that's unfortunate, but at least the interest is there on both sides
Believe it or not, Michigan lacrosse is halfway through Season One. Seven games in the books, seven games in front. That makes it a good time to do math-things with the sport.
I've developed - well, developed is a strong word as it's not totally finished - I'm developing a KenPomish O-rating system for lacrosse. It's not totally finished because it doesn't yet account for strength of opponent, but I'm working on that. If you want a full rundown of how it works, you can click here. [/semi-shameless hit whoring]
The basic gist is that the eventual O-rating number represents a team's scoring in a 100-possession game of lacrosse, and that the D-rating is the defensive mirror image. It's based on three efficiency stats:
-- faceoff win percentage
-- clearing percentage (how good you are at getting the ball from the defensive end to the offensive end)
-- scoring efficiency (how good you are at converting offensive possessions into goals)
Michigan's offensive efficiency numbers so far this season, and the D-I averages, are as follows:
And the same for the defense:
|Opp. Faceoff %||56.4%||50%|
|Opp. clearing %||74.6%||82.9%|
|Opp. conversion %||39.2%||32.2%|
There are 61 D-I teams; Michigan is 52nd on offense and 53rd on defense. They're roughly a standard deviation below average on offense and slightly more than one below (above?) average on defense.
None of this comes as much surprise. The bright spot? Michigan's ride. They're allowing opponents to successfully clear the ball less than three-quarters of the the time. The ride is ranked 4th in the country, behind only Hopkins, Denver, and Army.
The worst two stats I see: probably clearing, and defensive conversion rate. The latter has slightly improved of late, I would say partly due to a change in net from Westerhold to Emil Weiss, and partly due to the competition (Mercer.) Clearing remains a big problem. Michigan simply has trouble with this. Only Mount St. Mary's and Wagner are worse. This is an issue regardless of opponent; Michigan only cleared 2/3 of chances against Mercer. It's likely the most obvious manifestation of club athletes vs. D-I athletes, since clearing is lacrosse's "open-field" game.
For reference and posterity, here are the O and D ratings of the teams on Michigan's schedule. I've bolded those numbers which are above (or below, on D) the D-I average of 14.48.
|Mount St. Mary's||14.93||15.12|
Keep in mind that since these numbers are unadjusted for strength of schedule, they're not 100% reliable as to who's actually the toughest opponent. But they do reflect reality regarding who's played the best.
The most beatable remaining opponent? Rutgers. They have a similar profile to Jacksonville - slightly worse, in fact - and the Dolphins were thisclose to being Michigan's first victim this season. Mount St. Mary's is also a possibility, and then - surprisingly - Ohio, who's been disappointing this year. A loss to Robert Morris is the Buckeyes' low point so far. They knocked off Denver, but have been in a major offensive slump since. Still, it's unlikely (as we knew) that we'll end up with more than two wins.
I'll update this as the season goes on, and I expect by the end of the year I'll have figured out a decent way to adjust this for strength of schedule. Also on the project list: finding the best exponent for a Pythagorean calculation.
Final score from Oosterbaan: Michigan 8 #9 loyola 15
Michigan could have easily given up after being down 10-2 at one point, but they fought back and fought until the end letting the fans go home encouraged.
This was Michigan's first-ever home game, and their first and only home game at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse this season. Next up Michigan will face conference opponent bellarmine on Saturday, March 17 at 3pm at Michigan Stadium. Lacrosse season ticket holders like me are geeked as hell.
Updated ECAC Standings
|1. #9 Loyola||1-0||4-0||W 15-8 at Michigan|
|#20 Ohio||1-0||3-2||3/9 vs Robert Morris|
|3 #17 Fairfield||0-0||5-0||W 9-6 at Quinnipiac|
|Air Force||0-0||2-2||3/10 Army (in Houston)|
|Hobart||0-0||1-2||L 8-18 at Colgate|
|6 #13 Denver||0-1||3-1||3/10 at #10 Penn State|
|Bellarmine||0-1||2-2||W 12-10 at Dartmouth|
|MICHIGAN||0-3^||1-6||L 8-15 vs #9 Loyola|
^Michigan's W/L record in the ECAC column is not officially ECAC League games, but games against ECAC conference members. Michigan is an affiliate member in 2012 and will become a full member and eligible for the championship in 2013. Therefore, wins or losses for Michigan and wins and losses to Michigan by other schools will not count in their respective ECAC records.
Great Lax State has a great wrap up of the first ever lacroose win in Michigan D1 history. Here is a linkhttp://www.greatlaxstate.com/2012/michigan-14-mercer-4?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=GLSTweet.
The only thing i would add to his analysis is that Michigan's defense gave up too many cutters down to the crease, cutters that were left too open. Thankfully Mercer is not very good and were not able to take advantage of these opportunities.
I am sure the coaching staff will address these issues in film breakdown prior to the Loyola game on Wednesday.
By the way, Great Lax State is great for coverage of Michigan lacrosse, Tim is great on his lax coverage. He used to be on mgoblog a lot for lax coverage, but has focused on his own blog now.
Today at 10, the lacrosse team is taking on Mercer in Flordia. The game is being streamed live on laxx.tv. The web site is free so lets get as many people watching as possible.
As for the game itself, Mercer is a very bad D1 team. They are currently 0-4 with losses to Detroit, Ohio, North Carolina, and Bellarmine. Common opponent being Detroit, Mercer lost 16-7, while we lost 13-9. I know it is hard to compare teams based on scored, but what i will say is that Michigan lost to Detroit in their very first lacrosse game ever at the D1 level, Mercer lost to Detroit in the 4th game of the season at home. This is Mercer's second season as a D1 program.
Should be a great game, but i think we will see Michigan pull out a 3-4 goal victory today and see Team One get the first win in program history.
Michigan will play at jacksonville on Friday, 3/2 at 3:30pm at EverBank Field. It will be the first Michigan Lacrosse game in program history to be broadcasted live.
Michigan also takes on mercer at EverBank on Sunday, 3/4 at Noon which is a neutral site game, also at EverBank. That game will be broadcasted as well.
Broadcasting the games will be Laxx.Tv A FREE WEBSITE. Michigan has a great shot to win their first game in program history this weekend, hopefully they do and we can watch it live.