BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2010-11 Season Analytical Writings
The Cats did not open the 2011 SEC season in a manner characteristic of a champion to be, shooting poorly from the field and the line. Despite the poor shooting from the field, the Cats scored 5 more field goals including 3 more three pointers than GEORGIA. The Cats committed 5 fewer turnovers than the Dawgs, and grabbed 7 more offensive rebounds than did GEORGIA, producing a 6 point advantage for the Cats with second chance scoring. Nevertheless, the Cats dropped this road game by 7 points because GEORGIA got to the line 34 times compared to only 16 for the Cats, AND the Dawgs made an astounding 30 of their 34 attempts. Yes, GEORGIA made 30-34 from the line even though GEORGIA has been a team that has struggled from the free throw line, barely exceeding 60% prior to this game. Yes, the officials awarded GEORGIA 34 attempts in this game even though this GEORGIA team only averaged 20 attempts per game on the season.
Welcome to the SEC on the road, at least the SEC road for the UK Wildcats in the SEC. A road that finds every opponent playing its most important game of the season. A road that finds every opponent giving its very best possible effort. This is the reality of the SEC road for Kentucky basketball teams, not just this season but every season. This is the road that smacked this young UK basketball team up the side of their collective heads last Saturday in Athens, GEORGIA. This is the reality of life on the SEC road that this young group of Cats must embrace and overcome if they are to earn their claim to the SEC regular season title for the program's 45 th time.
Last season's team felt the sting of SEC road losses twice, at South Carolina and at Tennessee. This team has felt that sting in its first SEC trip, with 7 more trials by fire yet to come. Coach Calipari has said all the right words about super bowls and these realities of life on the SEC road. Perhaps now this young team will understand the meaning and correctness of Coach's words. The Cats return to the friendly confines of Rupp Arena for the next 2 SEC games to regroup and heal. Then it is back on the road 5 of the following 7 games that will eventually determine whether this team is worthy of the SEC Championship. That is coming; now the issue is healing against Auburn, and then LSU.
AUBURN has played fifteen games posting a record of 7-8; 0-1. Their most impressive win has been by 5 over #53 Florida State. AUBURN's losses have been to #92 Rutgers by 9 on a neutral court, by 12 at #110 South Florida, and to #130 LSU by 7 in their SEC opener on Saturday.
AUBURN has played these games at an average pace of about 67 possessions, averaging 64.6 ppg and allowing 63.9 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 0.957 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 0.951 ppp. AUBURN's turnover rate has been 21.3% while they have forced turnovers at a 24.2% rate. On the Boards, AUBURN's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 34.3% and 68.4% respectively.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first six opponents produced 69 possessions, and a score of 80.0 to 63.7 ppg for efficiencies of 1.151 ppp and 0.914 ppp on the offensive and defensive ends. UK's turnover rate is 15.8% but UK only forced turnovers at a 17.9% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 36.6% and 72.7% at the offensive and defensive ends.
Kentucky's current Pomeroy SOS value is 0.7240 while AUBURN's is 0.3268.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 68 possessions for the Cats and 69 possessions for the Tigers, with the Cats winning for the thirteenth time in sixteen starts this season by 32 points, 84-52. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.235 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.754 ppp.
After 15 games with the same starting lineup, Coach Calipari decides to move Doron Lamb into the starting lineup, and bring Terrence Jones first off the bench following the loss at Georgia on Saturday. Against Auburn, Coach Calipari starts Knight, Lamb, Miller, Liggins, and Harrellson. There is little doubt that Jones will be the first player off the bench, followed by Vargas. After those top seven 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.
Vargas is the first player off the bench tonight for the Cats at 17:30. The Cats use 5-6 shooting, including 3-4 from outside the arc to sprint out to a double digit lead, 13-2, in the opening segment of the game at the under 16 TV timeout. Terrence Jones entered the game with 15:09 to play in the first half. In the second segment, the teams started slowly, trading a basket, but then the Cats exploded with the final 8 points of the segment to expand the early lead to 18 points, 23-5 at the under 12 TV timeout with 11:19 to play in the first half. When play resumes, Terrence Jones will be shooting a free throw to attempt to complete a three point play, extend the run to 9 points, and rack up his 5 th point since entering the game about 4 minutes earlier.
