Our 13th 2017 Scouting Report is on 2016's 59th ranked RPI team, the Detroit Titans!!
What's up, Detroit!!!!
Profile: 2016 was definitely a step back for the Titans. Detroit's first full season was 2009, but the squad did win the MAAC and make it to the Big BBQ in 2013, so they have had some success for a young squad. The Titans have had slow but consistent growth from their initial 0-11 season, and had a breakout year in 2015, going 8-6 for the first .500+ season in club history. 2015 was highlighted by the stunning upset over Ohio State and some, including myself, thought Detroit would continue their steady climb into 2016 or at the very least not be too far off from their 2015 performance.
2016 Record: 2-10 overall and 2-4 in the MAAC. The one thing to take away from Detroit's 2015, is that they were in a lot of the games they lost. The Titans lost 4 games by a single point and another by two goals. A loss is a loss, and there are no moral victories in lacrosse, but being competitive in a game is a sign of a capable squad.
Detroit saw a steep decline on offense in 2016 as compared to 2015. The Titans scored nearly 4 goals/game less and had nearly half the number of assists in 2016 than in 2015. Detroit will need to find some points next season, otherwise they face another year of close losses in 2017.
Roster: Detroit lost 6 seniors to graduation last May, including several key members of last year's team. Andy Hebden was second on the team in points (19 Gs & 4 As) and is a big loss on offense. Defensively, Detroit lost two starters in Jordan Yono and Paul Bitetti. Bitetti was one of the captains of the squad and made All-MAAC 1st Team Defense for the 3rd year in a row in 2016 and his presence will be a greatly missed.
It's not all bad news for Detroit as rising junior and 2016 All-MAAC 2nd Team selection, Mark Anstead will be back next season. Mark led the team in scoring with 27 points and in assists with 15, he was also tied for second in goals (12). Also back next year will be fellow rising junior Alec Gilhooly. Alec was tied for second in goals (12 Gs), and third on the team in assists (6) and total points (18). Additionally rising sophomore and 2016 All-MAAC Rookie Team midfielder Bo Pickens will hopefully continue to develop at SSDM and help to shore up the defense in 2017.
Conference: Detroit has a lot of work to do against the top tier of the conference. The Titans gave up 14 goals against both Marist and Quinnipiac last season and only scored a combined 7 goals in those two games.
Nevertheless, the Titans went into the last week of the season in a 3-way tie for 4th in the conference, so the Titans aren't that far off from the middle of the pack. If Detroit can find some more offense in 2017 and replace some of the major holes left by graduation, they should be in the race for a conference tournament bid in the last few weeks of 2017.
What are they doing this summer: Lots of recruiting!
2017 outlook: Lots of close losses tells me Detroit wasn't that far off in 2016. However, scoring nearly 4 goals less/game in 2016 than in 2015 is a point of concern. Detroit should still be in the race for a conference tournament bid, but without more production on offense, I fear they'll have a similar season filled with close losses.
Hopefully their core group of rising sophomores & juniors will continue to gel and some incoming freshmen step up and contribute early next season.
Non-Sequitor: Keegan-Michael Key is an alum.