BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2012-13 Season Analytical Writings
The schedule makers did not play nice with this young Kentucky team, taking them away from home for their first two games against worthy opponents, each. Coach Calipari had jokingly warned in September that the Big Blue Nation might take to kindly to an 0-2 start. Thanks for a gritty performance against Maryland in game 1, neither Coach Calipari nor the Nation must find out if the warning has merit. However, the Cats showed more promise in their 7 point loss to Duke than it showed in that season opening 3 point win over Maryland.
Now, the Cats return home to play three straight at Rupp against Lafayette, Morehead State and Long Island before returning to the road to play Notre Dame in South Bend on November 29. Three games, two weeks to get healthy and wise as a team. Healthy in the sense that it needs a point guard, and Ryan Harrow's absence due to illness must end before the Cats can really learn to play as a team. Wiser in the sense that some of the parts, that must make this team work, are not playing very smart in the early going.
What happens during this three game home stand is not about advancing the season record to 4-1 as much as it is about developing this team so it can make the trip to South Bend as a force that returns with an important road win. It's not the W's but how the team achieves the W's that will matter for the next 13 days.
Last year, Lafayette finished the season 13-18, rated #233 losing to Bucknell in the second round of the Patriot League Tournament against a schedule rated as the 220 th toughest in D1 basketball. This year, Lafayette has opened like Kentucky with one win and one loss. However, instead of playing #101 Maryland and #10 Duke on neutral courts, they lost to #163 St. Francis NY by 11 and beat #154 Long Island by 4 in overtime, both games at home. This start produces a #269 Pomeroy rating after these two games with an early schedule strength of #203 (0.3792). In their first two games, Lafayette has played at an average pace of about 74 possession, scoring 81.5 ppg (1.098 ppp) while allowing 85.0 ppg (1.149 ppp). Lafayette's turnover rate has been 18.2% while forcing opponents to turn the b all over on 16.2% of the possessions. Lafayette's rebounding rates have been 59.7% on the defensive glass and 26.1% on the offensive glass.
Kentucky, by comparison, the Cats have played the 42 nd toughest early schedule (0.8245), and the Cats have played at an average pace of about 67 possessions per game, producing 70.0 ppg (1.041 ppp) and allowing 72.0 ppg (1.079 ppp). The Cats' turnover rate has been 18.6% while they have forced opponent turnovers only 14.2% of possessions. On the boards, the Cats have gotten 54.1% of the rebounds on the defensive end and 32.4% of the rebounds at the offensive end.
Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of the Cats by 28 points, 87-59 in a game played with about 68 possessions. Pomeroy also figures the Game in Kentucky's favor by 28 points, 85-57 at a pace of 66 possessions.. In my view, a Kentucky win by 25 points or more will bode well, and a win by less than 15 points will signal continuing problems with this team's development.
Ryan Harrow will not play again tonight, but Tony Beckham, who has been sidelined with a back injury will be available. Coach Calipari will use the same starting 5 as he did against Duke when the three freshmen, Noel, Goodwin, and Poythress, start with Kyle Wiltjer and Julius Mays. Goodwin will start the game at the point. Coach Calipari will use Cauley-Stein and Polson first off the bench, but has said that Jon Hood will get an opportunity to earn some playing time, and Beckham will be available for minutes to test his healing back
Kentucky controls the tip, and Kyle Wiltjer hits a 3 pointer to draw first blood. Wiltjer hit a second 3 pointer, and Mays hit one of his own as the Cats make 6-7 shots and race out to a 15-10 lead at the under 16 media timeout. In the second segment, Coach Calipari inserts Cauley-Stein in the game for Noel, and after the Cats allow Lafayette to get back to back offensive rebounds, he pulls Poythress for Polson. Then the Cats run off 7 points to a 22-10 lead prompting a Lafayette timeout. Following the timeout, Poythress returns to the floor, and manages a basket just prior to the under 12 media timeout with the Cats leading by 12, 24-12.
