NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: Bryant at (1) Syracuse

Elsa

Everything you need to know about the Bulldogs and Orange 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, 7:30 P.M.
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
Broadcast: ESPNU
Game "Fun Factor" Rank: 7th (3.3206)
log5 Victory Probabilities: Syracuse -- 79.71%; Bryant -- 20.29%

From Right In Front Of Your Face

(1) Syracuse Orange: Big East, Automatic Qualifier

SYRACUSE ORANGE
BIG STATS PACE STATS
Record 13-3 Clearing Rate 91.79% (4)
Adj. Off. Eff. 35.38 (10) Riding Rate 12.37% (45)
Adj. Def. Eff. 25.96 (15) Faceoff % 45.71% (48)
Adj. Eff. Margin 9.42 (7) Pace 66.20 (32)
Pyth. Win Exp. 72.31% (7) Off. Opps./60 Min. 33.53 (32)
Opps. Margin 0.87 (26) Def. Opps./60 Min. 32.67 (29)
Opps. Ratio 50.66% (26)
DEFENSIVE STATS OFFENSIVE STATS
Save % 50.69% (41) Sht. % 31.89% (9)
Saves/100 Def. Opps. 27.70 (58) Opnt. Save % 48.39% (14)
Shts/Def. Opp. 0.99 (12) Saves/100 Off. Opps. 33.27 (31)
Opnt. Sht. % 27.15% (23) Sht/Off. Opp. 1.11 (30)
Def. Assist Rate 13.47 (5) Off. Assist Rate 22.55 (3)
EMD/100 Def. Opps. 11.20 (39) EMO/100 Off. Opps. 9.24 (47)
EMD Conversion % 42.37% (58) EMO Conversion % 38.00% (19)
EMD Reliance 17.61% (59) EMO Reliance 9.90% (47)
Opnt. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 45.73 (27) T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 36.97 (5)
Opnt. Unforc. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 25.62 (16) Unforc. T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 20.89 (18)
Caused T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 20.11 (42) Opnt. Caused T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 16.08 (6)

Key

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

  • More than anything on Sunday, Syracuse needs to focus on two things: (1) Valuing its offensive opportunities; and (2) Maximizing its offensive opportunities. These are somewhat related issues, but they operate in different contexts. Bryant is a possession-generating machine -- due in large part to Kevin Massa's prodigious work on the whistle -- and there is a strong likelihood that the Orange could face possession starvation on the Carrier Dome carpet. This is something that Syracuse has managed to deal with for much of the season save for one instance -- against Villanova in the regular season, a game that (1) saw Thomas Croonquist rip the Orange apart at the dot and (2) featured Syracuse play arguably its sloppiest game of the season. For the Orange to avoid a repeat of that situation (Bryant and Villanova are decidedly different teams in many ways; the thread between the two being their ability to generate possessions via faceoff play), Syracuse needs to:
    • limit turnovers -- something the Orange has excelled at this season -- both in the attack box and in its clearing and transition opportunities; and
    • clear the ball like crazy (an area of play that Syracuse hasn't had a problem with this season) -- potentially picking its spots to ride the Bulldogs to generate a few extra offensive opportunities -- and varying the point of attack and approach in its offense to keep Bryant's defense in a reactionary position and to expose Gunnar Waldt to shots that are difficult to save.
    Value and maximization are the keys for the Orange. If Syracuse struggles at either, the Orange could get themselves into a tough spot with the Bulldogs.

Bryant Bulldogs: Northeast, Automatic Qualifier

BRYANT BULLDOGS
BIG STATS PACE STATS
Record 8-10 Clearing Rate 83.59% (49)
Adj. Off. Eff. 25.73 (53) Riding Rate 16.98% (10)
Adj. Def. Eff. 29.36 (23) Faceoff % 71.50% (1)
Adj. Eff. Margin -3.63 (40) Pace 68.18 (22)
Pyth. Win Exp. 39.92% (40) Off. Opps./60 Min. 37.83 (4)
Opps. Margin 7.48 (2) Def. Opps./60 Min. 30.35 (9)
Opps. Ratio 55.48% (1)
DEFENSIVE STATS OFFENSIVE STATS
Save % 56.30% (11) Sht. % 25.51% (48)
Saves/100 Def. Opps. 38.32 (14) Opnt. Save % 53.50% (35)
Shts/Def. Opp. 1.19 (49) Saves/100 Off. Opps. 31.33 (14)
Opnt. Sht. % 25.04% (9) Sht/Off. Opp. 1.07 (39)
Def. Assist Rate 15.33 (16) Off. Assist Rate 16.25 (38)
EMD/100 Def. Opps. 6.75 (2) EMO/100 Off. Opps. 10.10 (38)
EMD Conversion % 18.92% (3) EMO Conversion % 30.43% (48)
EMD Reliance 4.29% (2) EMO Reliance 11.29% (38)
Opnt. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 43.98 (34) T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 47.00 (43)
Opnt. Unforc. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 20.26 (49) Unforc. T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 20.94 (19)
Caused T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 23.72 (21) Opnt. Caused T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 26.06 (49)

Key

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

  • Bryant has a chance to engage in some witchcraft. The Orange are a significant favorite to move on to Byrd Stadium for the national quarterfinals, but the Bulldogs aren't necessarily in a position where they should make a call to an ambulance dispatcher on Wednesday to prep a transport for an assumed Sunday curbstomping. I'm a little more skeptical than some about the development of Bryant's offense -- the Bulldogs, in the overall, remain a highly inefficient offensive team and the team's late offensive renaissance may be attributable to playing within the Northeast Conference (on the balance, the worst defensive league in the country (the conference is about a goal worse than the MAAC in terms of league adjusted defensive efficiency)) -- but Bryant boasts a handful of offensive weapons that can create havoc -- Peter McMahon, Colin Dunster, Shane Morrell, and Alex Zomerfeld -- and Mason Poli's ability to move in transition can create preferable scoring opportunities (which, given Syracuse's defensive performances in six-on-six scenarios this season, the Bulldogs may need to pursue and rely on a little bit (if they can generate them)). Bryant, therefore, faces two circumstances that may dictate its opportunity for victory:
    • Will the Bulldogs' defense survive a Syracuse offense that generates goals at a rate surpassed that only two of Bryant's opponents this season (Drexel, a 5-11 loss for Bryant, and Albany, a 15-17 loss for the Bulldogs) have surpassed? Syracuse is coming off two games against Notre Dame in which the Orange shredded the Irish's defense to bits, arguably one of the top three units in the country. The Bulldogs have shown well in defensive metrics this season, but are they prepared for an Orange offense that is sharing the ball like crazy and making the opposition weep in horror?
    • Can Bryant generate enough offensive opportunities where the Bulldogs' offense doesn't need to efficiently score but can rather make the scoreboard blink through sheer volume? The Bulldogs are 3-4 this season against teams with adjusted defensive efficiencies stronger than the national average (Holy Cross is essentially at the national average and Robert Morris (which accounts for two of the victories) is only about a goal over a 100 possession basis stronger than the Crusaders and are about four goals worse than what the Orange has generated this season), and Syracuse deep defensive unit is going to challenge Bryant from the start. With strong volume and an eye toward exploiting Dominic Lamolinara's sometimes uneven play in the net, the Bulldogs can do some damage, but this is still a tough task for Bryant's offensive unit to accomplish.
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