BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2011-12 Season Analytical Writings
Between December 3, when the Cats defeated North Carolina in Rupp Arena to December 17 when the fall semester concluded with the last final exam of the semester, the Cats only played one game, their first and only loss at Indiana on December 10. Between December 17 and December 22, the Cats will take on three Christmas Cupcakes. The Cats devoured their first course of cupcakes last night when then disposed of the Chattanooga Mocs by 25 points in what appeared to be a sluggish outing for all but about 12 minutes of the game. Tuesday, the second course of Cupcake will be on the menu, Samford, and on Thursday, the final round with Loyola of Maryland before Coach Calipari allows the team a 2 day Christmas Holiday.
The next 2 weeks, in preparation for their December 31 show down with the Louisville Cardinals is more about team development on the practice floor than about the actual games, but one of the products of the intensified practice routine should be greater game efficiency. We did not see evidence of that greater game efficiency against Chattanooga, but then the intensified practices did not begin until Sunday, the day after.
Next up for the Cats will be Samford.
For the record, SAMFORD comes to Rupp tonight with a 3-6 overall record, but two of their three wins have come at the expense of non-D1 opponents; over Lindsey Wilson by 26 points and over Spring Hill by 26 points. The SAMFORD D1 record is 1-6. In those 7 games, the Bulldogs only win was over #145 Texas Arlington by 2 points on the road. SAMFORD has lost to #210 Youngstown State by 7 at home, to #236 Jacksonville by 13 on the road, and to #223 Western Carolina by 4 at home. SAMFORD's most impressive loss to date was by 8 points to #76 Georgia State at home.
SAMFORD has played these games at an average pace of about 67 possessions, averaging 68.6 ppg and allowing 69.1 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 1.029 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 1.034 ppp. Contributing to those efficiencies are SAMFORD's turnover and rebounding rates. SAMFORD's turnover rate has been 22.0% while they have forced turnovers at a 19.0% rate. On the Boards, SAMFORD's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 31.6% and 65.2% respectively. SAMFORD's schedule strength prior to this game is 0.435.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first ten opponents produced 72 possessions, and a score of 81.8 to 59.1 ppg for efficiencies of 1.133 ppp and 0.833 ppp on the offensive and defensive ends. Contributing to those efficiencies are Kentucky's turnover and rebounding rates. UK's turnover rate is 18.0% and UK has forced turnovers at a 21.4% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 37.9% and 67.6% at the offensive and defensive ends. Kentucky's schedule strength prior to this game is 0.537.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 70 to 69 possessions with the Cats and Bulldogs, as the Cats work on their game and win their tenth game in eleven starts this season by 31 points, 85-54. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.214 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.783 ppp.
For the first time since the second game of the season, Coach Calipari must alter his starting lineup due to an injury to Terrence Jones' finger. Tonight, Senior Miller will start in Jones' place along with one sophomores [Lamb] and three freshmen [Marquis Teague, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Anthony Davis], with Eloy Vargas and Kyle Wiltjer off the bench. For the second time, transfer Twany Beckham is eligible to play for the Cats.
Kentucky won the opening tip, and immediately turned the ball over, but after than it was a quick 4-4 to sprint out to an 8-0 lead forcing Samford to take a timeout just barely 2 minutes into the game. Out of the timeout, Samford turned the ball over again, and the Cats made them pay by draining a 3 pointer. From that 11-0 lead, the teams played on even terms for the balance of an extended opening segment, with the Cats leading by 11 points, 18-7, at the under 16 TV timeout with 13:22 to play in the game. In an abbreviated second segment, the Cats outscored Samford 6-2 on 3 possessions for the Cats, and 2 possessions for the Bulldogs, lifting the Cats' lead to 15 points, 24-9, at the under 12 TV timeout.
In the third segment, the Cats gave back the points they had gained in the brief second segment, as Samford trimmed the UK lead back to 11 points, 29-18, at the under 8 TV timeout with 7:38 to play in the first half. However, the Cats exploded during a 5 minute 4 th segment, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-2 on just 5 possessions to extend their lead to a game high 22 points, 42-20, at the under 4 TV timeout with 3:02 to play in the first half. The teams play the final 3 minutes on relatively even terms, and the Cats lead by 23 points, 45-22, at the half.
UK scored its 45 points in a total of 30 possessions [1500 points per possession] for the half, and SAMFORD scored its 22 points on a total of 29 possessions [0.759 ppp]. Kentucky won the battle of the boards 20-9, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 9-3. Kentucky used their second chance possessions for a 9-2 advantage in second chance points. SAMFORD had an offensive efficiency of 0.690 ppp on its 29 first chance possessions and 0.667 ppp for its 3 second chance possessions. UK had 1.200 ppp on its 30 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 9 second chance possession. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 60.0% of its misses as offensive rebounds while SAMFORD was able to convert a below average 21.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 5 of its 7 free throws in the first half [71.4%]. SAMFORD was more effective from the line, making 3-4 [75.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 18-32 overall [56.3%] and 4-10 from long range [40.0%]. For SAMFORD, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was strong 8-11 [72.7%] and from long range, SAMFORD University hit 1-11 [9.1%].
The Cats committed 4 turnovers, one for every 7.5 possessions. The Cats forced 8 SAMFORD turnovers, one for every 3.6 possessions.
The Cats open the second half with 3 for 9 shooting but widen their lead nonetheless to 26 points, 52-26, at the under 16 TV timeout. In the second segment, the Cats add 5 more points to their lead, to move on top by 31 points, 61-30 at the under 12 TV timeout. The pace of the first half was very slow, with only 30 possessions for the half. However, in the first 8 minutes of the second half, the pace has quickened slightly with about 15 possessions for each team in the first 8 minutes. However, in the first 8 minutes of the first half, both teams had 14 to 15 possessions, but in the final 12 minutes of the half, the pace dropped to only 15 for 12 minutes. In the third segment, Samford is more effective controlling the pace, reducing the pace to only 5 possessions in the segment, and they trimmed 3 points off the Kentucky lead, down to 28 points, 67-39, at the under 8 TV timeout with 7:16 to play in the game.
In the 4 th segment, the Cats added the 3 points back to their lead, back up to 31 points, 77-46, at the under 4 TV timeout with 2:41 to play in the game. The Cats win 82-50.
UK scored its 82 points in a total of 60 possessions [1.367 ppp] for the game, and SAMFORD UNIVERSITY scored its 50 points on a total of 60 possessions [0.833 ppp].
Kentucky won the battle of the Boards, 38-22, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 16-5. Kentucky won the second chance points battle as well, 18-4. SAMFORD had an offensive efficiency of 0.767 ppp on its 60 first chance possessions and 0.800 ppp for its 5 second chance possessions. UK had 1.067 ppp on its 60 first chance possessions and 1.125 ppp on its 16 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 48.5% of its misses as offensive rebounds while SAMFORD was able to convert 18.5% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 11-14 [78.6%]. SAMFORD made 7-10 [70.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 31-62 overall [50.0%] and 9-21 from long range [42.9%]. For SAMFORD, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 17-30 [56.7%] and from long range, SAMFORD hit 3-16 [18.8%].
The Cats committed 7 turnovers, one for every 8.6 possessions. The Cats forced 14 SAMFORD turnovers, one for every 4.3 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 31 point UK win, 85-54 at a pace of 70 possessions for UK and 69 possessions for SAMFORD. The final score was 82 (85) to 50 (54) at a pace of 60 possessions for the Cats and 60 possessions for SAMFORD. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.367(B+) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.833 ppp (D+).
Next Game On Schedule: December 22 against Loyola of Maryland at Rupp Arena.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks