BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2011-12 Season Analytical Writings
The past Saturday, the Cats survived a hot shooting North Carolina team in Rupp Arena as CBS introduced the nation to a huge Marquee battle between two of the traditional college basketball powers. This Saturday, the nation will get to tune in to Bloomington, Indiana for another similar Marquee “Program Game” as the Cats take to the road for the first time this season when they place their unbeaten record on the line against an unbeaten group of Hoosiers.
There is little question that the Indiana basketball program has been enduring some rough times in the aftermath of NCAA sanctions that saw mass player defections when Tom Crean became the Hoosier Head Coach. However, make no mistake, Coach Crean has the Hoosier on the rise, and their 8-0 start is their strongest start since Crean arrived in Bloomington. Indiana's most impressive win thus far was by 11 points at #62 North Carolina State. The Hoosiers also claim a second road win to the credit, by 21 points at #184 Evansville. The Balance of their games have been in the friendly confines of Assembly Hall, but the competition has been generally weak.
Indiana has played these games at an average pace of about 72 possessions, averaging 85.0 ppg and allowing 61.3 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 1.149 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 0.885 ppp. Contributing to those efficiencies are IU's turnover and rebounding rates. Indiana's turnover rate has been 18.0% while they have forced turnovers at a 26.4% rate. On the Boards, Indiana's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 33.6% and 64.9% respectively. IU's schedule strength prior to this game is 0.371.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first eight opponents produced 72 possessions, and a score of 82.4 to 57.0 ppg for efficiencies of 1.147 ppp and 0.805 ppp on the offensive and defensive ends. Contributing to those efficiencies are Kentucky's turnover and rebounding rates. UK's turnover rate is 17.3% and UK has forced turnovers at a 21.1% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 38.6% and 67.8% at the offensive and defensive ends. Kentucky's schedule strength prior to this game is 0.536.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 72 to 71 possessions with the Cats and Hoosiers, losing for the first time in nine starts this season by 1 point, 72-71. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 0.986 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 1.014 ppp.
For the eighth game in a row, 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.
IU wins the opening tip, but after a miss, Doron Lamb drains a 3 pointer from the left corner, and the game is on. After IU scored the next 4 points for a brief 1 point lead, the Cats finished the opening segment on a 7-2 run to take a 10-6 lead at the under 16 TV timeout, and in possession. In the second segment, the Cats failed to score on 6 possessions that included 2 turnovers while IU scored 4 points to tie the score at 10-10 at the under 12 TV timeout. In the first 8 minutes, the pace is very face, 80 to 85 pace. Neither team is shooting well.
Kentucky committed another turnover when play resumed, and a pair of free throws put IU on top by their biggest margin of the day, 2 points, but the Cats then hit 5 straight shots to move out by 6 points, 20-14, prompting an IU timeout with 8:14 to play in the first half. However, out of the timeout, Davis fouled Zeller for his second foul, and after a couple of blank trips, Lamb committed his second foul, and takes to the bench. Kentucky now has two starters sitting with 2 fouls each and almost 7 minutes to play in the first half, leading by 3 points, 20-17.
The Hoosiers are staying in this game at the line, hitting 7-7 while the Cats have only made 1 of 4 attempts, a 6 point differential at the foul stripe. The march to the line continued through the 4 th segment, as IU moved back on top by a pair of points, 24-22 at the under 4 TV timeout, and IU will be shooting another pair of free throws when play resumes, as Teague became the third Wildcat starter to pick up his second first half foul and take a seat on the bench.
Out of the timeout, IU converted one of the two, but then converted back to back Kentucky turnovers into 5 more points, to extend their lead to a game high 8 points, 30-22, prompting a Kentucky timeout. Since Davis left the game with his second foul, IU has outscored the Cats 16-2. After the timeout, the Cats scored the last 7 points of the first half to trim the lead to 1 point, 30-29 at the half.
