BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2011-12 Season Analytical Writings
In the slowest paced game of this year for the Cats, the Cats managed to put away Georgia by 13 points on the road on Tuesday night to advance their record to 6-0 in the SEC and 20-1 overall. On Saturday, the Cats put their perfect SEC record on the line for the 4 th time this season on the road when they take on a good LSU Tigers team in Baton Rouge.
The SEC season is a little more than 1/3 done with 34 of the 96 game schedule now in the books. So far, the home team has won 24 of the 34 games, and of the 10 games in which the visiting team won. The home team has been holding serve at a rate over 70%. UK claims title to 3 of the 10 road wins. Furthermore, UK has not fallen victim to a home court loss. Florida and Vanderbilt each can claim two road wins, but Vanderbilt also lost one at home, negating the benefit of one of its road wins. Alabama, Mississippi and Mississippi State each claim one road win each. The other 6 SEC teams, including LSU, can't claim a single road win.
Each year when conference play begins, the chatter picks up about how difficult it is to win on the road. In addition, the chatter resonates about how frequently favored teams lose. As noted above, the home winning percentage thus far has been slightly above 70%, and last year, the home winning percentage for the SEC season was 71%. Upsets are a slightly different tune. Nationally, there have been 3,312 D1 basketball games through last night, and the underdog won [upsets] 771 of those games, 23.3% In SEC play, there have been 7 upsets in 34 games, 20.6%. It seems the SEC upset rate is about the same as the national upset rate. Kentucky will be favored to beat LSU on Saturday, and a Kentucky loss would be an upset; will LSU add one to the SEC upset total?
LSU enters this game with a 12-8 record, 2-4 in the SEC. On the road, LSU has a 3-5 record, 0-4 in the SEC, and on neutral floors the Tigers have been 2-1. At home, LSU has been 7-2, 2-0 in the SEC. LSU's most impressive win to date has been their early season 8 point win over #19 Marquette, and their most embarrassing loss has been by 4 in OT to #230 South Alabama. In conference play, LSU's only wins have occurred in Baton Rouge, and they have been winless on the SEC Road. LSU beat #109 Mississippi by 26 and #172 Auburn by 7 in OT.
LSU has played its 20 games at an average pace of about 68 possessions, averaging 67.2 ppg and allowing 62.3 ppg. This translates to an offensive efficiency of 0.980 points per possession and a defensive efficiency of 0.913 ppp. Contributing to those efficiencies are LSU's turnover and rebounding rates. LSU's turnover rate has been 19.0% while they have forced turnovers at a 23.8% rate. On the Boards, LSU's offensive and defensive rebounding rates have been 35.5% and 66.9% respectively. GEORGIA's schedule strength prior to this game is 0.546.
As a basis of comparison, UK's performance against its first 21 opponents produced 69 possessions, and a score of 78.4 to 59.0 ppg for efficiencies of 1.128 ppp and 0.863 ppp on the offensive and defensive ends. Contributing to those efficiencies are Kentucky's turnover and rebounding rates. UK's turnover rate is 18.6% and UK has forced turnovers at a 19.9% rate. On the boards, the Cats posted rates of 38.7% and 69.3% at the offensive and defensive ends. Kentucky's schedule strength prior to this game is 0.545
The NGE analysis indicates a game played at a pace of about 69 possessions for UK and 68 possessions for LSU with the Cats winning their twenty first game in twenty two starts this season by 4 points, 69-65. The analysis projects an offensive efficiency of 1.000 ppp and a defensive efficiency of 0.956 ppp.
Sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb will start along with the three freshmen Kidd-Gilchrist, Anthony Davis, and Marquis Teague. Darius Miller will be the #6 man with Eloy Vargas, Kyle Wiltjer and Twany Beckham coming off the bench. However, Coach Calipari has not used Vargas or Beckham in recent games, and has played with a 7 player rotation.
The Cats take the opening tip, and ride back to back 3 pointers to a 6-0 lead, and a 10-4 lead at the end of the opening segment with 14:55 to play in the first half. In the second segment, the Cats made only 3 of 7 free throw attempts, but were still able to add to their early lead, stretching it to 9 points, 17-8, at the under 12 media timeout. In the 3 rd segment, the Cats only make one of their first 8 shot attempts, but 4 offensive rebounds keep the Tigers at bay until Miller hits a 3 pointer to stretch the lead to 12 points, 22-10, prompting a LSU timeout with 8:27 to play.
Out of the timeout, LSU trims a pair of points from the, and will be shooting 2 free throws when play resumes, with the score 22-12. Out of the timeout, LSU trims the lead to 8, Davis sustains an injury and must go to the bench, and Lamb commits his 2 nd foul, as the 12 point lead is trimmed to 6 point, 24-18. Then following another UK miss, LSU hits a jump shot to cut the lead to 4, prompting Coach Calipari to call a timeout with 4:27 to play in the first half. Following the timeout, LSU trimmed the UK lead to a single point, 25-24 before the Cats finally began to make some baskets again, and outscored them 8-2, prompting a LSU timeout with 1:56 to play in the half with the Cats up by 7, 33-26. The teams finish the first half with the Cats on top by 9 points, 35-26.
UK scored its 35 points in a total of 30 possessions [1.167 points per possession] for the half, and LSU scored its 26 points on a total of 28 possessions [0.921 ppp]. Kentucky won the battle of the boards 18-17, and LSU won the battle of the offensive rebounds 8-7. LSU used their second chance possessions for a 8-4 advantage in second chance points. LSU had an offensive efficiency of 0.643 ppp on its 28 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp for its 8 second chance possessions. UK had 1.033 ppp on its 30 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 LSU was able to convert a strong 42.1% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit 6 for 11 free throws in the first half [54.5%]. LSU was 4-4 [100.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 12-27 overall [44.4%] and 5-10 from long range [50.0%]. For LSU, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 11-23 [47.8%] and from long range, LSU hit 0-7 [0.0%].
The Cats committed 5 turnovers, one for every 6.0 possessions. The Cats forced 4 LSU turnovers, one for every 7.0 possessions.
The Tigers open the second half with 3 missed shots, and the Cats convert them into 4 points on their end of the floor, forcing another LSU timeout with 18:01 to play in the game and the Cats up by 13, 39-26. After the timeout, the big blue blitz continues as the Cats hit 6 of their first 7 shots in the second half, and the opening segment comes to a rugged end when Davis steals the ball, and LSU's player in chase commits a flagrant intentional foul, tackling Davis to prevent his making the Cats' 7 th consecutive shot. The under 16 media timeout has the Cats up 48-30, and during the timeout, the officials reviewed the foul, and awarded a flagrant foul, ejected White from the game.
Davis made 1 of the 2 free throws, and the Cats retain possession. During the second segment, the Cats extended their lead to 21 points, 56-35 at the under 12 media timeout with 11:19 to play in the game. When play resumed, Davis missed both free throw attempts, but following offensive rebounds on that play, and the next trip, the Cats hit back to back 3 pointers to move on top by 27 points, 62-35, forcing another LSU timeout. LSU trims that extra 6 points off the lead by the end of the third segment, as the Cats lead by 21, 64-43 with 7:33 to play.
At the under 4 media timeout, the Cats lead by 22 points, 68-46, and Jones will be shooting a pair of free throws when play resumes. The Cats finish the job 74-50, and will return to Lexington 21-1, and 7-0 in the SEC including an impressive 4-0 start on the SEC road.
UK scored its 74 points in a total of 58 possessions [1.276 ppp] for the game, and LSU scored its 50 points on a total of 57 [0.877 ppp].
Kentucky won the battle of the boards, 36-26, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 14-10. Kentucky won the second chance points battle 20-8. LSU had an offensive efficiency of 0.737 ppp on its 57 first chance possessions and 0.800 ppp for its 10 second chance possessions. UK had 0.931 ppp on its 58 first chance possessions and 1.429 ppp on its 14 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 46.7% of its misses as offensive rebounds while LSU was able to convert 31.3% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game by making 15-26 [57.7%]. LSU made 7-11 [63.6%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 26-55 overall [47.3%] and 7-14 from long range [50.0%]. For LSU, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a weak 20-43 [46.5%] and from long range, LSU hit 1-10 [10.0%].
The Cats committed 6 turnovers, one for every 9.7 possessions. The Cats forced 9 LSU turnovers, one for every 6.3 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 4 point UK win, 69-65 at a pace of 69 possessions for UK and 68 possessions for LSU. The final score was 74 (69) to 50 (65) at a pace of 58 possessions for the Cats and 57 possessions for LSU. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.276 (A) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.877 ppp (B-).
Next Game On Schedule: January 31, 2012 at Rupp Arena in the rematch with the Tennessee Volunteers.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks