BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2011-12 Season Analytical Writings
The Cats devoured all three of their Christmas Cupcakes, Coach Calipari rewarded his team's hard work with a 3 day hiatus from Basketball and Christmas shore leaves with their families. But now, the team is back, and the real work begins for the rest of this season. This week is Cardinal Week with two varieties visiting Rupp Arena, the Lamar Cardinals and the hated Louisville Cardinals. The Cats do love birds, especially those with red feathers, and nothing could be finer than to dine on the birds between Christmas and New Year's Eve. The table is set.
Lest we get ahead of ourselves, the Lamar variety of Cardinal will be served first, on Wednesday night at Rupp. For the record, #121 LAMAR comes to Rupp tonight with a 8-4 overall record, which includes a29 point win over non-D1 Huston Tillotson. Therefore, Lamar is 7-4 against D1 opponents to date. In those eleven (11) games, the Lamar Cardinals best win was by 18 over #128 Charlotte. LAMAR has lost at #16 Louisville, the Cats' next serving of Cardinals, by 20 and at #2 Ohio State by 20 in their last game prior to Christmas. Lamar's worst loss was by 5 points at #201 Texas Christian.
LAMAR has played these games at an average pace of about 73 possessions, averaging 72.1 ppg and allowing 66.8 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 0.996 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 0.914 ppp. Contributing to those efficiencies are LAMAR's turnover and rebounding rates. LAMAR's turnover rate has been 19.6% while they have forced turnovers at a 19.6% rate. On the Boards, LAMAR's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 37.2% and 71.3% respectively. LAMAR's schedule strength prior to this game is 0.606.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first ten opponents produced 71 possessions, and a score of 82.3 to 58.7 ppg for efficiencies of 1.159 ppp and 0.843 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 20.9% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 38.8% and 68.5% at the offensive and defensive ends. Kentucky's schedule strength prior to this game is 0.491.
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 72 to 71 possessions with the Cats and Lamar Cardinals, as the Cats work on their game and win their twelfth game in thirteen starts this season by 20 points, 80-60. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.111 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.845 ppp.
For the third straight game, Terrence Jones is sitting due to his injured finger; however, according to Coach Calipari he is on the mend and will play tonight. 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 third time, transfer Twany Beckham is eligible to play for the Cats.
The Cats take the opening tip and miss their first shot attempt, but after 2 Lamar turnovers and a miss of their own, the Cats hit their next 3 shots, including their first 3 pointer of the night to race out to a 7-0 lead forcing a Lamar timeout with 18:22 to play. After a pair of free throws gave Lamar their first points, and shortly thereafter, Terrence Jones makes his first appearance in a game since dislocating his finger. The Cats continue to build their early lead to 9 points, 11-2, at the under 16 TV timeout. The only negative factor in the early going is that Kidd-Gilchrist has committed 2 quick fouls, and will be on the bench for the time being.
Out of the timeout, Lamar made both free throws, and following a turnover by Teague, Lamar made their first basket of the game, prompting a Kentucky timeout. After the timeout, Lamar scored the next points to trim the lead to 3 points, 11-8, before the Cats returned to scoring. At the under 12 TV timeout, the Cats reestablished their 9 point lead, 23-14, and Lamar will have the ball when play resumes. In the third segment, the teams only scored 2 points each, and Kyle Wiltjer will be shooting a pair of free throws when play resumes. In the 4 th segment, the Cats expanded their lead by outscoring the Cardinals 12-6 on 7 possessions each to take a 15 point lead, 37-22 at the under 4 TV timeout with 3:00 to play in the first half. The teams played out the final segment, and the Cats take a 16 point lead, 44-28, to the locker room at the half.
UK scored its 44 points in a total of 37 possessions [1.189 points per possession] for the half, and LAMAR scored its 28 points on a total of 36 possessions [0.778 ppp]. Lamar won the battle of the boards 21-19, and Lamar won the battle of the offensive glass 10-6. Kentucky used their second chance possessions for a 5-2 advantage in second chance points. LAMAR had an offensive efficiency of 0.722 ppp on its 36 first chance possessions and 0.200 ppp for its 10 second chance possessions. UK had 1.054 ppp on its 37 first chance possessions and 0.833 ppp on its 6 second chance possession. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a respectable 35.3% of its misses as offensive rebounds while LAMAR was able to convert an very strong 43.5% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 14 of its 17 free throws in the first half [82.4%]. LAMAR was even more effective from the line, making 10-10 [100.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 13-28 overall [46.4%] and 4-9 from long range [44.4%]. For LAMAR, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 9-25 [36.0%] and from long range, LAMAR University hit 0-7 [0.0%].
The Cats committed 7 turnovers, one for every 5.3 possessions. The Cats forced 9 LAMAR turnovers, one for every 4.0 possessions.
The play in the second half starts very slow for the Cats, but once they get it going on the strength of Kidd-Gilchrist's back to back 3 point plays and then a dunk, the Cats reestablished their 16 point halftime lead, 53-37, at the under 16 TV timeout with 14:36 to play in the game. In the abbreviated second segment, in which each team only had 3 possessions, the Cats outscored Lamar 8-4 to extend the lead to 20 points for the first time tonight, 61-41, when Lamar took a timeout with 12:55 to play in the game.
In the third segment, the teams played on relatively even terms and the Cats lead by 19 points, 71-52 at the under 8 TV timeout. At the under 4 TV timeout, the Cats hold their biggest lead, 23 points, 79-56. The teams played out the final segment and the Cats won 86-64.
UK scored its 86 points in a total of 75 possessions [1.147 ppp] for the game, and LAMAR UNIVERSITY scored its 64 points on a total of 73 possessions [0.877 ppp].
Kentucky and Lamar battled on even terms on the boards, 36-36, but Lamar won the battle of the offensive glass 14-10. Kentucky won the second chance points battle 12-10. LAMAR had an offensive efficiency of 0.740 ppp on its 73 first chance possessions and 0.714 ppp for its 14 second chance possessions. UK had 0.987 ppp on its 75 first chance possessions and 1.200 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a weak 31.3% of its misses as offensive rebounds while LAMAR was able to convert 35.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 27-33 [81.8%]. LAMAR made 12-15 [80.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 26-53 overall [49.1%] and 7-14 from long range [50.0%]. For LAMAR, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 23-53 [43.4%] and from long range, LAMAR hit 2-12 [16.7%].
The Cats committed 17 turnovers, one for every 4.4 possessions. The Cats forced 159 LAMAR turnovers, one for every 4.9 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 20 point UK win, 80-60 at a pace of 72 possessions for UK and 71 possessions for LAMAR. The final score was 86(80) to 64 (60) at a pace of 75 possessions for the Cats and 73 possessions for LAMAR. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.147(B-) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.877 ppp (D+).
Next Game On Schedule: December 31 against Louisville at Rupp Arena.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks