BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2010-11 Season Analytical Writings
When Coach Calipari took his young team to Louisville's new chicken coop, he was already warning his team, and the BBN that win or lose that particular game, the Cats should not look back but forward because in a week they had to travel to Georgia to begin the 2011 SEC season. Well, the Cats handled Louisville with ease, and when they showed up in Athens, Georgia a week later, Georgia was not impressed, to say the least. The Cats limped out of Athens 0-1 in the SEC for the first time since 2006 when UK opened 0-2 with back to back SEC home losses for the first time in my memory.
What is it they say, “Paybacks are hell”?
It is payback time in the Bluegrass!!!!!
This rematch with Georgia also comes as the third game in a critical seven game sequence that has already seen the Cats drop one on the road to Alabama, and the importance of protecting the home court should be a second resounding theme for the Cats as they prepare to confront Georgia.
Georgia has played nineteen games posting a record of 14-5; 3-3. Since the SEC opening win over the Cats, Georgia has dropped 3 of the last 5 games, losing at Vandy by 7 and at home to Tennessee and Florida by 2 and 13 in double OT. Georgia did pick up a treasured SEC road win over Ole Miss by a commanding 22 points, and whipped up on a floundering Mississippi State team in Athens by 22 points.
GEORGIA has played these games at an average pace of about 68 possessions, averaging 72.4 ppg and allowing 65.7 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 1.060 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 0.959 ppp. GEORGIA's turnover rate has been 19.8% while they have forced turnovers at a 20.1% rate. On the Boards, GEORGIA's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 37.9% and 67.2% respectively.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first six opponents produced 69 possessions, and a score of 78.6 to 62.1 ppg for efficiencies of 1.136 ppp and 0.898 ppp on the offensive and defensive ends. UK's turnover rate is 16.1% but UK only forced turnovers at a 19.0% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 36.8% and 69.8% at the offensive and defensive ends.
Kentucky's current Pomeroy SOS value is 0.6667 while GEORGIA's is 0.5981.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 69 possessions for the Cats and 69 possessions for the Dawgs, with the Cats winning for the sixteenth time in twenty starts this season by 19 points, 79-60. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.145 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.870 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 returned to his original starting lineup for the South Carolina game and continues with that original lineup in this Georgia rematch.. Against GEORGIA, 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 Georgia, presumably ahead of Hood and Poole.
The Cats win the opening tip, and Miller hits a 3 pointer to put the Cats on top immediately. After a Georgia basket trimmed the lead to a single point, the Cats ran off 6 straight for a 9-2 lead, prompting a Georgia timeout with 17:02 to play in the first half. After the timeout, the teams trade baskets and Kentucky maintains its 7 point lead, 11-4, at the under 16 TV timeout. In the opening segment, the Cats used 5-6 shooting to build this early lead, while Georgia made 2-4 shots and committed 3 turnovers. The early pace is in the mid 60's to 70 range.
In the second segment, the teams traded baskets as the lead ranged from 5 to 10 points, and stands at 8 points, 19-11, at the under 12 TV timeout with the Cats in possession of the ball. With the Cats up by 10, Jones picked up his second foul with 10:34 to go in the first half. In the third segment, the Cats extended their lead to 12 points, 24-12, and the lead stood at 10 points, 24-14 at the under 8 TV timeout with Miller due to shoot a pair of free throws with play resumes. The pace of play has slowed to the low 60s range. In the fourth segment, the Cats continue to build their lead, now at 14 points, 32-18, at the under 4 TV timeout and Miller will be shooting a pair of free throws again when play resumes.
Through the opening 16 minutes, the Cats are shooting 56% while holding the Dawgs to 37%. The only area of play needing improvement for the Cats at this point is free throw shooting, 1-4, while Georgia has made 4-5 from the line. Miller makes both, but on Georgia's next possession, Harrellson committed his second foul and must go to the bench for Vargas for the last 3:30 of the first half. The Cats lead by 15 at the half, 39-24.
UK scored its 39points with 31 possessions for the half, and GEORGIA scored its 24 points on 31 possessions. UK won the rebounding battle, 15-14, and Kentucky won the offensive glass 4-3. UK used their offensive rebounding advantage to generate a 3 point advantage with the second chance points, 5-2. GEORGIA had an offensive efficiency of 0710 ppp on its 31 first chance possessions and 0.667 ppp on its 3 second chances. Kentucky had an efficiency of 1.097 ppp on its 31 first chance possessions and 1.250 ppp on its 4 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 26.7% of its misses as offensive rebounds while GEORGIA was able to convert 21.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 3 of its 6 free throws in the first half [50.0%]. GEORGIA hit 8-9 [88.9%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 15-29 overall [51.7%] and 6-12 from long range [50.0%]. For GEORGIA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 8-18 [44.4%] and from long range, GEORGIA hit 0-4 [0.0%].
The Cats committed 3 turnovers, one for every 10.3 possessions. The Cats forced 8 UGA turnovers, one for every 3.9 possessions.
The Cats open the second half with chilly shooting, and Georgia hits 5 of their first 8 shots to trim the Cats' 15 point halftime lead to only 12 points, 48-36, at the under 16 TV timeout with 14:43 to play in the game. Georgia will have the ball when play resumes. Each team scored a pair of points in the abbreviated second segment, and the Cats lead by 12 points, 50-38 at the under 12 TV timeout with Harrellson scheduled to shoot a pair of free throws when play resumes. In the third segment, Georgia trimmed the lead back to single digits for the first time since the score was 25-16 with 7 minutes to play in the first half, and UK leads by 8 points, 53-45 at the under 8 TV timeout with 7:05 to play in the game.
In the fourth segment, the Cats stopped the Dawg charge, and rebuilt a double digit lead, at 11 points, 59-48, at the under 4 TV timeout with Knight scheduled to shoot the bonus at the line when play resumes. Out of the timeout, Knight missed the front end, and Georgia scored 5 straight to cut the lead to 6 points, 59-53, with 2:03 to play in the game. With 1:13 to play, Harrellson goes to the line for the bonus, and he also missed. After another Georgia miss, Miller is fouled and will shoot the bonus from the line with 1:03 to play. He makes both, and after another Georgia basket, Liggins gets 2 free throws. The Cats hang on to win by 6 points, 66-60.
UK scored its 66 points on 68 possessions for the game, and GEORGIA scored its 60 points on 68 possessions.
GEORGIA won the boards, with a rebounding edge 41-32, and GEORGIA won the offensive glass 12-5. GEORGIA won the second chance points battle 9-7. GEORGIA had an offensive efficiency of 0.750 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 0.750 ppp for its 12 second chance possessions. UK had 0.868 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.400 ppp on its 5 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed only 14.7% of its misses as offensive rebounds while GEORGIA was able to convert 30.8% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit very poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 16-25 [64.0%]. GEORGIA made 14-21 [66.7%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 22-51 overall [43.1%] and 6-17 from long range [35.3%]. For GEORGIA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 17-39[43.6%] and from long range, GEORGIA hit 4-18 [22.2%].
The Cats committed 9 turnovers, one for every 7.6 possessions. The Cats forced 13 GEORGIA turnovers, one for every 5.2 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 19 point UK win, 79-60 at a pace of 69 possessions for UK and 69 possessions for GEORGIA. The final score was 66 (79) to 60 (60) at a pace of 68 possessions for the Cats and 68 possessions for GEORGIA. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 0.971(E) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.882 ppp (C).
Next Game On Schedule: The Cats will Travel to Mississippi on Tuesday, February 1.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks