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Syracuse Lacrosse: 2016 ACC Overview

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Syracuse kicks off its season this weekend against Siena. As the season begins, let's take a look at the ACC as a whole to see which teams have the edge in this extremely competitive league.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 college lacrosse season is upon us, and in preparation Syracuse's first game I will be previewing each ACC team. First up, however, let's take a look at the ACC as whole.

ACC Overview

While the ACC is the traditional power conference in college lacrosse, other conferences are rising. In six of the last eight years, a current ACC team has won the National Championship, and last season was just the second year since 1998 in which the ACC was not represented by a current conference program in the National Title game. The ACC will look to regain its grip on the national landscape, and there are two frontrunners which are potential National Championship teams.

In my opinion, Notre Dame and Duke are locks to make it to the final four. My pick to win the National Championship is Notre Dame as I think this group may be the best all around team in the country. The biggest game in the ACC could also end up being the best game of the year. I think that the Notre Dame defense versus the Duke offense is easily the most compelling matchup in the country.

Jim's End of Season ACC Awards Predictions

ACC Offensive Player of the Year: Myles Jones (Duke)

ACC Defensive Player of the Year: Matt Landis (Notre Dame)

ACC Freshman of the Year: My three contenders for this are: Nick Melen (Syracuse), Ryan Conrad (Virginia), and Nate Marano (Denver)

ACC Coach of the Year: Dom Starsia (Virginia) (Starsia is a dark hoarse in this race but I picked him because I think this could be a big bounce back year for Virginia)

Jim's ACC Preseason Rankings

Notre Dame, I believe, is far and away the best team in the ACC. Duke is a solid second. The bottom three, however, you could make a good case for putting in any different order. I think that we could end with a three-way, head-to-head tie for third.

1.     Notre Dame Fighting Irish

2.     Duke Blue Devils

3.     North Carolina Tar Heels

4.     Syracuse Orange

5.     Virginia Cavaliers

2015 Statistics ACC Statistics

The first number is the national ranking and the second number is the value for each statistic

Duke

UNC

UND

SU

UVA

National Leader

Assists/Game

7 (8.11)

3 (8.88)

21 (6.53)

4 (8.75)

12 (7.13)

Albany (10.68)

CTs/Game

38 (6.61)

11 (7.82)

12 (7.8)

46 (6.19)

19 (7.4)

Albany (9.89)

Clearing %

14 (.876)

6 (.891)

38 (.852)

3 (.905)

4 (.903)

Richmond (.920)

F/O Winning %

13 (.562)

35 (.492)

33 (.500)

3 (.662)

44 (.462)

Bryant (.670)

GBs/Game

4 (37)

3 (37.59)

9 (33.07)

7 (34.56)

12 (32.13)

Brown (38.65)

Man-Down Defense

57 (.569)

27 (.652)

59 (.553)

16 (.688)

42 (.620)

Saint Joseph's (.800)

Man-Up Offense

26 (.375)

17 (.421)

4 (.524)

5 (.508)

55 (.276)

Denver (.603)

Points/Game

5 (22.39)

3 (23.24)

9 (19.8)

2 (23.63)

12 (19.20)

Albany (27.79)

Saves/Game

32 (11)

29 (11.12)

35 (10.87)

45 (10.38)

8 (13)

Detroit (15.14)

Scoring Defense

54 (11.56)

33 (10.18)

19 (9.33)

22 (9.63)

49 (11)

Maryland (7.05)

Scoring Margin

14 (2.72)

5 (4.18)

6 (3.93)

3 (5.25)

22 (1.07)

Albany (7.11)

Scoring Offense

4 (14.28)

3 (14.35)

8 (13.27)

2 (14.88)

12 (12.07)

Albany (17.11)

Shot Percentage

12 (.322)

10 (.325)

7 (.333)

6 (.343)

9 (.328)

Stony Brook (.402)

Turnovers/Game

50 (14.78)

17 (12.53)

32 (13.6)

13 (12.38)

22 (12.93)

Towson (10.61)