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: Detroit Titans
2013 Record: 5-10 (3-3, MAAC)
2013 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -2.98 (54)
2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -4.55 (60)
Winning Percentage Change from 2012: -6.67%
2013 Efficiency Margin: -5.25 (42)
Efficiency Margin Change from 2012: -0.92
II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT
- Detroit opened its 2013 campaign with six straight losses -- at Ohio State (8-14); at Navy (7-11); at Robert Morris (5-9); Quinnipiac (10-12); at Bellarmine (4-10), and at Marist (8-11). The Titans didn't look all that hot with the bulk of their MAAC schedule looming on the horizon. And then something weird happened: The Titans started to look like they started drinking concentrated competitiveness (or at least some level of dosage of it). Detroit throttled VMI, lost at Jacksonville in overtime, and then whipped Manhattan. A loss to Siena would push the Titans' league record to just 2-2, but there was still hope: A date against Canisius would decide the league's last tournament spot. The Titans would dispatch the Griffins, 13-7, and secure a conference postseason bid, a somewhat bonkers outcome given the way that Detroit started its season. But then things went -- almost ridiculously -- sideways (the good kind of sideways (if that's a thing)): In its final three games, the Titans shattered faces en route to the NCAA Tournament and an eventual reality-bending loss to Notre Dame in the first round of The Big Barbecue. Everyone remembers the near upset of the Irish, but the Titans' face-melting run to almost-glory was just as amazing. In fact, Detroit was a dog in its last three games (these log5 predictions are based on year-end values):
DETROIT: FINAL THREE GAMES -- 2013 OPPONENT PREDICTED CHANCE OF VICTORY FINAL SCORE NOTE Marist (MAAC #1 Seed) 36.38% 7-6 (W) Detroit used a 3-2 run in the fourth quarter to break a 4-4 tie. Siena (MAAC #3 Seed) 44.47% 11-10 (OT) (W) Detroit trailed 8-4 at the break and 9-4 early in the third quarter. Notre Dame (NCAAT #2 Seed) 19.75% 7-9 (L) Detroit led 7-3 at the half. (!!!!!!!!!)
III. "YOU'RE GROUNDED UNTIL YOU QUALIFY FOR THE AARP!" FACT
- Detroit earned the (appropriate) characterization of a team that would get out on opponents and create turnovers; ol' time lacrosse was the preferred type of play offered in the Motor City. What was lost in this characterization, though, was that the Titans turned the ball over more than they turned the opposition over. This sounds like a job for a table!
DETROIT: TURNOVERS AND TURNOVERS AND TURNOVERS AND TURNOVERS METRIC DETROIT OPPONENTS NATIONAL AVERAGE MARGIN Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities 27.93 (7th) 28.02 (60th) 22.13 0.09 Unforced Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities 27.56 (2nd) 29.77 (62nd) 22.86 -2.21 Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities 55.49 (1st) 57.78 (61st) 44.99 -2.29
IV. MR. FIX-IT HAS A ONE-FIX ENGAGEMENT, AND IT'S . . .
- This is still a really young program; the fact that Detroit not only salvaged its season but moved to the NCAA Tournament in only its fifth year of Division I existence is crazypants insane. Expectations for the Titans are different than for others, but for Detroit to take the next step in the MAAC, it needs to start executing like a middle-of-the-road kind of team: Taking care of the ball; finding offensive focus in difficult circumstances; playing under control (Detroit was one of the most penalized teams in the nation last season); and learning how to win when the pressure is on. These are maturity-oriented things, and as the Titans' program develops, so too should these traits.