MAAC Lacrosse Tournament Preview: Detroit-Marist

USA TODAY Sports

Get your face ready for Titans-Red Foxes.

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 MAAC Tournament.

The MAAC isn't the strongest league in the country (in fact, it ranks ninth in conference Pythagorean win expectation, about five percentage points below the NEC). That doesn't mean, however, that the league isn't face-meltingly interesting. Based on the relative strength of the league membership, the MAAC is actually the fifth most competitively balanced conference in the country (in terms of deviation from top to bottom). That leads to an important point: The possibilities in the MAAC Tournament are endless. While the quality of the league lags behind others, the MAAC does have some anarchy inherent in its DNA, and there's no better reality in May than the potential of things going sideways in a conference tournament in a hurry between teams that aren't all that competitively imbalanced.

Detroit and Marist start the fun in Canisius this afternoon.

THE COMPUTING MACHINE SAYS

Log5: Detroit (33.60%); Marist (66.40%)

DOSSIERS

MAAC Tournament: Detroit (4) vs. Marist (1)
DETROIT TITANS MARIST RED FOXES
OPPORTUNITIES/TEMPO
Pace 70.89 (8) 68.99 (18)
Opportunities Margin -2.08 (45) +3.98 (7)
Possession Ratio 48.53% (44) 52.88% (8)
Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 30.33 (37) 34.49 (6)
Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio 88.16% (60) 94.55% (7)
Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 33.24 (54) 29.06 (18)
Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio 91.12% (20) 89.41% (7)
Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 16.54 (63) 14.00 (52)
Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio 54.52% (54) 40.58% (33)
Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 17.20 (1) 13.92 (10)
Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio 51.75% (1) 47.89% (7)
Lost Functional Opportunities Margin +0.66 (23) -0.08 (36)
Lost Functional Opportunities Margin Ratio -2.77% (43) +7.32% (9)
ADJUSTED EFFICIENCIES
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency 24.79 (57) 30.96 (24)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency 30.75 (30) 30.82 (31)
Adjusted Efficiency Margin -5.96 (49) +0.14 (33)
SHOOTING
Shots per Offensive Opportunity 0.89 (62) 1.13 (25)
Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 29.08% (24) 29.98% (22)
Shots per Defensive Opportunity 0.94 (5) 1.00 (17)
Raw Defensive Shooting Rate 30.02% (51) 28.17% (33)
ASSISTS
Offensive Assist Ratio 66.36% (3) 59.01% (21)
Offensive Assist Rate 17.15 (33) 19.92 (15)
Defensive Assist Ratio 58.06% (38) 60.00% (46)
Defensive Assist Rate 16.40 (30) 16.94 (35)
EXTRA-MAN RATES
Extra-Man Postures per 100 Offensive Opportunities 12.08 (16) 11.11 (24)
Extra-Man Posture Reliance 14.02% (15) 10.56% (44)
Extra-Man Posture Conversion Rate 30.00% (47) 32.08% (42)
Man-Down Postures per 100 Defensive Opportunities 14.35 (60) 12.24 (49)
Man-Down Posture Reliance 15.32% (54) 10.83% (25)
Man-Down Posture Conversion Rate 30.16% (17) 25.00% (8)
MISCELLANEOUS
Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Team) 7.74 (60) 5.76 (38)
Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Opponent) 6.21 (19) 6.21 (20)
Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Team) 26.88 (13) 28.00 (8)
Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Opponent) 30.19 (62) 21.80 (30)
Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team) 59.90 (61) 43.82 (23)
Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent) 56.04 (1) 53.41 (5)
Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team) 29.71 (62) 22.01 (25)
Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent) 29.16 (2) 25.41 (17)
Team "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities) 29.19 (20) 33.48 (3)
Opponent "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities) 33.76 (62) 29.93 (48)
"Run-of-Play Work Rate" Margin -4.57 (56) +3.55 (12)
GOALIE ACTIVITY
Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities 32.35 (38) 30.35 (47)
Saves per 100 Offensive Opportunities 28.99 (5) 32.91 (28)
Team Save Percentage 53.38% (26) 51.81% (36)
Opponent Save Percentage 52.86% (29) 49.37% (16)

THOUGHTS AND STUFF

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

  • Tim from Great Lax State follows the MAAC pretty deeply, and there's no reason for me to grope my way through an analysis when Tim has a melon in his skull that has already thought this game through a little bit. To crib from his preview (you should read the whole thing, college boy):

      What We Learned Last Time

      Don’t get killed in possession, and you’ll stay close enough to win. Marist is a really good possession team, and taking that advantage away from them is the way to even things up. The Titans aren’t going to excel on faceoffs, but mucking things up and preventing Marist from dominating possession will be big.

      The Titans also had a terrible day clearing last time out (albeit against a pretty good ride), another area in which you can kill yourself in possession. The Titans need to chop the self-inflicted damage out of their game in order to steal the win.

      The UDM offense had a poor performance in the first game without Shayne Adams. Since that time – albeit against poor competition – the Titans have really figured out how to adjust to the loss of Adams, share the wealth, and score the ball. Doing it against a pretty good Marist team is a whole new deal.

  • There are no more beauty pageants. For much of the season, my primary focus isn't necessarily on wins and losses but rather on how teams play. While how teams perform still matters, in tournament settings there is one goal tied to an associated concern: Win regardless of form and function. In a tournament setting like what the MAAC provides -- a field of relatively equal teams, none of which are nationally elite -- winning (in the context of worrying only about the "W") often turns on being the team that does the least stupid stuff: Limiting turnovers in the attack box, clearing the ball well, not taking penalties and getting into man-down postures, taking shot attempts that aren't roundly savable, watching off-ball movement on the defensive end, and limiting the hero complex that many players tend to devolve to when pressure arises. This is essentially the story of Detroit-Marist today:
    • Will Marist come correct with the appropriate level of focus or will they have a brain fart like they did against Manhattan last week?
    • Will Detroit play with poise in the attack box and on its clear or will the Titans turn the ball over -- in unforced and forced varieties -- at a rate that ruins the totality of opportunities that Detroit has to score?
    • Will the Titans play undisciplined ball and give the Red Foxes significant man-down opportunities? And will Marist take advantage of these opportunities?
    • When the ball is on the ground, which team will get its head down and dominate loose possessions? Which team will bring full-field effort?
    It's these kinds of things that dominate a game where shades of ugliness are often more dominate than shades of beauty. There isn't anything inherently wrong with this -- a basket of flavors makes college lacrosse great -- but it does make for unique circumstances in a conference tournament that could send any of its four postseason invitees to the NCAA Tournament.
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