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: Duke Blue Devils
2013 Record: 16-5 (2-1, ACC)
2013 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): 2.75 (8)
2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): 2.96 (4)
Winning Percentage Change from 2012: +1.19%
2013 Efficiency Margin: 7.28 (10)
Efficiency Margin Change from 2012: -1.55
II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT
- Duke discovered its spirit animal -- and got a little luck -- at the right time of the year. Winning a national title in this era of college lacrosse requires a difficult combination of things coming together: Talent reaching its potential; preferable matchups against quality competition; and the universe bestowing favor when slight differences often dictate outcomes. Duke made it work in May, weaving through the month in face-melting fashion. Folks tend to forget just what the Blue Devils needed to do to earn their second national title; the path to a Memorial Monday victory lap was far from a given for Duke both when the NCAA Tournament began and as it unfolded. In fact, based on year-end log5 calculations, the Devils would still be an underdog in every game that they played:
log5 PROBABILITIES: DUKE'S IMPRESSIVE RUN TO HARDWARE GAME FAVORITE UNDERDOG GAME FAVORITE UNDERDOG Loyola // (7) Duke Loyola (57.81%) (7) Duke (42.19%) (7) Duke // (2) Notre Dame (2) Notre Dame (53.97%) (7) Duke (46.03%) (7) Duke // Cornell Cornell (69.36%) (7) Duke (30.64%) (7) Duke // (2) Syracuse (2) Syracuse (59.00%) (7) Duke (41.00%) log5 PROBABILITIES: PROBABILITY OF DUKE WINNING THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RANK TEAM PROBABILITY 1. Cornell 44.23% 2. (1) Syracuse 25.47% 3. (4) Denver 16.87% 4. (7) Duke 13.43%
III. "YOU'RE GROUNDED UNTIL YOU QUALIFY FOR THE AARP!" FACT
- Duke's man-down profile is the kind of ugly that comes with an infomercial:
DUKE'S MAN DOWN MAYHEM METRIC VALUE NAT'L RANK Penalties per 100 Opportunities 6.88 51 Man-Down Postures per 100 Defensive Opportunities 13.81 60 Man-Down Posture Reliance 15.89% 55 Man-Down Posture Conversion Rate 37.36% 42
IV. MR. FIX-IT HAS A ONE-FIX ENGAGEMENT, AND IT'S . . .
- Every time someone brings up a flaw about Duke -- the slow starts, the penalties, the need to blend towers of talent, etc. -- John Danowski finds a way to win. Duke seemingly avoids the fatality of flaws and just chugs along knowing that the journey will eventually take them to the desired destination. The Devils are going to start the 2014 season as a top three team (if not at the pole position), and, honestly, the only thing that Duke needs to worry about right now is being Duke. The "fix," then, is just letting Danowski do his thing.