UK scored its 29 points in a total of 37 possessions [0.784 points per possession] for the half, and INDIANA scored its 30 points on a total of 36 possessions [0.833 ppp]. Kentucky won the battle of the boards 18-14, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 7-5. However, IU used their second chance possessions for a 7-4 advantage in second chance points. INDIANA had an offensive efficiency of 0.639 ppp on its 36 first chance possessions and 1.400 ppp for its 5 second chance possessions. UK had 0.676 ppp on its 37 first chance possessions and 0.571 ppp on its 7 second chance possession. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 43.8% of its misses as offensive rebounds while INDIANA was able to convert a below average 31.3% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 1 of its 4 free throws in the first half [25.0%]. INDIANA was more effective from the line, making 10-12 [83.3%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 13-29 overall [44.8%] and 2-6 from long range [33.3%]. For INDIANA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was strong, 7-18 [38.9%] and from long range, INDIANA University hit 2-6 [33.3%].
The Cats committed 13 turnovers, one for every 2.8 possessions. The Cats forced 11INDIANA turnovers, one for every 3.3 possessions.
The second half opens with IU scoring the first basket on its first possession, but the Cats took a brief 1 point lead, 35-34. IU responded with 1 for 2 from the line, and following another UK turnover, drained a 3 pointer to move back on top by 3 points, 38-35, prompting a quick Kentucky timeout with 17:16 to play in the game, and Davis on the bench with 3 fouls. Out of the timeout, IU continues its blitz of the Cats, extending their lead to 10 points, 45-35 before Kentucky stopped the run with a Kidd-Gilchrist put back basket, and then following an IU miss, Lamb will go to the line for a pair of free throws. Lamb missed the first and made the second to trim the lead to 7.
However, the Cats could get no closer, and trail by 9, 56-47 at the under 12 TV timeout. Near the end of that segment, Davis picked up his 4 th foul, fouling a three point shooter. In the extended third segment, the Cats trimmed the lead to 5 points once, and 6 points once, but each time, IU responded to push the lead back to 8, 9 or 10 points. At the under 8 TV timeout with 6:28 to play in the game, the Cats are down 7, 66-59, with Lamb to shoot free throws when play resumes. After the timeout, Coach Calipari puts Davis back into the game with his 4 fouls. Lamb missed the front end.
The Cats chip away at the IU lead, and trim it to 1 point, 66-65 at the under 4 TV timeout with 3:14 to play in the game and IU in possession of the ball. After trading baskets and possessions, IU turned the ball over and UK has their first chance to regain the lead with only 2:15 to play down 1, 68-67. Miller puts the Cats on top with a dunk. After a defensive stop, and a scramble on the floor for the rebound, the Cats are called for walking, allowing IOU to retain possession. IU converted, but Teague quickly put the Cats back on top 71-70. After IU missed again, Davis missed the front end, and IU rebounded and called timeout with 13.9 seconds to play, to set up their final shot.
IU turned the ball over, and then fouled Lamb with 5.6 seconds to play. Lamb missed the first, and IU takes their last timeout of the game. Lamb made the second, and IU hit a 3 pointer at the buzzer to win the game, 73-72, handing #1 UK their first loss of the season.
UK scored its 72 points in a total of 70 possessions [1.029 ppp] for the game, and INDIANA UNIVERSITY scored its 73 points on a total of 70 possessions 1.043 ppp].
Kentucky and Indiana battled on even terms on the Boards, 30-30, and Indiana won the battle of the offensive glass 14-10. Indiana won the second chance points battle as well, 16-10. INDIANA had an offensive efficiency of 0.814 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 1.143 ppp for its 145 second chance possessions. UK had 0.886 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 38.5% of its misses as offensive rebounds while INDIANA was able to convert 41.2% 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%] and missing the front end of the bonus twice, and missing down the stretch when the Cats still had an opportunity to extend their fragile lead to 3 or 4 points. INDIANA made 14-17 [82.4%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 30-54 overall [55.6%] and 2-7 from long range [28.6%]. For INDIANA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a weak 16-43 [37.2%] and from long range, INDIANA hit 9-15 [60.0%].
The Cats committed 17 turnovers, one for every 4.1 possessions. The Cats forced 18 INDIANA turnovers, one for every 3.9 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 1 point UK loss, 72-71 at a pace of 71 possessions for UK and 72 possessions for INDIANA. The final score was 72 (71) to 73 (72) at a pace of 70 possessions for the Cats and 70 possessions for INDIANA. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.029(B-) and the UK defensive efficiency was 1.043 ppp (D+).
Next Game On Schedule: December 17 against Tennessee Chattanooga at Rupp Arena.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks