BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2011-12 Season Analytical Writings
On Tuesday night, Kentucky prevailed in a battle of programs at Madison Square Garden as it used 65% plus second half shooting and tight defense to transform a 28-28 halftime tie into a 17 point lead,54-37, with 10:13 to play. That 26-9 run demonstrated the superior talent and explosiveness that this Kentucky team possesses. Over the next 9 minutes, the teams played on essentially even terms that found the Cats up by 16 points, 74-58, with 1:11 to play before Kansas could overpower the deep Kentucky bench players to trim the final margin to only 10 points, 75-65. This game was not nearly as close as the final 10-point margin might suggest. For example, at the under 4 TV timeout, the Cats has scored 66 points on only 62 possessions [1.065 ppp] while limiting the Jayhawks to only 52 points on 63 possessions [0.825 ppp] for a NGE of 0.240 ppp for the game to that point. The final NGE for the game was only 0.125 ppp due to Coach Calipari emptying his bench in that last 1:11. As this dominant performance occurred against Kansas, who currently maintains after its loss to UK a Pomeroy rating of #8.
This Saturday afternoon, the Cats have a date to take on an undefeated [3-0] Penn State team in the semi-final round of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in Uncasville, Connecticut. Last year, Penn State finished 19-15, and 9-9 in the Big Ten, losing to Ohio State in the Championship game of the Big Ten Tournament by 11 points, and losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Temple by 2 points. Penn State finished the Season rated #37 by Pomeroy.
This season, Penn State has opened with three straight wins, over Hartford by 15, Radford by 16, and Long Island by 9. Penn State will bring a Pomeroy rating of #108 into this game against the Cats. Through these three games, Penn State's offensive efficiency has been 1.066 ppp with a defensive efficiency of 0.860 ppp. The Nittany Lions have played these games at an average pace of about 65 possessions while averaging just under 70 ppg and allowing their opponents only 56 ppg.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against MARIST and KANSAS have been played at an average pace of about 75 possessions, with average scoring of 91.5 ppg by the Cats and 61.5 ppg by the two opponents. That corresponds to efficiencies of 1.196 ppp and 0.831 ppp at the offensive and defensive ends respectively. The Cats currently have a schedule strength of 0.527 while Penn State's stands at only 0.164.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 70 to 71 possessions with the Cats winning by 20 points, 80-60. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.127 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.857 ppp.
Kentucky scored 47 points on 34 possessions [1.380 ppp] and Penn State scored 15 points on 35 possessions [0.429 ppp]. Kentucky won the battle of the boards 24-23 but Penn State dominated on the offensive glass, 12-3. The Cats used their 3 second chance possessions to score 9 second chance point while PENN STATE used its 12 second chances to score 6 second chance points. PENN 0.500 ppp for its 12 second chance possessions. UK had 1.118 ppp on its 34 first chance possessions and 3.000 ppp on its 3
second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a weak 21.4% of its misses as offensive rebounds while PENN STATE was able to convert a strong 36.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 11 of 15 free throws in the first half, [73.3%]. PENN STATE hit 2-9 [22.2%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 15-26 overall [57.7%] and 6-9 from long range [66.7%]. For PENN STATE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 5-19 [26.3%] and from long range, PENN STATE hit 1-17 [5.9%].
Turnovers were in rare supply in this first half. The Cats committed 4 turnovers, one for every 8.5 possessions. The Cats forced 6 PENN STATE turnovers, one for every 5.8 possessions.
UK scored its 85 points on 67 possessions [1.269 ppp] for the game, and PENN STATE scored its 47 points on a total of 67 possessions [0.702 ppp].
Kentucky won the boards, with a rebounding edge 45-39, and PENN STATE won the battle of the offensive glass 18-10. Kentucky won the second chance points battle 14-10. PENN STATE had an offensive efficiency of 0.552 ppp on its 67 first chance possessions and 0.556 ppp for its 18 second chance possessions. UK had 1.060 ppp on its 67 first chance possessions and 1.400 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed an average 32.3% of its misses as offensive rebounds while PENN STATE was able to convert a strong 34.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 19-29 [65.5%]. PENN STATE made 4-12 [33.38%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 28-53 overall [52.8%] and 10-20 from long range [50.0%]. For PENN STATE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a weak 11-40 [27.5%] and from long range, PENN STATE hit 7-27 [25.9%].
Turnovers were in rare supply in this game. The Cats committed 0, one for every 8.0 possessions. The Cats forced PENN STATE to make 12 turnovers, one for every 5.6 possessions
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 20 point UK win, 80-60 at a pace of 70 to 71 possessions for each team. The final score was 85 (80) to 47 (60) at a pace of 67 possessions . The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.269 ppp (B-) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.702 ppp (B+).
Next Game On Schedule: Sunday afternoon when the Cats will play the winner of the Old Dominion v South Florida for the Championship of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks