BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2010-11 Season Analytical Writings
The Beat Goes On. The Cats began to move through their most critical 7 games of this season on Tuesday, and limped home a loser from Alabama, but there is no rest for the weary and the Cats go straight back on the road Saturday, this time to face a very dangerous South Carolina team. Last year, the Cats carried an undefeated record into Columbia, South Carolina, and came home scarred by the feisty Gamecocks. While that team regrouped from its first loss, a loss on this trip to Columbia could signal the beginning of the end for this particular team.
Kentucky has lost 3 of 4 road games this season, including their only 2 SEC road games this season to Georgia and Alabama. However, South Carolina is perhaps even more dangerous than either of the last two SEC road opponents. South Carolina has played seventeen games posting a record of 12-5; 3-1. Their most impressive wins have been by 8 over #22 Vanderbilt in over time, by 3 at #44 Florida, and by 4 over #43 Clemson. SOUTH CAROLINA has not shied away from quality opposition, losing to #1 Ohio State by 22, and #25 Michigan State by 9. SOUTH CAROLINA'S most embarrassing loss has been by 16 at #116 Furman.
SOUTH CAROLINA has played these games at an average pace of about 72 possessions, averaging 72.4 ppg and allowing 67.8 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 1.003 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 0.942 ppp. SOUTH CAROLINA's turnover rate has been 20.4% while they have forced turnovers at a 21.2% rate. On the Boards, SOUTH CAROLINA's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 36.8% and 67.1% respectively.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first six opponents produced 69 possessions, and a score of 79.2 to 62.3 ppg for efficiencies of 1.144 ppp and 0.899 ppp on the offensive and defensive ends. UK's turnover rate is 15.9% but UK only forced turnovers at a 18.9% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 37.2% and 70.3% at the offensive and defensive ends.
Kentucky's current Pomeroy SOS value is 0.6836 while SOUTH CAROLINA's is 0.5979.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 71 possessions for the Cats and 71 possessions for the Crimson Tide, with the Cats winning for the fifteenth time in nineteen starts this season by 9 points, 75-66. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.056 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.930 ppp.
For the first 15 games, the same starting lineup posted a 12-3 record, but the loss to Georgia was enough for Coach Calipari to make a change, sitting Jones and moving Lamb into a starting role. Since he made that change, his Cats are 2-1, beating very weak Auburn and LSU at Rupp but losing again on the SEC road, this time at Alabama. Coach Calipari returns to his original starting lineup for the South Carolina game. Against SOUTH CAROLINA, Coach Calipari starts 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 seven players, Coach Calipari has said this week that he may give preferred walk-on Jarrod Polson some meaningful minutes in this game at South Carolina, presumably ahead of Hood and Poole.
The Cats lose the opening tip, but take the early lead with a pair of free throws by Knight and a Knight layup. However, back to back 3 pointers by USC tied the score at 6-6. The Cats ease out to a 2 point lead, 10-8, at the under 16 TV timeout and USC in possession of the ball. In the second segment, the Cats make 2 of their 4 shots from the field, an 3 of their 4 free throws to move up by 6 points, 18-12, prompting a USC timeout with 12:34 to play in the first half. After the timeout, USC turned it over twice and the Cats once to the under 12 TV timeout.
Polson entered the game for Knight with 9:44 to go in the half. Harrellson picked up his second foul, and Lamb returned to the floor carrying 2 fouls already. Over the balance of the 3 rd segment, the Cat expanded their lead to a game high 11 points, 26-15 before a late basket by USC trimmed the lead back to 9 points, 26-17 at the under 8 TV timeout with 6:52 to play. With 5:46 to play, Liggins became the 3 rd wildcat to pick up 2 fouls in the first half. In the 4 th segment, USC trimmed the 11 point lead to 6 points, 26-20, but the Cats moved back out by 8 points, with the ball at the under 4 TV timeout, 30-22.
