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ECAC Lacrosse Tournament Participant Profile: Ohio State

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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 ECAC Tournament.

If I could only describe Ohio State in one word, it'd be "Defense." If I could only describe Ohio State in two words, it'd be "Defensively defensive." If I could only describe Ohio State in three words, it'd be "Defensively defensive defense." If I could onl . . . you get the idea; the Buckeyes are basically Logan Schuss and a collective hammer striking the nail.

Anyway, here's the heat on Ohio State.

Ohio State Buckeyes: Two-Seed

For a more complete, mind-bending picture, here's a .pdf of the complete report.

Record 8-6 (5-1) Clear % 89.61% (6)
Adj. Off. Efficiency 28.84 (38) Opp. Clear % 80.29% (11)
Adj. Def. Efficiency 21.78 (4) Faceoff % 45.65% (46)
Poss. Percentage 50.33% (26) Pace 64.87 (36)
Off. Poss./60 min. 32.65 (33)
DEFENSIVE STATS Def. Poss./60 min. 32.22 (27)
Save Percentage 55.1%
Saves/Def. Poss. 0.29 (45) OFFENSIVE STATS
Opp. Sht. %. 25.77% (14) Goal Differential +28
Opp. Effective Sht. % 26.46% (14) Shooting % 26.02% (50)
Def. Assist Rate 11.26 (2) Effective Sht. % 26.49% (51)
Man-Down/Def. Poss. 0.09 (20) Assist Rate 18.95 (20)
Man-Down Conversion % 26.19% (11) EMO per Off. Poss. 0.09 (46)
Man-Down Reliance 0.11 (27) EMO Conversion % 33.33% (38)
C/T per Def. Poss. 0.25 (20) EMO Reliance 0.11 (39)
Turnovers/Off. Poss. 0.46 (28)
Opp. Saves/Off. Poss. 0.36 (51)

Three pieces of incredibly important information from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • Want the secret formula for having an awesome defensive team? Fine, I'll tell you: Don't let teams shoot, create turnovers, lock off helpers, have a keeper save 56 percent of his attempts, and rarely play on the man-down. So, that's the formula; all you have to do is figure out how to make seven guys carry out the charge. Ohio State, luckily, has given you the blueprint. I don't know if the Buckeyes are actually among the top-five defensive teams in the country as their adjusted defensive efficiency value indicates, but they're definitely a top-ten type of team. And when you're at a point in the season where keeping opponents off the board is paramount, Ohio State becomes a dark horse for stealing an NCAA Tournament bid.
  • Now, with all those nice things out of the way, here's why Ohio State's run toward an NCAA Tournament invitation will likely result in a face smashing a hurdle and subsequently being shown on blooper reels at your local sports grille: This Buckeyes offense -- despite the gleaming death machine -- isn't much more than "meh." Outside of the gleaming death machine, there isn't too much going on offensively in Columbus: The team, on a whole, has a shooting disease and they really need to ratchet up the shot count to get the ball in the back of the net. What's especially dirty is that there isn't a noticeable difference between the Buckeyes' ability to can the bean whether they're in personnel imbalances or in even situations. There just isn't a lot of offensive force that Ohio State can put on the field and unless Schuss is doing Logan Schuss things, the Buckeyes become decidedly bland. Against three other defensively competent clubs -- Loyola is sixth nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency; Fairfield is 28th; and Denver is 19th -- the Buckeyes really need to try and win some 6-4 games this week. (Gross.) They're best shot is, obviously, against the Stags in its semifinal game.
  • When you struggle at canning the bean, there is something that can mitigate that fact: Volumed offense. Unfortunately, Ohio State hasn't done a great job at that. On the year, the Buckeyes are only hanging around the national average in possession margin. Against teams that generally excel at disallowing opponents to play more offensive possessions than defensive ones (Loyola, Fairfield, and Denver are toward the top of the country in the metric), Ohio State is going to have its work cut out for them to try and maximize limited offensive touches. (Especially considering the fact that the Buckeyes aren't particularly strong at the dot.) For Ohio State to excel this week they're going to have to either (1) become a more efficient offensive team or (2) really ratchet up that defense in order to pull out victories despite facing a strong possession disadvantage. Keep prayin', Ohio!

For more on Ohio State's opponent -- Fairfield -- check out the Stags' profile here.