BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2011-12 Season Analytical Writings
Cupcake #1 was simply a perfunctory duty on the heels of Finals Weeks, and a week stewing over the way this team lost for the first time at Indiana. A team that was focused and intent upon improving efficiently devoured cupcake #2. Cupcake #3 awaits and with Christmas approaching, the players are probably thinking as much, if not more, about flight schedules for their well deserved trips home for Christmas than they are thinking about Loyola of Maryland. And, that is just fine from my perspective because it is evident that this team has improved significantly over the last 4 days, and will continue to improve as it returns from the Christmas shore leave to continue its preparations for the Louisville Cardinals on December 31.
Even without Terrence Jones in uniform, this team played Stamford with a level of efficiency that exceeded pre-game expectations, which is a further indication of the team's growth and improvement down the bench with players like Eloy Vargas, Kyle Wiltjer, and even Twany Beckham. Presuming that Terrence Jones' finger does in fact heal, and he can return to action with his teammates, his temporary absence from the lineup will benefit this team by developing its depth.
Next up for the Cats will be Loyola of Maryland.
For the record, #137 LOYOLA OF MARYLAND comes to Rupp tonight with a 8-2 overall record, In those ten (10) games, the Greyhounds best win was by 10 at #156 George Washington. LOYOLA OF MARYLAND has lost to #172 Wake Forest by 12 and #91 St. Bonaventure by 10, both on the road. LOYOLA OF MARYLAND and Kentucky have played one common opponent this season, #278 Marist, and the Greyhounds beat Marist by 13.
LOYOLA OF MARYLAND has played these games at an average pace of about 68 possessions, averaging 69.5 ppg and allowing 64.7 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 1.024 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 0.952 ppp. Contributing to those efficiencies are LOYOLA OF MARYLAND's turnover and rebounding rates. LOYOLA OF MARYLAND's turnover rate has been 21.4% while they have forced turnovers at a 24.1% rate. On the Boards, LOYOLA OF MARYLAND's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 415% and 67.3% respectively. LOYOLA OF MARYLAND's schedule strength prior to this game is 0.394.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first ten opponents produced 71 possessions, and a score of 81.8 to 58.3ppg for efficiencies of 1.151 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 17.5% and UK has forced turnovers at a 21.6% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 38.8% and 68.4% at the offensive and defensive ends. Kentucky's schedule strength prior to this game is 0.492.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 70 to 69 possessions with the Cats and Greyhounds, as the Cats work on their game and win their eleventh game in twelve starts this season by 27 points, 82-55. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.171 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.797 ppp.
For the second straight game, Terrence Jones is sitting due to his injured finger. Today, 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.
The Cats take the opening tip, and start fast and move on top 9-2 in the first 3 minutes before a 3 pointer by Loyola, a couple of Kentucky turnovers and a second 3 pointer cut the lead to 1 point, 9-8, forcing a Kentucky timeout with 16:08 to play in the first half. In the second segment, the Cats outscored Loyola 9-5 to ease back on top by 5 points, 18-13 at the under 12 TV timeout. In the third segment, the Cats added two points to the lead, moving up by 7 points, 27-20 at the under 8 TV timeout.
In the 4 th segment, the Cats eased out to a 10 point lead, 33-23, but 6 straight Loyola points cut the lead to 4 points forcing a Kentucky timeout with 4:47 to play in the first half. After the timeout, the Cats turned the ball over, allowing Loyola to cut the lead to only 2 points, before Kentucky stopped the run at 8 points for a 4 point lead, 36-31 at the under 4 TV timeout, and the Cats in possession. The teams play the final segment and the Cats lead by 6 points, 45-39 at the half.
UK scored its 45 points in a total of 36 possessions [1.250 points per possession] for the half, and LOYOLA OF MARYLAND scored its 39 points on a total of 35 possessions [1.114 ppp]. Kentucky won the battle of the boards 20-18, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 8-7. Kentucky used their second chance possessions for a 13-8
advantage in second chance points. LOYOLA OF MARYLAND had an offensive efficiency of 0.886 ppp on its 35 first chance possessions and 1.143 ppp for its 7 second chance possessions. UK had 0.889 ppp on its 36 first chance possessions and 1.625 ppp on its 8 second chance possession. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 42.1% of its misses as offensive rebounds while LOYOLA OF MARYLAND was able to convert an above average 36.8% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 17 of its 22 free throws in the first half [77.3%]. LOYOLA OF MARYLAND was less effective from the line, making 5-8 [62.5%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 14-30 overall [46.7%] and 0-6 from long range [0.0%]. For LOYOLA OF MARYLAND, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was strong 11-24 [45.8%] and from long range, LOYOLA OF MARYLAND University hit 4-10 [40.0%].
The Cats committed 5 turnovers, one for every 7.2 possessions. The Cats forced 5 LOYOLA OF MARYLAND turnovers, one for every 7.0 possessions.
After trading baskets for the first few possessions, the Cats finally made their first 3 pointer, followed by a Kidd-Gilchrist dunk to ease back out to their biggest lead, 10 points, 56-46, prompting a Loyola timeout. After the timeout, the Cats moved out by 12 point, 60-48, at the under 16 TV timeout. Loyola lost Olson, one of their starting forwards to fouls as the segment ended. In the second segment, the Cats opened the game up as Loyola tires and gets into deeper foul trouble, and at the under 12 TV timeout, the Cats lead ballooned to 21 points, 71-50 with 10:23 to play in the game. In the third segment, the teams play on even terms, as the Cats continue to lead by 21 points, 77-56 at the under 8 TV timeout with 7:10 to play in the game.
At the end of the 4 th segment, the Cats lead by 22, 80-58. The Cats finish the job, winning by 24, 87-63.
UK scored its 87 points in a total of 67 possessions [1.299 ppp] for the game, and LOYOLA OF MARYLAND UNIVERSITY scored its 63 points on a total of 65 possessions [0.969 ppp].
Kentucky won the battle of the Boards, 38-30, and Loyola won the battle of the offensive glass 11-12. Kentucky won the second chance points battle 16-11. LOYOLA OF MARYLAND had an offensive efficiency of 0.800 ppp on its 65 first chance possessions and 0.917 ppp for its 12 second chance possessions. UK had 1.060 ppp on its 67 first chance possessions and 1.455 ppp on its 11 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a good 37.9% of its misses as offensive rebounds while LOYOLA OF MARYLAND was able to convert 30.8% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 28-37 [75.7%]. LOYOLA OF MARYLAND made 8-16 [50.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 28-52 overall [53.8%] and 3-12 from long range [25.0%]. For LOYOLA OF MARYLAND, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 20-46 [43.5%] and from long range, LOYOLA OF MARYLAND hit 5-15 [33.3%].
The Cats committed 10 turnovers, one for every 6.7 possessions. The Cats forced 9 LOYOLA OF MARYLAND turnovers, one for every 7.2 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 27 point UK win, 82-55 at a pace of 70 possessions for UK and 69 possessions for LOYOLA OF MARYLAND. The final score was 87 (82) to 63 (55) at a pace of 67 possessions for the Cats and 65 possessions for LOYOLA OF MARYLAND. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.299(B-) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.969 ppp (D-).
Next Game On Schedule: December 28 against Lamar at Rupp Arena.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks