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Eulogizing the 2014 College Lacrosse Season: Georgetown

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Tyler Knarr was a bright spot for the Hoyas.

USA TODAY Sports

You spent the better part of four months meticulously dissecting the 2014 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 67 teams and their 2014 campaigns, mostly because everything needs a proper burial.

VITAL SIGNS

GEORGETOWN HOYAS
METRIC VALUE NATIONAL RANK
2014 Record 4-10 (1-5, Big East) N/A
2014 Winning Percentage 28.57% 56
2013 Record 6-9 (3-3, Big East) N/A
2013 Winning Percentage 40.00% 44
2014 Adjusted Pythagorean Win Expectation 31.72% 56
2013 Adjusted Pythagorean Win Expectation 41.15% 39
Value Change in Adjusted Pythagorean Win Expectation -9.43% 53*
National Rank Change in Adjusted Pythagorean Win Expectation -16* 61*
2014 Adjusted Offensive Efficiency 24.17 61
2013 Adjusted Offensive Efficiency 27.65 48
Value Change in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency -3.47 57*
National Rank Change in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency -11* 50*
2014 Adjusted Defensive Efficiency 34.19 51
2013 Adjusted Defensive Efficiency 33.03 46
Value Change in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency -1.16 35*
National Rank Change in Defensive Efficiency -3* 37*
Downloadable Team Profile (.pdf)

*These ranking values consider only the programs that competed in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Accordingly, Boston University, Furman, Monmouth, and Richmond are not considered.

"ATTA BOY!" FACT

Tyler Knarr was a destruction machine for the Hoyas at the dot last season. The now-graduated senior won 65.81 percent of his faceoffs in 2014, a mark that ranked third nationally. Overemphasizing faceoff play often leads to blood leaking from your ears as your brain attempts to seek the sweet air of freedom, but it's hard to ignore how important Knarr was to Georgetown last spring: Knarr (the human) won more faceoffs than 49 teams (collections of humans) last spring; he committed just 21 turnovers, a solid rate for a cat that needed to generate offensive opportunities for the Hoyas and not have the ball ripped from his soul; Knarr won every single draw that Georgetown took in 2014, taking an incredible 99.05 percent of all the faceoffs that the Hoyas saw last year; and Knarr was responsible for an estimated 40.71 percent of the offensive opportunities that the Hoyas generated in 2014, his possession-generating activity yielding Georgetown approximately 45 goals.

There weren't many specialists in the nation that contributed to their team's volition the way that Knarr did. He was an apex predator with a single purpose: Kill. His production looks even more bonkers when examining the Hoyas' possession profile in 2014:

GEORGETOWN'S POSSESSION PROFILE
METRIC VALUE NT'L RANK
Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes of Play 35.87 4
Opportunities per 60 Minutes Margin +4.96 4
Percentage of Offensive Opportunities from Faceoff Wins 40.71% 17
Percentage of Offensive Opportunities from Clearing Postures 49.80% 59
Percentage of Offensive Opportunities from Opponent Failed Clears 9.49% 15

Without Knarr crushing skulls and feasting on what was inside, the Hoyas wouldn't have approached the level of possession dominance the team had last season. Assuming that Knarr drew at the national average (49.62 percent), Georgetown's possession margin would have dropped to -1.98 per 60 minutes of play (49th nationally) and the team -- on an estimated basis -- would have 12 offensive goals taken off the board while the Hoyas' opponents would have tallied an additional 17 buckets (a 29-goal swing). That kind of impact is impressive, especially in the context in which Knarr worked.

"YOU'RE GROUNDED UNTIL YOU QUALIFY FOR THE AARP!" FACT

Remember when Lou Brown gave Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn an eye test in the noted documentary Major League? Something like that probably should have happened with the Hoyas' offense this past spring:

"TAKE RYAN OVER THERE . . . " "WHAT ABOUT HIM?"
METRIC VALUE NT'L RANK
Shots per Offensive Opportunity 0.97 63
Shots on Goal per Offensive Opportunity 0.60 53
Ratio of Shots on Goal to Total Shots per Offensive Opportunity 61.87% 9
Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 24.54% 57
Raw Offensive Shots on Goal Shooting Rate 39.67% 61
Opponent Saves per 100 Offensive Opportunities 36.36 50
Opponent Save Percentage 60.33% 61

Here's a quick and dirty explanation of that table: Georgetown put a high ratio of its shots on goal and hardly any of them went past opposing goalkeepers. Icky! It's hard to beat defenses when you can't find twine, and the Hoyas lacked go-to options to beat opposing netminders: Of the team's eight players that took at least 20 shots last season, only three -- Peter Conley (31.17 percent), Bo Stafford (30.23 percent), and Jeff Fountain (30.19 percent) -- managed to breach the 30 percent threshold. This group -- as a whole -- shot 25.94 percent, only slightly above the team's overall average. With so much shot usage localized to a group that struggled to pick corners, the Hoyas' offense meandered through a season that left them in the bottom 10 in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency, generating goals on less than a quarter of their offensive opportunities.

That's doubleplusungood.

THE DISTANT FUTURE

The team took a step back between 2013 to 2014, and that's somewhat concerning considering the maturation the program exhibited in the team's late stretch of 2013. However, it would seem impressively dumb to count out Kevin Warne and his highly capable staff at this stage in their development of Georgetown’s program. When you combine the acumen of Georgetown's staff with the fact that the Hoyas will return 104 out of 140 starts from 2014 (including all but two of the team's double-digit point generators from last year), there are some assets in place to pivot Georgetown from a difficult 2014 campaign toward one where the Hoyas can compete for a spot in the Big East Tournament. There is a lot of work to be done on The Hilltop -- the defense needs to coalesce and the Hoyas' offense needs to find consistent value under Matt Rewkowksi -- but 2015 has a lot of turnaround potential for a program that hasn't seen at least 10 wins since 2007.