Jones converted, the Cats only managed to score one other basket in the third segment while Auburn scored twice to trim the lead to 17 points, 26-9 at the under 8 TV timeout. Through the first 12 minutes, the teams are playing at a pace of 68 to 70 possessions for the game. The Cats have made over 52% of their shots while Auburn has only made 4 of their 22 shots for about 18% shooting. However, the Cats have only made 1 of 5 free throws. In the 4 th segment, the Cats get the ball inside for back to back lay ups by Harrellson and a 30-9 lead, prompting another Auburn timeout with 6:35 to play in the first half. The Cats finished the segment with only a Lamb three pointer to show for their efforts and a 33-11 lead at the under 4 TV timeout with 3:40 to play.
In the final segment, Auburn's shooting heated up considerably, with them scoring 10 of the 21 points in the last 3:40 of the first half, including their only 2 three pointers of the half to trim the lead to 17 points, 38-21, but a buzzer beating three pointer by Jones gave the Cats a 20 point halftime lead, 41-21.
UK scored its 41 points with 35 possessions for the half, and AUBURN scored its 21 points on 35 possessions. Kentucky won the rebounding battle, 23-19, but AUBURN won the offensive glass 7-6. Auburn used their offensive rebounding advantage to generate a 2 point advantage with the second chance points, 7-5. AUBURN had an offensive efficiency of 0.400 ppp on its 35 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 7 second chances. Kentucky had an efficiency of 1.029 ppp on its 35 first chance possessions and 0.833 ppp on its 6 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 33.3% of its misses as offensive rebounds while AUBURN was able to convert 29.2% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 6 of its 11 free throws in the first half [54.5%]. AUBURN hit 1-2 [50.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 14-29 overall [48.3%] and 7-15 from long range [46.7%]. For AUBURN, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 7-26 [26.9%] and from long range, AUBURN hit 2-7 [28.6%].
The Cats committed 7 turnovers, one for every 5.0 possessions. The Cats forced 8 AUBURN turnovers, one for every 4.4 possessions.
The Cats hit 3 of their first 5 shots of the second half to score 7 points in the opening segment, but Auburn matched with 3 for 7 shooting and 6 points of their own to hang at a 21 point lead, 48-27 at the under 16 TV timeout. In the second segment, Auburn trimmed the lead to 18 points, but the Cats struck back with 6 straight to go out by 24 points. Auburn scored a basket to stop the Cat run and trim the lead back to 22 points, 56-34 at the under 12 TV timeout, and Auburn will be shooting free throws when play resumes. In the third segment, the teams essentially traded points, as Auburn used a 7-0 run of their own to trim the lead to only 17 points, 61-44, but the Cats eased back out to 19 points, 66-47 at the under 8 TV timeout with 6:36 to play, and the Cats in possession of the ball.
The Cats stretch their lead to a game high 25 points at 69-44 primarily on the scoring of Terrence Jones as he sets a new freshman single game scoring record, surpassing Lamb's 32 points from earlier this season, and the Cats lead by 23 points, 74-51 at the under 4 TV timeout with 3:01 to play. Jones leaves the game with 2:15 to play having scoring 35 points. The Cats win 78-54.
UK scored its 78 points on 68 possessions for the game, and AUBURN scored its 54 points on 68 possessions.
Kentucky won the boards, with a rebounding edge 39-38, and Auburn won the battle of the offensive glass 15-14. Auburn won the second chance points battle 17-9. AUBURN had an offensive efficiency of 0.544 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.133 ppp for its 15 second chance possessions. UK had 1.015 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 0.750 ppp on its 9 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 34.3% of its misses as offensive rebounds while AUBURN was able to convert 35.7% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 9-17 [52.9%]. AUBURN made 9-15 [60.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 29-58 overall [50.0%] and 11-26 from long range [42.6%]. For AUBURN, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 18-50[36.0%] and from long range, AUBURN hit 3-11 [27.3%].
The Cats committed 14 turnovers, one for every 4.9 possessions. The Cats forced 15 AUBURN turnovers, one for every 4.5 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 32 point UK win, 84-52 at a pace of 68 possessions for UK and 69 possessions for AUBURN. The final score was 78 (84) to 54 (52) at a pace of 68 possessions for the Cats and 68 possessions for AUBURN. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.147 (D+) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.794 ppp (D+).
Next Game On Schedule: The Cats will stay at Rupp Arena to play LSU on Saturday, January 15.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks