Eulogizing the 2013 College Lacrosse Season: (37) Hobart

The Statesmen beat Syracuse and . . . stuff.

You spent the better part of four months meticulously dissecting the 2013 college lacrosse season. You shouldn't stop now because cold turkey is a bad way to go through life, man. College Crosse is providing decompression snapshots of all 63 teams and their 2013 campaigns, mostly because everything needs a proper burial.

I. VITAL SIGNS

Team: Hobart Statesmen

2013 Record: 6-8 (2-5, ECAC)

2013 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): 1.09 (20)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): 2.92 (5)

Winning Percentage Change from 2012: +12.09%

2013 Efficiency Margin: -3.72 (37)

Efficiency Margin Change from 2012: +0.26

II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT

  • When people talk about offensive duos/trios/etc. that leave a wake of destruction behind them, the focus of the conversation tends to center around mega-teams and their offensive power plants. That's fine (and deserved), but what gets lost in the wash are performances from sects of players from programs that aren't having exceptional seasons -- this, most notably, happened to St. John's in 2012, when much of the nation missed out on what Kieran McArdle and Kevin Cernuto were doing in Queens (it all, finally, came into full focus in 2013). There are numerous functions that underlie this phenomenon, but it doesn't erode the fact that while a team may struggle compared to the hyper-elite, there are still offensive showcases occurring throughout the country that deserve special mention. The duo of Alex Love and Cam Stone -- rising seniors that will served as tent pole weapons for new head coach Greg Raymond in 2014 -- fits that description nicely: The Hobart attackmen were, despite the fact that the Statesmen finished the season ranked just 34th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency, one of the most potent and dangerous pairs in Division I college lacrosse in 2013. A rough calculation -- this is, admittedly, filled with noise -- shows Love as the 16th most productive (in terms of points generated on a per-possession basis) offensive player in the nation last year (adjusted for competition faced); Stone came in just behind Love, ranking 30th in the same measure. Now, there are dyads that rank stronger than Hobart's tactical nuclear weapons -- Robert Church and Ben McIntosh at Drexel, Rob Pannell and Steve Mock at Cornell, Eric Law and Wes Berg at Denver, Andrew Scalley and Brett Schmidt at Mount St. Mary's, Tom Schreiber and Mike MacDonald (and Jeff Froccaro) at Princeton, etc. -- but the Love-Stone relationship holds a special kind of responsibility: They were the primary cogs to an offense that needed them to perform on a game-in and game-out basis. Their usage rates are through the roof (the duo accounted for 43.39 percent of Hobart's shots, 49.52 percent of the team's points, 56.52 percent of the team's helpers, 46.10 percent of the team's goals, and had carrying rates at a similar capacity to their direct production); the Statesmen leaned heavily on these two to generate offense for a team that needed its offensive production to act efficiently due to the possession margin deficit that the team faced (all against a schedule ranked 21st in opposing defenses faced). Stone and Love are doing great things on the lake, and they deserve more recognition for their efforts.

III. "YOU'RE GROUNDED UNTIL YOU QUALIFY FOR THE AARP!" FACT

  • If you're noticing that self-inflicted pain is a running theme in these decompressions, it's on purpose -- Division I lacrosse is hard, and when teams make things harder on themselves, bad things can happen. For Hobart, the following table illustrates (at least minimally), that fact:

    HOBART: BACKWARDS HELPING
    METRIC 2013 VALUE 2013 RANK
    Adjusted Defensive Efficiency 33.32 41
    Penalties per 100 Opportunities 7.47 59
    Man-Down per 100 Defensive Opportunities 13.58 57
    Man-Down Conversion Rate 42.03% 58
    Man-Down Reliance 16.96% 59
    Strength of Schedule: Opposing Offenses Faced 31.07 22
    I think you can see this issue here: Hobart wasn't a particular terrific defensive team in 2013; the Statesmen put extra pressure on that defense to perform by playing in a high volume of man-down possessions; Hobart wasn't particularly well equipped to kill man-down postures; the Statesmen's opponents relied on their man-up opportunities to make the scoreboard blink against Hobart; and Hobart did this all against a schedule featuring capable offensive teams. It's okay to be aggressive, but when that aggressiveness bleeds into the punishable and creates a negative impact, that’s not a particularly sound approach.

IV. MR. FIX-IT HAS A ONE-FIX ENGAGEMENT, AND IT'S . . .

  • Raymond inherits a program that T.W. Johnson put on a nice path the last few seasons; whether the newly-minted head coach continues the trajectory that the Statesmen are on is going to be determined by the program's adaption to Raymond's style and approach. If there's any fix for the Statesmen at this point, it's the adoption of patience -- new regimes often need time to take hold. What Hobart was in 2013 may not necessarily indicate what Hobart may be in 2014 (and there are a myriad of factors here -- new league, player defections/graduations, etc. -- that influence that position outside of Raymond's tenure at the school); exercising patience with respect to what the Statesmen will be is the most important thing entering next spring.

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