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THUNDERDOME! Lacrosse Tournament Participant Profile: Drexel

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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.

The great thing about college lacrosse is that it's full of all kinds of different styles of play. The bad thing about college lacrosse is that some of those styles of play are boring with a capital "Deadly." Drexel is kind of one of those boring teams -- the Dragons are only rated 43rd currently in the "Fun Factor" -- but the style of play has worked for them in THUNDERDOME! So, you know, good for Coach Voelker (despite my dozing off).

Anyway, here's the heat on Drexel.

Drexel Dragons: Three-Seed

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

Record 7-7 (4-2) Clear % 86.64% (14)
Adj. Off. Efficiency 31.55 (21) Opp. Clear % 85.90% (43)
Adj. Def. Efficiency 27.08 (22) Faceoff % 52.26% (24)
Poss. Percentage 51.17 (17) Pace 57.79 (61)
Off. Poss./60 min. 29.57 (55)
DEFENSIVE STATS Def. Poss./60 min. 28.21 (2)
Save Percentage 53.0%
Saves/Def. Poss. 0.32 (29) OFFENSIVE STATS
Opp. Sht. %. 28.32% (25) Goal Differential +15
Opp. Effective Sht. % 28.70% (25) Shooting % 24.66% (57)
Def. Assist Rate 16.20 (28) Effective Sht. % 25.47% (55)
Man-Down/Def. Poss. 0.08 (9) Assist Rate 18.84 (21)
Man-Down Conversion % 29.03% (20) EMO per Off. Poss. 0.10 (30)
Man-Down Reliance 0.08 (8) EMO Conversion % 34.88% (33)
C/T per Def. Poss. 0.25 (14) EMO Reliance 0.12 (35)
Turnovers/Off. Poss. 0.46 (30)
Opp. Saves/Off. Poss. 0.39 (59)

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

  • It's all about patience for the Drexel offense. Well, that isn't exactly a fair characterization of the Dragons. It's actually all about prolonged patience and closing your eyes, pulling the trigger, and hoping that an adorable puppy playing on the sideline isn't tragically killed. No team in the country -- and that's an impressive feat -- plays fewer total possessions per 60 minutes of play than Drexel, totalling out at about 58. In those 58 possessions, about 30 of which are offensive, the Dragons are throwing more shots at and around the cage, as well as to adjacent parking lots, than any other team in the land. With an offensive shooting rate somewhere near "horrendous," Drexel has really had to grind out their offensive opportunities to hold on to its 21st-ranked adjusted offensive efficiency position. This isn't a precision offense by any stretch of the imagination and it really takes the Dragons some work to get the ball in the back of the net. When it is clicking, though -- moving the ball through Brendan Glynn, Kyle Bergman, and Robert Church, especially -- Drexel becomes a somewhat dangerous offensive team that is capable of keeping a defense off-balance (notably when they're focused on their ball movement). This is just pure, volumized firepower that is dropping bombs on everything until it eventually hits its target (even if a ridiculous number of those shots are eventually saved by opposing goalies).
  • "Grind, grind, grind, grind, grind, grind." I'm pretty sure that is all that's written on Drexel's game plans. In big magic marker. Capital letters. Underlined. With a skull and crossbones over a picture of someone not grinding. Anyway, there are five things Drexel is doing to really drive the pace of the game square into the ground and locating it somewhere near Jimmy Hoffa's rotting corpse: (1) Drexel isn't afraid of extending its offensive possessions; (2) the Dragons are doing a decent job at winning draws, allowing their offense to generate elongated possessions; (3) Drexel is clearing the ball at a decent rate, muting frantic situations and allowing their offense to have painfully long possessions full of errant shots; (4) Drexel isn't committing penalties -- only nine teams commit fewer -- and this has created tons of even scenarios that opposing offenses have trouble solving because . . .; (5) the Dragons defense isn't giving anything to opposing offenses, retreating on the ride, and using stylized pressure in the defensive end to cause turnovers and limit shot opportunities. It's a mix of desired patience and forced patience, the latter yielding only a 28.70% defensive shooting percentage and few looks at the cage.
  • Drexel makes its goalie play in fire. This is an odd strategic position.

For more on Drexel's opponent -- Penn State -- check out the Nittany Lions' profile here.