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Virginia-Johns Hopkins: Set Your Face to "Melt"

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I don't remember much from those old Rodan-Godzilla fights in the dubbed Japanese movies, but I do remember that it was violently arousing, especially when all of Tokyo was flattened and civilians ran around screaming with death-by-imaginary creature starting them square in the face.

Virginia-Hopkins on Saturday is going to be kind of like that: Two giants with mythical destructive powers -- each with its own distinctive style in its method of crushing force -- squaring off with the lacrosse world fleeing in terror with the understanding that they actually need to deal with situation at a potentially personal level. In short, stuff is going to explode, and I'll be grinning like an idiot as I watch it on television.

It's number one against number two; let's light this candle, babycakes. Here's some selected tempo-free metrics and how each team stacks up. Some thoughts follow after the jump.

Pace 67.71 (25) 64.04 (45)
Adj. Offensive Efficiency 29.74 (24) 37.60 (3)
Adj. Defensive Efficiency 18.27 (2) 26.26 (15)
Face-off Percentage 59.26% (6) 57.79% (12)
Clearing Rate 89.86% (6) 88.57% (12)
Ride Rate 72.79% (1) 83.21% (27)
Extra-Man Rate 39.13% (21) 45.00% (15)
Man-Down Rate 25.00% (10) 37.50% (37)
Caused Turnover/Possession 22.69 (38) 28.27 (54)
Turnovers/Possession 36.43 (2) 36.69 (3)
Offensive Assist Rate 15.50 (40) 25.18 (2)
Defensive Assist Rate 11.11 (2) 13.08 (12)
Possession Percentage 54.43% (2) 53.98% (6)

Stuff from my brain to your eyes through the Internet computing machine are after the jump.

The following aren't necessarily keys to the game or anything, just stuff that kind of sticks out to me. So, it's probably useless. (Thanks for reading, everyone!)

  • What makes Virginia's offense so scary and what makes Johns Hopkins' defense such a menace is not necessarily the parts, but how the whole operates as a unit. Assist rate -- both offensive and defensive -- are great indicators of how the whole operates. (Assist rate simply measures assists (allowed and generated) per 100 offensive or defensive possessions.) What makes the Cavaliers offense sing is when Stanwick is working with Chris Bocklet and Company, getting good movement from behind the cage and through their cuts down the alley. The Blue Jays rarely allow any of this nonsense, and it'll be interesting to see how that relationship plays out this weekend.
  • These are two teams that dominate possession margin (offensive possessions over defensive possessions). There are two specific areas to watch here: face-offs (specifically, Mike Poppleton against Mick Parks and Ryan Benincasa); and Hopkins' ride (if or when they choose to throw it on).
  • Don't expect either team to give away too many chances. Neither team is particularly giving in the turnover department, and neither really generates all that many caused turnovers per defensive possession. If Virginia and Johns Hopkins sit back in a zone, this should become even more concrete.