Lacrosse: Syracuse Hopes to Avoid Close Shave at Gillette

via images.lax.com

Oh, baby.  That headline might just be the best one yet.  Did you see what I did there?  "Close shave at Gillette." Get it?  Shaving.  Razor manufacturer.  That's gold, son.

If Mad Men was a show about writing headline copy on the Internet, I'd star and be the cat's meow.

I'm going to tell you a secret and you have to promise to not tell anyone else.  Seriously.  Your lips need to be sealed on this one because it's a bombshell.  Ready?  Here it is: John Desko owes big time money to the Providence mafia. 

I'm serious, you guys. We're talking huge dollars.  Something about a loan that he received to finance a failed business called "Otto's Blend," a brand of orange juice made with real bits of Otto the Orange's polyester costume.  The Providence mafia is hounding Desko pretty hard for the cash and as you know, they don't stop having the mafia down in Providence.

So, Desko is watching his ass and taking his charges to Massachusetts instead of Rhode Island to play Providence College in some cockamamie front called the "2011 New England Lacrosse Classic."  Tickets are probably available because nobody follows Friar lacrosse and Princeton-Dartmouth isn't exactly worthy of sending postcards to your favorite relatives.

How bad is Providence lacrosse? It's the freakin' dregs.  The Friars are a wicked bad 3-7, with heroic victories over Wagner (perennial favorites to win "Reverse Survivor"), Presbyterian (they're reclassifying out of Division I this year), and Lafayette (which, last week, lost to previously winless Holy Cross). 

And you thought Orange lacrosse was having a rough go of it.

My fancy-pantsy efficiency methodology rates Providence as the eighth-worst team in Division I; LaxPower has the Friars as the seventh-worst.  This is a miserable outfit.  I'm not going to waste too many words here describing all of Providence's problems and what Syracuse might do exploit them because one simple fact is controlling: If the Orange loses this game I'm going to burn Manley Field House to the ground and return my diploma to the university.

Here's an abbreviated Friar profile (SPOILER: They stink at almost everything):

EVERYTHING STINKS DOWN PROVIDENCE
METRIC VALUE RANK AVERAGE
Pace 68.30 27 66.99
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency 21.08 57 28.42
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency 28.63 41 27.45
Adjusted Efficiency Margin -7.55 54 0.97
Shots per Offensive Possession 0.7994 59 1.0007
Shots per Defensive Possession 0.9605 23 0.9965
Offensive Effective Shooting Percentage 27.44% 45 28.77%
Defensive Effective Shooting Percentage 30.10% 40 28.81%
Offensive Assist Rate 11.85 54 15.38
Defensive Assist Rate 15.25 33 15.23
Face-off Percentage 47.06% 38 49.97%
Offensive Clearing Percentage 75.79% 56 82.73%
Defensive Clearing Percentage 78.50% 8 82.64%
Strength of Schedule -- Opposing Offenses 27.18 44 28.06
Strength of Schedule -- Opposing Defenses 28.89 49 27.84
Strength of Schedule -- Efficiency Margin -1.72 51 0.22

Syracuse just needs to get off the bus and not defecate on itself and it should take care of business.  So, grab Sully and Mac and Fitzy and Timmy and head over to Foxborough because the Orange are shipping up to Boston.

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