Casey experienced a particularly impressive stretch of performances from February 11th to February 24th, with North Carolina securing victories against James Madison, Liberty, Florida, and Virginia Tech. During this spell, she notched an individual efficiency rating in the 89th percentile. She played a dominant role as a distributor during this period, reflected in the fact that she recorded nearly 40% of the team’s assists. Additionally, she exhibited a very solid 81st percentile shooting efficiency, a 92nd percentile in ball security, and a 96th percentile in assist rate. Everything was clicking.
In contrast, Casey’s most challenging stretch ran from April 20th to April 30th, including contests against Duke, Clemson, Syracuse, and Boston College. Despite an admirable 3-1 record, her individual efficiency dipped to the 33rd percentile. Her role was smaller too, as indicated by a reduced 16.7% of the team’s assists. This phase saw a drop in her skill-based metrics, with shooting efficiency at the 11th percentile, ball security at the 66th percentile, and assist rate at the 66th percentile, which suggests that maintaining high performance consistently across larger roles and tougher opposition is a demanding task. It is interesting that the biggest disparity here was her shooting efficiency. When she struggled, she wasn’t able to create a lot of in terms of assists, and she wasn’t able to fall back on creating value by going to goal as a finisher.
Throughout the 2023 season, despite a shift in her role from the previous year, Casey demonstrated a resilient and impactful presence on the field. Her 88th percentile usage rate and 82nd percentile share of the team’s shots underscored the increased reliance on her contributions both as a passer and a scorer. While her shooting efficiency and assist rate saw declines from the previous year’s peaks, her overall performance remained above-average, speaking volumes about her adaptability in taking on greater responsibilities. Her 94th percentile share of the team’s assists and 87th percentile assist rate further solidified Casey’s status as a vital playmaker for the Tar Heels.
Casey’s season paints the picture of a player who embraced her expanded role and thrived, even under the spotlight of increased attention from opponents. The fluctuations in her efficiency metrics can be contextualized by her larger role, rather than a decline in skill. Her season stands as a testament to an athlete who not only rose to the challenge but also emerged as a key contributor to her team’s endeavors on the lacrosse field.
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P.S. What did I miss? Data-centric analyses like this can miss things that don’t show up in the stats (i.e. injuries/coaching changes). If you can help explain any of the above, put it in the comments.