In the final segment, the Cats outscore USC 6-4, on a buzzer beater by Miller, to take a 10 point lead, 36-26 to the locker room at the half.
UK scored its 36 points with 33 possessions for the half, and SOUTH CAROLINA scored its 26 points on 33 possessions. UK won the rebounding battle, 16-14, but SOUTH CAROLINA won the offensive glass 7-6. UK used their offensive rebounding advantage to generate a 4 point advantage with the second chance points, 11-7. SOUTH CAROLINA had an offensive efficiency of 0789 ppp on its 33 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 7 second chances. Kentucky had an efficiency of 0.758 ppp on its 33 first chance possessions and 1.833 ppp on its 6 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 46.2% of its misses as offensive rebounds while SOUTH CAROLINA was able to convert 41.2% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 10 of its 12 free throws in the first half [85.7%]. SOUTH CAROLINA hit 8-10 [80.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 11-22 overall [50.0%] and 2-6 from long range [33.3%]. For SOUTH CAROLINA , their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 6-17 [35.3%] and from long range, SOUTH CAROLINA hit 2-8 [25.0%].
The Cats committed 10 turnovers, one for every 3.3 possessions. The Cats forced 10 USC turnovers, one for every 3.3 possessions.
The Cats open the second half with cold shooting, missing their first 6 shots, and USC trimmed the lead to 8 points, but the Cats then outscored USC 9-2 to extend the lead out to 15 points, 45-30, prompting a USC timeout with 14:19 to play in the game. At the stoppage of play, the officials assessed the USC bench with a Technical Foul, so the Cats will be shooting free throws when play resumes. After th e timeout, Knight made both technical free throws, and the Cats lead extends to 17 points, 47-30 at the under 16 TV timeout with 14:09 to play in the game. In the abbreviated second segment, USC trims 3 points off the lead to 14 points, 49-35, but 4 quick points at the end of the segment pushed the lead to the biggest of the game, 18 points, 53-35, at the under 12 TV timeout with 11:08 to play. However, that 18 point lead was short lived as USC scored the next 4 points to trim the lead to 14 points, 53-39 with 8:55 to play, prompting a UK timeout.
Out of the timeout, USC trimmed another pair of points from the lead, making it 12 points, 53-41, at the under 8 TV timeout. After the Cats continued to maintain their substantial double digit lead, USC scored 11 straight points to trim the lead into single digits. The Cats hold on to win by 9 points, 67-58.
UK scored its 67 points on 68 possessions for the game, and SOUTH CAROLINA scored its 58 points on 67 possessions.
SOUTH CAROLINA won the boards, with a rebounding edge 37-34, and SOUTH CAROLINA won the offensive glass 16-8. SOUTH CAROLINA won the second chance points battle 18-13. SOUTH CAROLINA had an offensive efficiency of 0.597 ppp on its 67 first chance possessions and 1.125 ppp for its 16 second chance possessions. UK had 0.794 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.625 ppp on its 8 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 27.6% of its misses as offensive rebounds while SOUTH CAROLINA was able to convert 38.1% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit very well from the free throw line in this game, making 24-29 [82.8%]. SOUTH CAROLINA made 17-26 [65.4%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 20-47 overall [42.6%] and 3-13 from long range [23.1%]. For SOUTH CAROLINA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-39[41.0%] and from long range, SOUTH CAROLINA hit 3-18 [16.7%].
The Cats committed 14 turnovers, one for every 4.9 possessions. The Cats forced 13 SOUTH CAROLINA turnovers, one for every 5.2 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 9 point UK win, 75-66 at a pace of 71 possessions for UK and 71 possessions for SOUTH CAROLINA. The final score was 67 (75) to 58 (66) at a pace of 68 possessions for the Cats and 67 possessions for SOUTH CAROLINA. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 0.985(D+) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.866 ppp (B-).
Next Game On Schedule: The Cats will Return to Rupp Arena on Saturday, January 29 for their rematch against Georgia.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks