BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2010-11 Season Analytical Writings
The Cats are more than ½ way through their difficult non-conference schedule, and six of the first 8 games occurred at venues not called “Rupp Arena.” On Saturday, the Cats will host Indiana University (IU) in the second “program game” of the season. More importantly, Saturday's home game will be the first home game in this season's only long homestand, in which the Cats will play next 4 games at Rupp, and five of their last 6 non-conference games at Rupp.
On Wednesday night, the Cats found themselves down by 11 points, 38-27, to a tough, undefeated Notre Dame team with about 5 minutes to play in the first half. For the first time this year, these Cats responded to the challenge with a defensive display that I believe Coach Calipari has been looking to see all season long. Over the last 25 minutes of the game, the Cats limited Notre Dame to only 20 points, on a total of 38 possessions, for a defensive efficiency of 0.526 points per possession for 62% of the game. In contrast, the UK defense allowed those initial 38 points on just 27 possessions, which is equivalent to NO DEFENSE at all.
INDIANA has played eight games while losing only once, at #39 Boston College by 12. Indiana's most impressive win in this early season was by 23 points over #131 Wright State in Bloomington. The only other IU opponent of interest to the Cats is #318 Mississippi Valley State, a common opponent, who IU beat by 17 also in Bloomington.
INDIANA has played these games at an average pace of about 70 possessions, averaging 77.5 ppg and allowing 59.9 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 1.104 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 0.859 ppp. INDIANA's turnover rate has been 23.9% while they have forced turnovers at a 24.8% rate. On the Boards, INDIANA's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 39.0% and 70.9% respectively.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first six opponents produced 69 possessions, and a score of 77.5 to 64.8 ppg for efficiencies of 1.123 ppp and 0.927 ppp on the offensive and defensive ends. UK's turnover rate is 16.5% but UK only forced turnovers at a 17.0% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 36.3% and 71.2% at the offensive and defensive ends.
Kentucky's current Pomeroy SOS value is 0.8238 while INDIANA's is 0.3342.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 69 to 70 possessions with the Cats winning for the seventh time in nine starts this season by 17 points, 78-61. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.130 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.871 ppp.
For the eighth game in a row, Coach Calipari will start Knight, Jones, Miller, Liggins, and Harrellson. There is little doubt that Lamb will be the first player off the bench, followed by Vargas. After those top 7 players, Coach Calipari has said that Poole has moved up on the depth chart and will be getting Hood's minutes as the season moves forward.
The Cats open with cool shooting, 2-7, but IU does little better hitting only 3 of their first 7 shots, but the Cats used 3 offensive rebounds and 4 IU early fouls to ease out to an early 3 point lead, 9-6 at the under 16 TV timeout. The Cats fail to score on their next 8 possessions and IU scores 7 in a row to move on top 13-9, prompting a UK timeout with 12:26 to play in the first half. Each team commits a turnover out of the time out, and IU continues to lead by 4 points, 13-9 at the under 12 TV timeout. Out of the timeout, Liggins get a second chance basket, Harrellson got a short jump hook in the lane, and Miller made the Cats' first 3 pointer of the game to regain the lead, 16-13 prompting an IU timeout with 10:26 to play in the half.
In the third segment, Miller committed two fouls, requiring him to go to the bench for the final 8:31. A three pointer by Lamb lifts the Cats to their biggest lead of the game, 5 points, 21-16, at the under 8 TV timeout and IU will have the ball when play resumes. In the first 12 minutes, the pace is at a 70 to 72 possession level. The Cats continue to shoot the ball poorly, but their 8 offensive rebounds and 6 second chance points provide the difference in the score. IU has committed 7 turnovers to only 3 for the Cats. Out of the timeout, Jones committed his second foul of the game, and will have to go to the bench for the last 6:45, as Coach Calipari puts Miller back into the game with 2 fouls. As soon as play resumes, Knight commits his second foul, sending him to the bench as Poole enters the game.
After a pair of Harrellson dunks, to stretch the lead to 7 points, a turnover produced an IU run out basket to trim the lead to 5, 28-23, at the under 4 TV timeout. The Cats continue to shoot the ball poorly, hitting 2 of their last 6 attempts, and IU cuts the UK lead to a single point, 32-31 at the half.
UK scored its 32 points in a total of 34 possessions for the half, and INDIANA scored its 31 points on a total of 34 possessions. The Cats won the rebounding battle, 23-19, and the Cats won the offensive glass 11-3. Kentucky used their offensive rebounding advantage to generate a 7 point advantage with the second chance points, 9-2. INDIANA had an offensive efficiency of 0.853 ppp on its 34 first chance possessions and 0.667 ppp for its 3 second chance possessions. UK had 0.677 ppp on its 34 first chance possessions and 0.810 ppp on its 9 second chance possession. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 40.7% of its misses as offensive rebounds while INDIANA was able to convert an only 20.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 8 of its 13 free throws in the first half [61.5%]. INDIANA also was less effective from the line, making 2-4 [50.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 11-35 overall [31.4%] and 2-7 from long range [28.6%]. For INDIANA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was strong, 13-21 [61.9%] and from long range, INDIANA University hit 1-7 [14.3%].
The Cats committed 4 turnovers, one for every 8.5 possessions. The Cats forced 7 INDIANA turnovers, one for every 4.9 possessions.
Terrence Jones commits his 3 rd foul only 9 seconds into the second half, and he retreats quickly to the bench. The 2 free throws puts IU back into the lead. After the Cats miss their first shot of the second half, IU gets a second chance basket to ease out to a 3 point lead, 35-32, prompting Coach Calipari to call a timeout with 18:58 to play in the game. With 17:45 to play, Knight omitted his 3 rd foul. The Cats fight back to their 1 point lead, 38-37, at the under 16 TV timeout and IU in possession of the ball.
After a Lamb 3 pointer put the Cats up by a pair, 42-41, Miller committed his 3 rd foul on an IU basket to propel IU back into the lead with 13:57 to play in the game. With the Cats up 3, Lamb commits his 3 rd foul with 12:09 to play. IU hit a 3 pointer, their 3 rd of the game, to tie the score 50-50 at the under 12 TV timeout. Knight will be shooting free throws when play resumes.
After the Cats ease out to a 4 point advantage, Miller commits his 4 th foul, and the shots trim the lead back to 2 points, 56-54 with 10:35 to play in the game. The Cats regained the lead, 59-57 on a 3 pointer by Liggins and following an IU miss, Knight was fouled bringing the ball across midcourt at the under 8 TV timeout with 7:35 to play in the game. Knight will be shooting a pair of free throws when play resumes. Knight converted on both, and a 3 point play by Liggins pushed the lead to the Cats' largest, 7 points, 64-57 with 6:01 to play. A pair of free throws by Jones gives the Cats their biggest lead. Then a 3 pointer by Liggins stretched the lead to 11 points, 71-60, with 2:52 to play in the game.
Then after another IU miss, Lamb makes a runner in the lane, and is fouled to give the Cats a 13 point lead, 73-60, at the under 4 TV timeout with 2:09 to play in the game. Lamb will have one free throw to complete the 3 point play after this time out. The teams play out the final 2 minutes, and the Cats win 81-62.
UK scored its 81 points in a total of 70 possessions for the game, and INDIANA scored its 62 points on a total of 68 possessions.
Kentucky won the boards, with a rebounding edge 44-35, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 18-7. Kentucky won the second chance points battle 21-4. INDIANA had an offensive efficiency of 0.853 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 0.571 ppp for its 7 second chance possessions. UK had 0.857 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 1.167 ppp on its 18 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 39.1% of its misses as offensive rebounds while INDIANA was able to convert 21.1% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 31-44 [70.5%]. INDIANA made 12-16 [75.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 22-62 overall [35.5%] and 6-18 from long range [33.3%]. For INDIANA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 19-38[50.0%] and from long range, INDIANA hit 4-15 [26.7%].
The Cats committed 6 turnovers, one for every 11.7 possessions. The Cats forced 14 INDIANA turnovers, one for every 4.9 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 16 point UK win, 78-62 at a pace of 70 possessions for UK and 69 possessions for INDIANA. The final score was 81 (78) to 62 (62) at a pace of 70 possessions for the Cats and 68 possessions for INDIANA. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.157 (B-) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.912 ppp (D+).
Next Game On Schedule: Next Saturday, December 18 against #318 Mississippi Valley State at Rupp Arena.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks