BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2011-12 Season Analytical Writings
On Wednesday night, the Cats dispatched a good D3 Transylvania University team 97-53 in an effort that met and exceeded expectations on many levels even though one of the star freshmen, Anthony Davis played a relatively weak game, only scoring 6 points in 29 minutes of action, and another one of Darius Miller's great disappearing acts, with 10 points and 5 rebounds in 27 minutes.
Tonight, the Cats finish their exhibition season against NCAA D2 Atlanta's Morehouse College. Morehouse College is a member of SIAC, along with Kentucky State. Last year, Morehouse finished their season 14-14, averaging about 74 possessions per game with a Net Game Efficiency of -0.012 points per possession. On Friday night, Morehouse fell to Georgia in an exhibition game in Athens, 74-50. Georgia established an early lead, led by 22 points at the half, and built it's widest margin of the game to 34 points in the second half before coasting to the final 24 point margin. Georgia and Morehouse played their game at a pace of about 70 possessions.
As noted prior to the Pikeville exhibition, it is difficult to predict how exhibition games will be played. However, contrary to the trends of recent years, Wednesday game against Transy was a very slow pace, with only 71 possessions for the Cats while in recent years, these exhibition games have been played at a pace of 80 to over 90 possessions. Despite the slower pace, the Cats still manage to put 97 points on the board with their offensive efficiency of nearly 1.4 points per possession. The defense limited Transy to only 53 points on 70 possessions.
Despite the slow pace on Wednesday, I expect this exhibition game will be played at the more typical fast pace of about 90 possessions, and scoring will be correspondingly higher than what we will see against D1 opposition over the course of the season. I predict that UK will defeat Morehouse College 98-55 at a pace of about 91 possessions for the game.
Calipari starts Senior Miller, Sophomore Jones, and Freshmen Teague, Davis, and Kidd-Gilchrist. Following the first game last Wednesday, Coach Calipari said that Kidd-Gilchrist must be starting, and Doron Lamb is the player that has given way to open that spot.
The Cats open red hot, hitting their first 8 shots from the floor and 4 of their first 6 free throws to race out to an early 20-4 lead during the opening segment. In contrast to UK's near perfect shooting, Morehouse has made 2 of their 8 attempts, and has turned the ball over 4 times in the opening 4 minutes. In the second segment, the Cats continued their dominance, outscoring Morehouse 17-2 in the segment to extend their lead to 37-6 at the under 12 TV timeout. Doron Lamb will be shooting a pair of free throws when play resumes.
The early pace is about 85 possessions, considerably faster than the 71 possession pace of the Transy game last week. The Cats have scored their 37 points on only 17 possessions for an offensive outburst of 2.18 points per possession while limited Morehouse to only 0.35 points per possession. In the 3 rd segment, the Cats slowed down their onslaught, and “only” outscored Morehouse 10-0, to extend the lead to 41 points, 47-6, at the under 8 TV timeout. The 4 th segment opens with the Cats hitting their next 3 shots and Morehouse missing their 3 shots, prompting a Morehouse timeout with 6:27 to play and the score 54-6. The timeout did not stop the run, and the Cats extended their lead to a whopping 55 points, 63-8 at the under 4 TV timeout. Morehouse will be shooting the bonus from the free throw line when play resumes.
The teams play out the final segment with the Cats continuing to expand their lead, taking it to 61 points, 74-13, at the half.
UK scored its 74 points in a total of 42 possessions for the half, and MOREHOUSE scored its 13 points on a total of 41 possessions. Kentucky dominated the boards, with a rebounding edge 25-15, but MOREHOUSE won the battle of the offensive glass 10-8. The Cats used their second chance possessions to score 8 second chance point while MOREHOUSE used its 10 second chances to score 0 second chance points. MOREHOUSE had an offensive efficiency of 0.317 ppp on its 41 first chance possessions and 0.000 ppp for its 10 second chance possessions. UK had 1.571 ppp on its 42 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 8 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a powerful 61.5% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MOREHOUSE was able to convert 37.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this half, making 13-20 [65.0%]. MOREHOUSE made 3-6 [50.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 27-36 overall [75.0%] and 7-13 from long range [53.8%]. For MOREHOUSE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a poor 5-22 [22.7%] and from long range, CU hit 0-8 [0.0%].
Turnovers were in great supply in this first half. The Cats committed 6 turnovers, one for every 7.0 possessions. The Cats forced only 18 MOREHOUSE turnovers, one for every 2.3 possessions.
Kentucky continues its outstanding shooting in the second half, extends the lead to 88-21 at the under 16 TV timeout. In an extended second segment, the Cats score 14 more points to take a 102-28 lead at the under 12 TV timeout with 10:45 to play. In the third segment, the Cats extended their lead yet again, to 115-32 at the under 8 TV timeout with 6:30 to play. Coach Calipari empties his bench during this break, and the teams play out the final 6:30 with the Cats finishing with a 125-40 win over MOREHOUSE.
UK scored its 125 points in a total of 78 possessions (1.603 ppp) for the game, and MOREHOUSE scored its 40 points on a total of 78 possessions (0.513 ppp).
Kentucky dominated the boards, with a rebounding edge 47-31, but MOREHOUSE won the battle of the offensive glass 21-13. Kentucky won the second chance points battle 13-9. MOREHOUSE had an offensive efficiency of 0.397 ppp on its 78 first chance possessions and 0.429 ppp for its 21 second chance possessions. UK had 1.436 ppp on its 78 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 13 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 56.5% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MOREHOUSE was able to convert 38.2% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit below average from the free throw line in this game, making 18-28 [64.3%]. MOREHOUSE made 8-14 [57.1%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 48-67 overall [72.7%] and 11-21 from long range [52.4%]. For MOREHOUSE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a poor 13-45 [28.9%] and from long range, MOREHOUSE hit 2-21 [9.5%].
Turnovers were in great supply in this game. The Cats committed 13 turnovers, one for every 6.0 possessions. The Cats forced 26 MOREHOUSE turnovers, one for every 3.0 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: Friday night, again at Rupp Arena, the Cats will open the 2011-12 season against Marist.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks