BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2010-11 Season Analytical Writings
The Championship game defeat by UConn was not just disappointing, it was plain ugly. It was about as ugly as it can get for any UK basketball team. The whole world can identify the two areas of weakness for this team, lack of quality depth [foul trouble] and lack of a substantial inside presence, particularly on defense. The difference last night was that UConn not just identified those weaknesses; they showed the rest of the world how to expose and exploit these weaknesses when playing the Cats.
Washington exposed the depth issue, and used that foul trouble to erase a huge first half deficit of their own, but their 1-point halftime lead was not enough to hold off the Cats in the second half. UConn on the other hand managed to get the Cats into foul trouble while playing on slightly better than even terms in the first 10 minutes, and their landslide buried the Cats in a hole that they could not climb out of in the second half. But for their offensive outburst at the beginning of the Washington game that produced the early 20-6 lead, the Cats would be limping home with two Hawaian losses instead of one.
The UConn game plan was clear, first work to expose the lack of depth by getting 2 of the key players into foul trouble, forcing Calipari to move down his bench, and then pound the ball inside, each and every trip down the floor. That game plan worked to perfection, and the result, a 17-point loss, frankly could have been even worse because the Cats clearly rocked back on their collective heels, wobbled, and were ready to fall to the mat. To their credit, the Cats somehow managed to at least remain standing in the second half. However, they never really lost that dazed and confused, glassy eyed look even at the end when they had to know that UConn had handed them their collective rear ends.
Now every coach remaining on the schedule knows the game plan to run, and all that remains over the next 25 games is how many of these remaining opponents will be able to execute that plan and knock the Cats down, and out.
Well, I admit that I was swooned by the 4-0 start to the point that I began to believe only the numbers and conveniently forgot all about the hazards of a very thin roster and the lack of a true big man for the interior. The numbers from those first 4 games were as intoxicating as any I had seen in a 4 game opening sequence for any UK team in recent memory. Alas, it was only that, intoxicating, and now I am left with the hang over, and yes Cat fans, the reality that the "high" seemed to wipe away for a short time has returned to smack this fan upon the head like a 2x12, or should I say a 4x17 [4 wins x a 17 point loss].
Now it is back to reality about the 2010-11 Cats and season. No more of that ugly intoxicant for this fan, at least for the remainder of this season. I am back on the wagon again, won't fall off again at least for another 11 months.
Next up: Boston University, the pre-season favorite to win the American East Conference. Last year, Boston University finished 21-14, losing in the third round of the NIT to Virginia Commonwealth by 13 points. Boston University ended the season with a Pomeroy rating of #110.
Boston University has already played seven games, winning four. They have defeated #169 George Washington by 9, #314 Marist by 21, #206 Nevada by 9, and #192 Cornell by 5. Their loses have been to #159 Northeastern by 2, #207 Hampton by 1, and to #9 Vilanova by 16. Boston University has played these games at an average pace of about 64possessions, averaging 63.7 ppg and allowing 60.1 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 0.994 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 0.947 ppp. Boston University's turnover rate has been 20.4% while they have forced turnovers at an 20.8% rate. On the Boards, Boston University's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 36.7% and 63.0% respectively.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first five opponents produced 69 possessions, and a score of 76.8 to 65.6 ppg for efficiencies of 1.172 ppp and 0.891 ppp on the offensive and defensive ends. UK's turnover rate is 16.8% but UK only forced turnovers at a 17.1% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 39.4% and 71.4% at the offensive and defensive ends. Kentucky's current Pomeroy SOS value is 0.8064 while Boston University's is only 0.4865.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 66 possessions with the Cats winning for the fifth time in six starts this season by 22 points, 77-55. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.167ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.833 ppp.
For the sixth game in a row, Coach Calipari will start Knight, Jones, Miller, Liggins, and Harrellson.
The Cats open with a turnover, and after Boston missed a 3 pointer, the Cats found Jones down low. However, a Miller foul on a three point attempt, followed by a runout basket off UK's second turnover gave Boston an early 5-2 lead, prompting a quick UK timeout with 18:30 to play. Jones' second basket trimmed the lead to 1 point, but UK's third turnover on their next possession. Doron Lamb entered the game for Liggins, and immediately hit a three pointer to put the Cats back into the lead, 7-5, and the teams traded baskets for the remainder of the segment, with the Cats leading by 2 points, 9-7 at the under 16 TV timeout. Boston will have the ball when play resumes.
Out of the timeout, Boston missed, and Knight converted two free throws to ease the Cats out to their biggest lead, 11-7. Following another Boston miss, Harrellson got the Cats' first offensive rebound of the game for a put back basket to push the lead to 6 points. The Cats trade baskets for the rest of the second segment to take the 6 point lead, 18-12 at the under 12 TV timeout. The segment ended with Miller picking up his second foul of the game, the first Cat to get early foul trouble tonight and go to the bench. When play resumes, Boston will have the ball. In the third segment, the Cats extended their lead to a game high 9 points, 21-12, but a 7-2 Boston run over the last 2 minutes of the segment trimmed the lead back to only 4 points, 23-19 at the under 8 TV timeout and Boston will be shooting a free throw to complete a 3 point play after the break.
In the fourth segment, the Cats stopped the Boston run and stretched their lead back to 7 points, 31-24, at the under 4 TV timeout. In the final segment of the half, the teams play on even terms as the Cats take a 7 point lead, 40-33 at the half.
UK scored its 40 points in a total of 36 possessions for the half, and BOSTON UNIVERSITY scored its 33 points on a total of 35 possessions. Kentuckyk won the battle of the boards 20-18, but Boston won the battle of the offensive glass 8-5. The Cats used their 5second chance possessions to score 5 second chance point while BOSTON UNIVERSITY used its 8second chance to score 3second chance points. BOSTON UNIVERSITY had an offensive efficiency of 0.857 ppp on its 35 first chance possessions and 0.375 ppp for its 8 second chance possessions. UK had .912 ppp on its 36 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 5 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a weak 33.3% of its misses as offensive rebounds while BOSTON UNIVERSITY was able to convert a slightly better 34.8% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 8 of its 12 free throws in the first half, making 8-12 [66.7%]. BOSTON UNIVERSITY also was effective from the line, making 10-11 [90.9%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 15-27 overall [55.6%] and 2-6 from long range [33.3%]. For BOSTON UNIVERSITY, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was weak 7-23 [30.4%] and from long range, Boston University hit 3-10 [30.0%].
The Cats committed 8 turnovers, one for every 4.5 possessions. The Cats forced 6 BOSTON UNIVERSITY turnovers, one for every 5.8 possessions.
Coach Calipari changed the lineup for the start of the second half tonight, sending Lamb to the floor in lieu of Miller, and the Cats score the first 7 points of the half to extend their lead to 14 points, 47-33, prompting a quick Boston timeout with 17:53 to play in the game. Miller returned to the game with 16:11 to play. Miller wasted no time getting into the offensive flow, draining a 3 pointer to extend the UK lead to 21 points, 57-36, at the under 16 TV timeout. As the teams went to their benches for the TV timeout, the officials assessed a technical foul on the Boston bench. Jones made 1 of the 2 prior to the resumption of play
In the second segment, the Cats continued to pull away from Boston, outscoring the Terriers 11-4 in the segment to extend the lead to 28 points, 68-40, at the under 12 TV timeout. Miller committed his 4 th foul with 10:26 to play, and returned to the bench after posting 8 points during his brief time on the court. In the third segment, the Cates added another 5 points to their ever growing lead, now 33 points, 78-45, at the under 8 TV timeout with 7:09 to play in the game. In the 4 th segment, the Cats add another 5 points to their lead, now at 38 points, 86-48 at the under 4 TV timeout. Coach Calipari inserted Polson and Poole into the game for the final 2 minutes, as the Cats wrapped up the win, 91-57.
UK scored its 91 points in a total of 68 possessions for the game, and BOSTON UNIVERSITY scored its 57 points on a total of 67 possessions.
Kentucky won the boards, with a rebounding edge 41-31, but Boston won the battle of the offensive glass 17-11. Kentucky won the second chance points battle 15-10. BOSTON UNIVERSITY had an offensive efficiency of 0.701 ppp on its 67 first chance possessions and 0.588 ppp for its 17 second chance possessions. UK had 1.118 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.364 ppp on its 11 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 44.0% of its misses as offensive rebounds while BOSTON UNIVERSITY was able to convert 36.2% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 17-24 [70.8%]. BOSTON UNIVERSITY made 13-17 [76.5%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 32-54 overall [59.3%] and 10-16 from long range [62.5%]. For BOSTON UNIVERSITY, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a weak 10-41 [24.4%] and from long range, BOSTON UNIVERSITY hit 8-22 [36.4%].
The Cats committed 13 turnovers, one for every 5.2 possessions. The Cats forced 14 BOSTON UNIVERSITY turnovers, one for every 4.8 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 22 point UK win, 77-55 at a pace of 66 possessions for UK and 66 possessions for Boston University. The final score was 91 (77) to 57 (55) at a pace of 68 possessions for the Cats and 67 possessions for BOSTON UNIVERSITY. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.338ppp (B-) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.851 ppp (C).
Next Game On Schedule: December 4 agaiinst North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks