As Zack Handy’s career comes to an end this spring, we wonder if perfection at the face off X is the only way he’ll leave Tempe with a title.
Let’s look at this past weekend’s results. Arizona State went 1-1 with a 15-14 loss to Colorado on Saturday and a 10-7 win over Colorado State on Sunday. It’s a small sample size but both teams approached Handy the same way by throwing a long pole out for the draw.
ASU has not reported stats from the weekend yet. According to CU’s stats, the Buff pole was 8 of 22 against Arizona State. Handy took the majority of the faceoffs, but freshman Zac Mathien won at least one draw. For the sake of the argument, we’ll say Handy went 13 of 21.
Against Colorado State: 15-18
MCLA stats are always questionable, but we’ll trust teams that have been regulars in the top 5 to produce accurate stats.
In a loss, Handy went 61%.
In a win, Handy went 83%.
Based on this weekend’s results and given ASU’s young defense, Handy’s doesn’t have to be perfect but going less than 61% puts them the Devils in the danger zone.
Let’s review the entire season to date.
Arizona State 10 Cal Poly 7
Handy 11 of 20, 55%
Arizona State 9 UCSB 7
Handy 17 of 20, 85%
Arizona State 17 Stanford 4
Incomplete stats on MCLA website
Arizona State 14 Cal 6
Incomplete stats on MCLA website, Cal reported they went 6 for 22
Really trying force a theory with this small sample size. There are a couple of ways to look at these numbers.
1) If Handy had an off day against UCSB or Colorado State then ASU loses. Handy cannot afford to have an off day.
2) Handy had an off day against Cal Poly and the Devils still won in spite of his efforts. ASU can defeat top 10 competition if Handy isn’t himself.
Questions moving forward:
How much pressure does Handy place on himself? Is he aware of his importance to the team?
How reliant is ASU’s offense on having extra possessions? If they’re not getting the ball as often as they’re expecting, how does that impact their decision making?
Is ASU’s season over without Handy? Freshman Zac Mathien from the Webb School in Knoxville, Tennessee spelled Handy for at least one draw against CU and he won that draw. Mathien may be the future at the position, but at 5’10” 170lbs he’s not the same physical presence as Handy 5’10” 225lbs.
We asked one MCLA D1 assistant that very question. His answer, “Probably.”
Should ASU’s season end without a title, would Handy be the most dominating MCLA player to never win an MCLA ring? Remember Handy was unavailable for the MCLA final last year due to injury.
Did you know, according to the MCLA website, Handy has taken only one penalty in his career?