On the offensive end, the Tigers face a significant overhaul. Only 49% of last season’s offensive output returns when we look at total offensive EGA. There will be a lot of new faces in the box score this year. The void left by the departure of Christian Ronda, who accounted for 11% of the team’s shots with a high 81st percentile in individual efficiency, looms large. The task of mitigating this loss falls not only on the coaching staff’s tactical acumen but also on the shoulders of players like Coulter Mackesy. Mackesy’s stellar 98th percentile in total production and a 75 individual efficiency rating position him as a likely candidate to spearhead the Tigers’ offense. Additionally, keep an eye on Lukas Stanat. He had a very solid individual efficiency rating of 89 last season, so he could also step into a more prominent scoring role assuming his efficiency doesn’t get squashed by more defensive attention. With last year’s offense ranking in the 91st percentile for adjusted offensive efficiency, the question for Princeton is whether they can slot in the new faces of rework their approach to keep the offense humming.
Defensively, the narrative is similar. The Tigers return just 59% of their defensive contributions, as measured by game appearances. This statistic is a stark indicator of the experience that has flowed out of the program. While defensive metrics can be nebulous, experience is a more concrete metric. The departure of Ben Finlay, a cornerstone of the defense with 33 career games, leaves a conspicuous gap. The defensive unit, which was a force last season in the 93rd percentile, now faces the task of integrating new players into a system that has set a high bar for success. The ability of the returning players to mentor and the adaptability of the incoming talent will be critical to the Tigers’ defensive stability.
Analyzing the incoming and outgoing talent, it becomes clear that the Tigers are at a pivotal juncture. The smaller roster could signify a more focused approach, but it will require players to adapt to larger roles and for newcomers to transition quickly to the collegiate level. Offensively, the challenge is to replace a substantial amount of production, but with players like Mackesy and Stanat, there’s a foundation to build upon. Defensively, the lost experience is concerning, but it also presents an opportunity for new leaders to emerge.
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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.