BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2011-12 Season Analytical Writings
On Saturday afternoon, the Kentucky Wildcats easily put Penn State away early, and coasted to a 38 point win, 85-47, and now await Old Dominion, the winner of today’s second game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in Uncasville, Connecticut over South Florida [Pomeroy has USF as a 1 point favorite on Saturday morning]. Given the limited turn around time for the game on Sunday at noon, this analysis will cut right to the chase.
Last year, Old Dominion finished with a 27-7 overall record, and 14-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association. ODU won the CAA Tournament by 5 points over Virginia Commonwealth, and ODU ended their season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by 2 to eventual NCAA Runner Up Butler. ODU brings a 3-1 record and a Pomeroy #93 rating into their encounter with #1 Kentucky. ODU has beaten #156 Long Island by 8, #324 Howard by 10, and lost to #61 Northern Iowa by 27 in their first game of this season. On Saturday, ODU upset the slightly favored USF by 2 points, 68-66, in overtime to earn the right to take on the Cats in the Championship game on Sunday. ODU has played their early season games at a pace of only 68 possessions, scoring just below 59 ppg and allowing about 58 ppg for efficiencies of 0.880 ppp on offense and 0.850 ppp on defense. The ODU schedule strength stands at 0.329 heading into this game.
As a basis of comparison, UK’s performance through their first 3 games have been played at an average pace of about 73 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.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 70 to 71 possessions with the Cats winning by 39 points, 85-46. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.197 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.657 ppp.
For the third straight game, Coach Calipari is starting two sophomores [Jones and Lamb] and three freshmen [Marquis Teague, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Anthony Davis], with Darius Miller coming off the bench with Eloy Vargas and Kyle Wiltjer.
In the early going this season, the Cats' have posted extremely high offensive efficiencies, extremely low defensive efficiencies, have limited turnovers, and have played at a faster pace than the last two Calipari led UK teams. If there are any areas that cause any measure of concern it could be free throw shooting and rebounding. Today, the Cats play an opponent that earns its living on the boards. Therefore, rebounding will be the primary issue of this early season game.
Cats open sluggish, with back to back turnovers, and 3 on their first 4 possessions over the first 1 ½ minutes. After the Cats scored the first basket of the game, their lead did not last long. Miller enters the game, and after ODU eased out to a 2-point lead, 4-2, a three pointer by Kidd-Gilchrist pushed the Cats back on top. The teams traded baskets for the balance of the segment, which ended with the teams deadlocked at 9-9 at the under 16 TV timeout. Out of the timeout, ODU runs off a 7-2 run, prompting Coach Calipari to call a timeout with 11:34 to play in the first half and the Cats down by 5, 16-11. Out of the timeout, the Cats commit another turnover, and after ODU makes a pair of free throws to extend their lead to 7 points, Miller stops the run with a basket in the lane, and an assist to Kyle Wiltjer for a three pointer to trim the lead back to 2 points, 18-16, prompting an ODU timeout.
On the next possession Kidd-Gilchrist steals the ball and converts it into a fast break basket to tie the score. However, ODU made a 3 pointer to ease back on top by 3 points, 21-18, at the under 8 TV timeout. The Cats have committed 9 turnovers in their first 22 possessions, and ODU holds a 12-11 rebounding advantage through the first 12 minutes of this game. After the Cats trimmed the lead to 1 point, 21-20, back to back ODU baskets around the Cats' 11 th turnover pushed the lead back to 5 points, 25-20, prompting another UK timeout with 4:22 to play in the first half. A Lamb 3 pointer trimmed the lead back to 2 points, 25-23 at the under 4 TV timeout with under 3 minutes to play in the first half. A Vargas put back basket, and a three point play by Miller eases the Cats out to their biggest lead of the day, 3 points, 30-27. After ODU missed another shot, Miller got back to the line for the bonus, making both to bring the first half scoring to a close with the Cats leading by 5, 32-27.
UK scored its 32 points in a total of 32 possessions [1.000 points per possession] for the half, and ODU scored its 27 points on a total of 32 possessions [0.844 ppp]. Kentucky won the battle of the boards 20-15 but ODU controlled the offensive glass with an 8-6 advantage. The Cats used their 6 second chance possessions to score 4 second chance point while ODU used its 8 second chance to score 6 second chance points. ODU had an offensive efficiency of 0.656 ppp on its 32 first chance possessions and 0.750 ppp for its 8 second chance possessions. UK had 0.875 ppp on its 32 first chance possessions and 0.667 ppp on its 6 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 46.2% of its misses as offensive rebounds while ODU was able to convert an average 36.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 3 of 4 free throws in the first half, [58.3%]. ODU hit 2-4 [50.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 13-25 overall [52.0%] and 3-7 from long range [42.9%]. For ODU, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 8-22[36.4%] and from long range, ODU hit 3-10[30.0%].
Turnovers were in great supply in this first half. The Cats committed 12 turnovers, one for every 2.7 possessions. The Cats forced 6 ODU turnovers, one for every 5.3 possessions.
The Cats open the second half exactly the same way as they started the game with back to back turnovers before they scored the first basket of the second half, a run out by Jones. The flurry of UK rebounding and ODU turnovers prompted a quick ODU timeout with the score 34-27. Out of the timeout, ODU trimmed the lead to 5 points, which is where the lead stands at the under 16 TV timeout with 14:45 to play in the game. Out of the timeout, Lamb makes a 3 pointer from the corner, and converts for a rare 4 point play to extend the Cats' lead to 9 points, 40-31. Following a subsequent ODU miss, Anthony Davis was fouled while driving to the basket, and in the aftermath, ODU and UK both picked up a Technical Foul.
On the next trip down, an ODU 3 point shooter was fouled, and in the aftermath, the officials assessed another technical foul on ODU. In the third segment, ODU continues to whittle away at the Cats' lead, trimming it to 4 points, 50-46, at the under 8 TV timeout with 7:22 to play in the game. ODU cut the lead to a single point on a 3 pointer right out of the timeout, but the Cats scored the next 10 points to run the lead back to double digits, 11 points, 60-49, at the under 4 TV timeout with 2:33 to play. The teams played out the last 2 ½ minutes to get a 10 point win, 62-52.
UK scored its 62 points in a total of 65 possessions [0.954 ppp] for the game, and ODU scored its 52 points on a total of 66 possessions [0.788 ppp].
Kentucky won the boards, with a rebounding edge 43-33, and UK won the battle of the offensive glass 13-11. Kentucky and ODU each used their second chances to score 8 points. ODU had an offensive efficiency of 0.667 ppp on its 66 first chance possessions and 0.727 ppp for its 11 second chance possessions. UK had 0.831 ppp on its 65 first chance possessions and 0.615 ppp on its 13 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed an average 37.1% of its misses as offensive rebounds while ODU was able to convert a weak 26.8% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 10-17 [58.8%]. ODU made 11-17 [64.7%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 24-53 overall [45.3%] and 4-13 from long range [46.7%]. For ODU, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a fair 13-41 [31.7%] and from long range, ODU hit 5-15 [33.3%].
Turnovers were in great supply in this game. The Cats committed 20 turnovers, one for every 3.2 possessions. The Cats forced 12 ODU turnovers, one for every 5.5 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a39 point UK win, 85-46 at a pace of 70 possessions for each team. The final score was 62 (85) to 52 (46) at a pace of 65 to 66 possessions. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 0.954 ppp (E) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.788ppp (D-).
Next Game On Schedule: Wednesday night when the Cats will play Radford at Rupp Arena.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks