Getting you ready for the 2012 college lacrosse season. What, the season already started? Drats.
"You have to help me, man! They're after me! I'm serious, you need to put me up for a couple of days so I can lay low for a while! They've after me, I tell you; they've been firing at me nonstop and I'm doing all I can do to dodge the bullets! Seriously, you need to help me! They're going to kill me!"
-- Rob Fortunato: Virginia Goalkeeper, April 7, 2012
I kind of think of North Carolina head coach Joe Breschi as the head of a really angry lacrosse crime family. There he sits -- heavy his head with the crown -- and the only way to protect his interests is to surround himself with a death squad of mercenaries hell-bent on neutralizing those federal agents masked as goalies that threaten his empire. He is Don Breschi, and his Murder Inc. carries crosses instead of Tommy guns.
Last year's baby-blued Death Squad of Death was a pretty nasty group. This was their dossier:
|Adjusted Offensive Efficiency||31.92||11||27.73|
|Shots per Offensive Possession||1.09||13||1.00|
|Offensive Effective Shooting Percentage||29.40%||24||28.58%|
|Offensive Assist Rate||17.76||12||15.35|
|EMO Conversion Rate||33.33%||23||31.76%|
The kill log was deep last year for the Death Squad of Death, but with only Billy Bitter taken off active murder duty (he's serving time in Major League Lacrosse Penitentiary for "Crimes against goalkeepers"), the Carolina offensive hit machine is, potentially, on the streets with more firepower than anyone else in the game.
Returning this year are:
- Nicky Galasso, arguably the most important offensive player in the game not named Rob Pannell or Steele Stanwick. As a freshman, he only finished 10th nationally in individual offensive efficiency.
- Marcus Holman and Thomas Wood, two of the sharpest assassins not wearing fedoras.
- Jimmy Dunster, Duncan Hutchins, Pat Foster, and Ryan Creighton, four midfielders that will pound the opposition six-feet under.
And that doesn't even include transfers Jack McBride (Princeton) and Davey Emala (Georgetown). They switched families, mostly because the killing was better under Don Breschi. I don't even want to talk about the freshman yet, because the Death Squad of Death is already almost double-digit deep and I have no idea how they're going to be able to share all of the kills.
For my money, this is probably the best offensive unit in the game in 2012. All the pieces are there, it's just a matter of whether they can operate uniformly on the same turf. Virginia is close with its unit, as is Cornell and Denver. If, though, we're talking about the whole package, the last thing I want to see in a dark alleyway with a bookie debt longer than my inseam is North Carolina lurking in the shadows.
What do you think, knucklehead? Does Carolina's Death Squad of Death look like college lacrosse's best offensive unit in 2012? Comment if you like, but remember that rats get killed.