In the third segment, Jon Hood makes his first appearance in a game other than the last minute he played against Duke. The Cats continue their run to a 21 point lead, 33-12, and Lafayette takes their second timeout. The teams finished the third segment with the same margin, 21 points, 37-16 with 7:28 to play in the first half. In the 4 th segment, the Cats extend their lead to 22 points, but Lafayette then gets back to back baskets, the second coming off a steal, and Coach Calipari takes a timeout. Over the balance of the segment, the teams traded baskets to a 20 point Kentucky lead, 44-24 at the under 4 media timeout.
The teams play out the final segment to a 20 point Kentucky lead at the half, 51-31.
UK scored its 51 points in a total of 34 possessions for the half, and LAFAYETTE scored its 31 points on a total of 33 possessions. Kentucky WON the boards, with a rebounding edge 16-12, but each team managed 5 offensive rebounds. The Cats used their 5 second chance possessions to score 7 second chance point while LAFAYETTE used its 8 second chances to score 8 second chance points. LAFAYETTE had an offensive efficiency of 0.697 ppp on its 33 first chance possessions and 1.600 ppp for its 5 second chance possessions. UK had 1.294 ppp on its 34 first chance possessions and 1.400 ppp on its 5 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a season high 41.7% of its misses as offensive rebounds while LAFAYETTE was able to convert 31.3% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this half, making 5-7 [71.4%]. LAFAYETTE made 1-1 [100.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 20-31 overall [64.5%] and 6-8 from long range [75.0%]. For LAFAYETTE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 9-18 [50.0%] and from long range, LAFAYETTE hit 4-11 [36.4%].
The Cats committed 4 turnovers, one for every 8.5 possessions. The Cats forced 9 LAFAYETTE turnovers, one for every 3.7 possessions.
The second half starts slow, with Kentucky making only 2 of its first 5 shots, and missing its only free throw, but Lafayette only makes 1 of its 4 shots, and commits 2 turnovers as the Cats add 2 points to the lead, 55-33. In the second segment, the Cats added 3 points to their lead, to 25 points 64-39 at the under 12 media timeout. In the third segment, the Cats broke the game wide open, as if it was not already, by scoring 18 points and limiting Lafayette to only 2 points, to move on top by 41 points, 82-41 with 7:17 to play in the game.
The Cats continued their run, to a 93-41, 52 point lead at the under 4 media timeout, and the Cats finish the job with a 52 point win, 101-49.
UK scored its 101 points in 73 possessions [1.38 ppp] for the game, and LAFAYETTE scored its 49 points on 73 possessions [0.67 ppp].
Kentucky won the boards, with a rebounding edge 31-27, and teams each grabbed 7 offensive rebounds. LAFAYETTE converted its 7 second chance possessions into 11 second chance points while Kentucky converted their 7 second chance possessions to score 9 second chance points. LAFAYETTE had an offensive efficiency of 0.521 ppp on its 73 first chance possessions and 1.571 ppp for its 7 second chance possessions. UK had 1.260 ppp on its 73 first chance possessions and 1.286 ppp on its 7 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a weak 25.9% of its misses as offensive rebounds while LAFAYETTE was able to convert a 22.6% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 10-16 [62.5%]. LAFAYETTE made 1-1 [100.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 40-62 overall [64.5%] and 11-19 from long range [57.9%]. For LAFAYETTE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 15-29 [51.7%] and from long range, LAFAYETTE hit 6-23 [26.1%].
Turnovers were in rare supply in this game for the Cats who committed 10 turnovers, one for every 7.3 possessions. The Cats forced 28 LAFAYETTE turnovers, one for every 2.6 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 28 point UK win, 87-59 at a pace of 68 possessions for each team. The final score was 101 (87) to 49 (59) at a pace of 73 possessions for the Cats and 73 possessions for LAFAYETTE. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.384 ppp (1.279 ppp) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.671 ppp (0.868 ppp).
ext Game On Schedule: Wednesday night against Morehead State at Rupp Arena.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks