You spent the better part of four months meticulously dissecting the 2013 college lacrosse season. You shouldn't stop now because cold turkey is a bad way to go through life, man. College Crosse is providing decompression snapshots of all 63 teams and their 2013 campaigns, mostly because everything needs a proper burial.
I. VITAL SIGNS
Team: Drexel Dragons
2013 Record: 11-4 (5-1, THUNDERDOME!)
2013 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -0.59 (34)
2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): 2.38 (8)
Winning Percentage Change from 2012: +23.33%
2013 Efficiency Margin: 1.36 (27)
Efficiency Margin Change from 2012: -2.19
II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT
- Drexel's (sort of) invincibility is the story of the Dragons' 2013 campaign (the team's string of late comebacks were seemingly grounded in fiction), but it's a particular aspect of the team's play -- hint: it rhymes with "mofense" -- that's the most interesting part of the team's ability to grab victories where defeat looked (kind of) certain. Drexel's Pythagorean win expectation this past season (built on the team's offensive and defensive performances, adjusted for competition faced) hovered at just under 53 percent; that's an average value, ranked just 28th nationally, and indicated that the Dragons were somewhere around an eight-win team in 2013. So why did the Dragons overachieve by three wins, walking tall when it could have been writhing on the ground in pain after taking a lead pipe to the skull? Well, you can make a really good argument that the team's hyper-destructive offense -- a unit that drove the team's success last year -- helped push Drexel into double-digit win territory. The team's output this season was unquestionably impressive:
DREXEL'S LACK OF REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE METRIC VALUE NT'L RANK Adjusted Offensive Efficiency 36.28 8 Shots per Offensive Opportunity 1.24 2 Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 29.40% 21 Offensive Assist Rate 23.55 2 Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities 41.32 15 Opponent Save Percentage 50.41% 18 Strength of Schedule: Opposing Defenses Faced 30.38 27
III. "YOU'RE GROUNDED UNTIL YOU QUALIFY FOR THE AARP!" FACT
- Look: Drexel's defense was a ceiling limiter for the Dragons in 2013. Despite the fact that Drexel was able to corral success with its offense (due in part to the team's overall possession margin advantage on the season), the Dragons could not seem to get it together on the defensive end, yielding tallies at a rate that made Drexel's life more difficult than it had to be:
YOU BROKE MY HEART, DREXEL'S DEFENSE METRIC VALUE NT'L RANK Adjusted Defensive Efficiency 34.92 48 Shots per Defensive Opportunity 1.27 60 Raw Defensive Shooting Rate 26.67% 17 Defensive Assist Rate 18.97 47 Team Save Percentage 50.90% 40 Strength of Schedule: Opposing Offenses Faced 29.79 42
IV. MR. FIX-IT HAS A ONE-FIX ENGAGEMENT, AND IT'S . . .
- Drexel is returning a ton of assets in 2014, among the strongest group of returning contributors in THUNDERDOME! If the defense is able to come along -- the maturation of the group in-close and sustainable play between the pipes that supports the team's field play -- Drexel is going to be a handful next spring. The focus, though, remains on defensive development and the execution that will follow. There's potential there in a handful of the 2013 contributors, but the group -- as a whole -- needs to come along and rise together as a unit ready to shoulder greater responsibility.