BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2010-11 Season Analytical Writings
Tuesday night, the Cats responded to the challenge of a powerful, highly ranked opponent, and went toe to toe with Washington for a full 40 minutes and got out with an impressive 7 point win, 74-67 to advance to the Championship game of the Maui Invitational on Wednesday night. UConn will be the next opponent, and they have proven their merits by beating #2 Michigan State in the other Semi-final game on Tuesday. Even though the analysis for the Washington game indicated a loss in a close game, the Cats managed to get the tough victory in the close game.
Last year, Connecticut finished 18-16, losing in the second round of the NIT to Virginia Tech by 2 points. Connecticut ended the season with a Pomeroy rating of #56. However, make no mistake, this group of Huskies is not last year's team. It is much, much better.
Connecticut has already played, and won, four games this season. Connecticut has defeated #207 Stony Brook by 27, #184 Vermont by 16, and have defeated #73 Wichita State by 4 and #8 Michigan State by 3 to reach the Maui Championship game. Connecticut has played these games at an average pace of 71 to 72 possessions, averaging 80.3 ppg and allowing 67.8 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 1.135 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 0.936 ppp. Connecticut's turnover rate has been 16.5% while they have forced turnovers at an 20.9% rate. On the Boards, Connecticut's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 44.9% and 68.2% respectively.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first two opponents produced 69 possessions, and a score of 79.3 to 61.0 for efficiencies of 1.184 ppp and 0.876 ppp on the offensive and defensive ends. UK's turnover rate is 16.7% but UK only forced turnovers at a 16.9% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 40.9% and 71.2% at the offensive and defensive ends. Kentucky's current Pomeroy SOS value is 0.6859 while Connecticut's is only 0.5495.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 70 possessions with the Cats winning for the fifth time in five starts this season by 10 points, 76-66. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.086 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.943 ppp.
For the fifth game in a row, Coach Calipari will start Knight, Jones, Miller, Liggins, and Harrellson.
As last night, the Cats open slowly, and fall behind almost immediately. UConn hit 5 of their first 6 shots, while the Cats only managed to get 3 of 9 shots to fall as the Huskies move out to an early 3 point lead, 11-8, at the under 16 TV timeout. UConn will have possession when play resumes. The early pace is about 70 possessions. UConn has the game's only turnover and the Cats have the game's only 2 offensive rebounds, and 3 of second chance points. Terrence Jones scored Kentucky's first 10 points of the game, and Liggins became the second Cat to score with a three point play at 13:17, to bring the Cats into a tie at 13-13. Then Doron Lamb became the 3 rd Cat to score with a 3 pointer to give the Cats their first lead, 16-14. However, the lead was short lived as UConn answered with a 3 pointer of their own, followed by a steal and a pair of free throws to go back up by 3 points, 19-16 at the under 12 TV timeout.
Through 8 minutes, UK continues to shoot the ball poorly, 5-14 and UConn continues to shoot the ball exceedingly well, 7-10. Out of the timeout, the Cats scored on a pair of free throws to trim the lead back to 1 point, but UConn scored the next 5 points to move out to their biggest lead, 6 points, 24-18 prompting a UK timeouot with 10:26 to play in the first half. In the third segment, Miller picked up his 2 nd foul with 9:29 to play, and Jones got his 2n with 8:50 to play, both going to the bench for the remainder of the first half, and UConn building its lead, now at 7 ponits, 29-22. Liggins makes 1 of 2 free throws, to trim the lead back to 6 points, 29-23 at the under 8 TV timeout, and Vargas will be shooting the 1 and bonus when play resumes.
The Cats cut the lead back to 2 points, but UConn responded with another 8 point run to extend their lead to 10 points, and the run continued to a 16-2 run, extending their lead to 16 points, 45-29, prompting a late UK timeout with 2:08 to play in the first half. The foul trouble has cost the Cats tonight when they managed to survive the foul trouble last night against Washington. The Cats find themselves on the short end of a 21-2 run over the final 9 minutes of the first half, and a 50-29 halftime score.
UK scored its 27 points in a total of 36 possessions for the half, and CONNECTICUT scored its 50 points on a total of 37 possessions. UConn won the battle of the boards 20-15, but Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 6-3. The Cats used their 6 second chance possessions to score 7 second chance point while CONNECTICUT used its 3 second chance to score 5second chance points. CONNECTICUT had an offensive efficiency of 1.216 ppp on its 37 first chance possessions and 1.667 ppp for its 3 second chance possessions. UK had .611 ppp on its 36 first chance possessions and 1.167 ppp on its 6 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a weak 26.1% of its misses as offensive rebounds while CONNECTICUT was able to convert only 25.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 9 of its 12 free throws in the first half, making 9-12 [75.0%]. CONNECTICUT also was effective from the line, making 9-11 [81.8%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 9-30 overall [30.0%] and 2-7 from long range [28.6%]. For CONNECTICUT, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a powerful 13-23 [56.5%] and from long range, Connecticut hit 5-7 [71.4%].
The Cats committed 7 turnovers, one for every 5.1 possessions. The Cats forced 6 CONNECTICUT turnovers, one for every 6.2 possessions.
The Cats use 3-4 shooting from the 3 point line in the opening segment to outscore the Huskies 10-4 in the opening segment and to trim the lead from 21 points to 15 points at the under 16 TV timeout and the Cats will have possession when play resumes with a chance to cut the lead to 12 or 13 points. In the second segment, the Cats traded baskets until a Knight basket trimmed the lead to 13 points, but UConn answered with a 3 pointer to go back up by 16 points, 59-43, at the under 12 TV timeout. In the third segment, UConn refused to allow the Cats to trim any further into their lead, and actually extended the lead back to 20 points at one time, and at 18 points at the under 8 TV timeout, 71-53.
For the game thus far, UConn has scored its 71 points on only 55 total possessions, an efficiency of 1.29 ppp against a UK defense that had been limiting all opponents to well under 0.9 ppp through their first 9 games. The UK offense has been off some as well tonight, but the major lapse in this game has occurred on the defensive end of the Court. In the 4 th segment, the teams simply trade baskets and UConn extends their lead to a game high 22 points, 82-60, at the under 4 TV timeout. The final score, 84-67.
UK scored its 67 points in a total of 66 possessions for the game, and CONNECTICUT scored its 84 points on a total of 66 possessions.
UConn won the boards, with a rebounding edge 30-29, and the Cats won the battle of the offensive glass 13-6. Kentucky won the second chance points battle 16-5. CONNECTICUT had an offensive efficiency of 1.197 ppp on its 66 first chance possessions and 0.833 ppp for its 6 second chance possessions. UK had 0.773 ppp on its 66 first chance possessions and 1.231 ppp on its 13 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed an NCAA averge 33.3% of its misses as offensive rebounds while CONNECTICUT was able to convert only 27.3% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 15-20 [75.0%]. CONNECTICUT made 17-19 [89.5%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 22-60 overall [36.7%] and 8-22from long range [36.4%]. For CONNECTICUT, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 23-40 [57.5%] and from long range, CONNECTICUT hit 7-12 [58.3%].
The Cats committed 11 turnovers, one for every 6.0 possessions. The Cats forced 12 CONNECTICUT turnovers, one for every 5.5 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 8 point UK win, 75-67 at a pace of 70 possessions for UK and 70 possessions for Connecticut. The final score was 67 (75) to 84 (67) at a pace of 66 possessions for the Cats and 66possessions for CONNECTICUT. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.015 ppp (D+) and the UK defensive efficiency was 1.273 ppp (E).
Next Game On Schedule: November 30 at Rupp Arena against Boston University.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks