panzer tank), the Devils could be in a situation where they're generating an even greater number of functional possessions than they're accustomed to. The volume of those functional possessions that Duke generates is going to drive the volition of the game. With respect to the second point: The Devils have seen strong defenses all season long and have managed to accumulate an adjusted offensive efficiency value that ranks in the top five nationally -- only 11 teams have faced a slate of defenses tougher than what Duke has seen and the Devils have performed well with the bean throughout their campaign (interestingly, Duke has seen only two defenses -- Notre Dame and Pennsylvania (both losses) -- as strong as Loyola's). A boatload of functional possessions provides Duke with the safety net of volume to generate scores, but the Devils' offense is going to need to come correct and efficiently can the bean if it doesn't want to get into some form of trench warfare with the defending national champion. As for the final focus, Loyola is going to have opportunities and is going to put some numbers on the board; the issue is how Loyola is able to generate scores. Will Duke provide the Greyhounds with tons of extra-man situations (preferable scoring opportunities that Loyola can exploit)? Will Kyle Turri have himself a day -- whether exposed or insulated -- or will he struggle to find the sweet spot? This isn't a prodigious Duke defense despite the talent that the Devils have on that end of the field; all the Devils need out of that unit, though, is enough to support an offense that should do its job.

Loyola Greyhounds: ECAC, At-Large

LOYOLA GREYHOUNDS
BIG STATS PACE STATS
Record 11-4 Clearing Rate 95.07% (1)
Adj. Off. Eff. 36.24 (9) Riding Rate 8.71% (59)
Adj. Def. Eff. 25.81 (14) Faceoff % 47.90% (39)
Adj. Eff. Margin 10.43 (4) Pace 65.85 (35)
Pyth. Win Exp. 74.11% (5) Off. Opps./60 Min. 33.32 (33)
Opps. Margin 0.80 (28) Def. Opps./60 Min. 32.52 (26)
Opps. Ratio 50.61% (27)
DEFENSIVE STATS OFFENSIVE STATS
Save % 51.52% (37) Sht. % 30.07% (18)
Saves/100 Def. Opps. 27.87 (57) Opnt. Save % 50.56% (19)
Shts/Def. Opp. 1.00 (14) Saves/100 Off. Opps. 36.40 (47)
Opnt. Sht. % 26.23% (14) Sht/Off. Opp. 1.18 (12)
Def. Assist Rate 11.68 (1) Off. Assist Rate 21.20 (12)
EMD/100 Def. Opps. 9.43 (17) EMO/100 Off. Opps. 9.80 (40)
EMD Conversion % 15.22% (2) EMO Conversion % 34.69% (31)
EMD Reliance 5.47% (3) EMO Reliance 9.55% (49)
Opnt. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 48.77 (14) T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 37.60 (6)
Opnt. Unforc. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 20.70 (46) Unforc. T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 19.20 (5)
Caused T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 28.07 (8) Opnt. Caused T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 18.40 (10)

Key

One piece of incredibly important information from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • It's all about Loyola's defense at Koskinen this weekend. The Greyhounds are likely staring at a situation where it needs to play more defensive possessions than offensive ones over 60 minutes of play (there potentially exists a five-possession gap between the two postures), and that creates all kinds of pressure for a Loyola unit that is capable but must endure fatigue (physical and mental) against one of the best offenses in the nation. There are three focus points here for the Greyhounds: (1) Loyola has limited assisted goal scoring opportunities all season, but is facing an opponent that derives much value from whipping the ball around the box to generate preferential scoring opportunities -- with all of the Devils' offensive weapons, the Greyhounds need to control their level of ball watching and commit to Matt Dwan's scheme even in a hectic atmosphere; (2) If Loyola can generate turnovers and dominate loose balls (not on the ride, but in defensive possession postures), the game's possession ratio potentially takes on a different feel as Fowler's expected domination at the dot diminishes (importantly, Duke has done a very nice job this season valuing the ball and not carelessly giving it away); and (3) Jack Runkel needs to come into Durham with his head screwed securely to his neck with his focus laser-defined -- the keeper is going to see rubber on Sunday and uneven play from him between the pipes will either exacerbate the possession gap that Loyola may play in or erase the work that the Greyhounds' field defense is able to accomplish if they are able to turn Duke over. This is a manageable situation for a defense that is going to be in a tough spot, but Loyola has the defensive horses -- Joe Fletcher, Scott Ratliff, Josh Hawkins, Pat Laconi, Reid Acton, etc. -- to make it happen.

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