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THUNDERDOME! Lacrosse Tournament Participant Profile: Massachusetts

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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 THUNDERDOME! Tournament.

Will Manny. He's the man-ny. (Ugh. Sorry.)

Anyway, here's the heat on Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Minutemen: One-Seed

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

Record 13-0 (6-0) Clear % 86.60% (15)
Adj. Off. Efficiency 41.30 (1) Opp. Clear % 81.40% (15)
Adj. Def. Efficiency 23.90 (7) Faceoff % 58.08% (7)
Poss. Percentage 53.38% (7) Pace 60.13 (57)
Off. Poss./60 min. 32.10 (37)
DEFENSIVE STATS Def. Poss./60 min. 28.03 (1)
Save Percentage 62.8%
Saves/Def. Poss. 0.40 (2) OFFENSIVE STATS
Opp. Sht. %. 21.91% (2) Goal Differential +81
Opp. Effective Sht. % 22.75% (2) Shooting % 33.80% (4)
Def. Assist Rate 12.05 (5) Effective Sht. % 34.78% (4)
Man-Down/Def. Poss. 0.16 (59) Assist Rate 26.08 (2)
Man-Down Conversion % 25.86% (10) EMO per Off. Poss. 0.14 (3)
Man-Down Reliance 0.17 (55) EMO Conversion % 40.00% (18)
C/T per Def. Poss. 0.26 (12) EMO Reliance 0.14 (14)
Turnovers/Off. Poss. 0.39 (5)
Opp. Saves/Off. Poss. 0.35 (50)

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

  • Teams that generally rifle all kinds of shots at the cage generally don't have the best overall shooting rate. (See, for example, Drexel and its Gatling gun offense; connectedly, you should also examine the broken windows in the building behind the field at which they play.) Massachusetts, however, is more like Maryland and Colgate in that they're able to offload attempts on cage and actually strike gold. This is an accurate offensive team that puts opponents in the firing line, which is an especially dangerous combination. When you also throw in the fact that only one team -- Robert Morris -- actually shares the ball more than the Minutemen, you start to see how dangerous this unit has been this year. The end result is a team getting preferential shots, keeping the defense on its heels, scaring the living crap out of opposing netminders, and converting and converting and converting and converting. The fact that Massachusetts generally plays about four more offensive possessions per 60 minutes of play than defensive possessions further illustrates just how the Minutemen have been ripping through their opposition on the season.
  • How do you make a bad situation worse? Well, you start by giving a monstrous offensive unit circumstances in which it becomes even harder to stop them. Only two teams have played with the personnel imbalance in their favor more than Massachusetts this season, which is like tipping the dealer after the house wipes you out for everything that you have. The Minutemen have been pretty good with the extra attacker this season and have also relied on these situations to generate tallies to a moderate degree. But the fact of the matter is this: Step one in trying to control this Massachusetts offensive attack is to limit boneheadedness in the approach, and teams really haven't done a good job at that this year. Then again, I'd be scratching and clawing and pushing the limits of lawful play if I needed to try and stop Manny, Smith, Kell & Associates. Again, it's not that Massachusetts necessarily needs extra-man opportunities to score; it's just that Massachusetts has seen reliance on these opportunities because opponents have given them to the Minutemen.
  • As good as the Massachusetts offense has been this season, the defense has been just as solid. Tim McCormack is a big time stopper between the pipes -- he's been just as important to the Minutemen's defense this season as John Kemp has been for Notre Dame's unit -- and the unit as a whole performs very well. There is a bit of an issue hanging out there for Massachusetts, however: The Minutemen commit a bunch of penalties (only three teams commit more) and only two teams play in man-down situations more than Massachusetts on a defensive possession basis. This hasn't burned the Minutemen too much this season (while opponents are relying on the personnel imbalance to score against Massachusetts, the actual conversion rate in the scenario is low), there is one fact that exists that makes you wonder how Massachusetts is going to handle this come NCAA Tournament time: The Minutemen's schedule, when ranked for opponent offenses faced, comes in at only 37th nationally. So, Massachusetts hasn't exactly seen a bunch of offensive teams that are completely capable of exploiting extra-man opportunities. It looks like a potentially large wound and without some sutures, it could cause some serious problems ahead.

For more on Massachusetts' opponent -- Towson -- check out the Tigers' profile here.