BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2012-13 Season Analytical Writings
Contested games by definition can go either way, and the outcome usually hinges on which of the two teams gives the better effort. Thursday night, Notre Dame left no doubt about which team that would be. After falling behind 6-12 in the early minutes of the game, Notre Dame knocked the Cats down, and put them away by halftime by finishing the half with a 29-13 run. Morehead showed the world that these Cats have not shown a taste for the physical nature of the college game, and Notre Dame built on the Morehead model of physical play. These Cats again did not push back, and until this team does give better than it receives, opponents will take advantage of the Morehead/Notre Dame model every time the Cats take the floor.
We got an answer about this team's toughness, but it is not an answer that the Big Blue Nation wanted. This team is playing soft, very soft. It did not compete on the boards with the Irish, and it did not turn up the defensive intensity.
The Cats returned to Lexington Thursday night with their second loss in just six starts on the season. Of course, last year's team played 34 games before it sustained its second loss, and this team is now 1-2 in contested games. At least the team returns to action in less than 2 days after this loss, which will give these players a quick opportunity to redeem themselves with a more competitive showing on Saturday afternoon when Baylor comes to Rupp.
Baylor has opened the season with six wins in seven starts. The Fighting Irish's loss came at the hands of #24 Saint Joseph's by 9 points in overtime at a neutral location. Baylor's most impressive win in this young season has been by 10 over #64 BYU also on a neutral court. The Irish are 5-0 at home, winning all of its margin games by between 9 and 27 points. Baylor's early season schedule strength has been 0.3762 (287 th ). The Irish have turned the ball over on 18.4% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on only 16.1% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Irish have secured an offensive rebounding rate of 34.6%, slightly better than the NCAA average, and a defensive rebounding rate of 71.5%, which is higher than the national average.
Baylor, like Kentucky, has opened the season with a 4-2 record. Baylor's most impressive with was by 22 points over #67 Lehigh at Baylor. The Bears have lost to #61 Colorado by 2 points on a neutral floor and by 4 to #123 College of Charleston at Baylor. The trip into Rupp Arena will be Baylor's first true road game of this season.
Baylor has averaged about 69 possessions per game, producing 79.2 ppg (1.154 ppp) and allowing only 66.5ppg (0.98 ppp) against an early schedule that Pomeroy rates as the 177 th toughest (0.5203). Baylor has committed turnovers on about 17.5% of their possessions while Baylor's opponents have turned the ball over on about 20.6% of the possessions. Baylor's boardwork has been impressive, getting an offensive rebound on 39.3% of their missed shots, and 69.9% of their opponents' missed shots.
In contrast, the Cats have started the season averaging 68 to 69 possessions per game, producing 79.3 ppg (1.154 ppp) and allowing 67.0 ppg (0.987 ppp) against a schedule strength of 0.6516 (65 th ). The Cats have committed turnovers on 17.0% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 18.2% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats' rebounding rates have been 30.1% and 65.1% on the offensive and defensive ends.
Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of the Cats by 8 points, 77-69, in a game played at a pace of 69 possessions for the Cats and 68 possessions for the Bears. Pomeroy figures the Game in Kentucky's favor by 9 points, 76-67 at a pace of 67 possessions. The Cats should benefit from a friendly environment of Rupp Arena, but this team will need to show some growth in terms of the team's toughness. Saturday, Kentucky's 55 game home winning streak will be on the line unlike any time since a year ago when Anthony Davis blocked UNC's potential game winning shot to secure that slim victory.
I believe the streak will survive and move to #56.
Twany Beckham will not be available again today due to a stomach ailment. Coach Calipari will use the same starting 5 with the three freshmen, Noel, Goodwin, and Poythress starting 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 Harrow will be available for minutes to begin his comeback.
Baylor controlled the opening tip, and after missing a 3 point attempt, put on token full court pressure on defense. The Cats handle that pressure, but turn it over in offensive court. Baylor draws first blood inside. Noel returns the favor and eases the Cats into their first lead when he completes his 3 point play. A steal by Goodwin lifts the Cats up by 3, but Baylor immediately trims the margin back to a single point. The Cats managed to extend the lead to 4 points on a 3 pointer by Poythress, but Baylor trimmed the lead back to 2 points at the under 16 media timeout, with the Cats leading 8-6 and in possession. The opening segment was very fast, with Kentucky getting 10 possessions and Baylor 11. The Cats committed 4 turnovers, Baylor 3 during that fast paced segment, and neither team shot the ball well, both hitting 3 for 8 shots. The difference is the two 3 points plays by the Cats.
During the initial segment, Harrow entered the game, signaling increasing confidence in Ryan by Coach Calipari. In the second segment, the Cats did not shoot particularly well, making only 2 of 7 attempts, but Baylor's only points came from 3 of 4 free throw shooting and the Cats expanded their lead to a maximum of 8 points, 15-7, and 6 points at the under 12 media timeout, 15-9. Baylor will put the ball in play following the break. Out of the break, Baylor failed to score, and Cauley-Stein picked off a long rebound off a Mays miss from the corner, and slammed the ball back in the basket to lift the Cats up by 8, 17-9, prompting a Baylor timeout with 10:03 to play in the first half. Out of the timeout, Baylor quickly scored to pull back within 6 points, and following a Goodwin turnover, Baylor scores on a break to trim the lead to 4 points, forcing Coach Calipari to call a timeout with 8:49 to play.
However, out of the timeout, Baylor gets another steal, and their shooter is fouled on the break to earn a trip to the line for a pair of free shots to trim the score to 19-17 at the under 8 media timeout with 6:54 to play in the first half. Baylor will have the ball when play resumes. In a reversal of trends for this Kentucky team, that had been strong offensively and weak defensively, today the Cats are again struggling to put the ball in the basket, just as they did on Thursday at Notre Dame. However, the defense has limited Baylor to 17 points on 25 possessions, 0.680 ppp, through the first 13 minutes.
In the 4 th segment, Baylor moves out to a 1 point lead, 20-19 on the Bears' first 3 pointer of the game. The Cats respond with a quick basket by Poythress and a 3 pointer by Mays to move back out by 4 points, 24-20. A Baylor basket at the end of the segment trimmed the lead back to 2 points, and Baylor will have a free throw to complete the 3 point play and possibly trim the lead to 1 point after the break.
Baylor missed the free throw attempt, but the Cats fail to score on two trips and Baylor converts each time to move on top by 1 point, 27-26, forcing Coach Calipari to call another timeout with 2:24 to play in the first half. The timeout did not good because the Cats finished the final 2 ½ minutes with only 3 points, while Baylor closed by adding 7 points, to take a 5 point lead to the locker room at the half, Baylor 34, Kentucky 29. Just like at Notre Dame on Thursday that saw the Cats squander an early 12-6 lead on an Irish 29-13 run to close that first half, today, the Cats squandered a 15-7 lead on a 27-14 Baylor run to close this first half.
UK scored its 29 points in a total of 40 possessions for the half, and BAYLOR scored its 34 points on a total of 41 possessions. Kentucky WON the boards, with a rebounding edge 25-20, and Kentucky controlled the offensive glass, 10-5. However, Baylor managed a 3-2 advantage in second chance points. BAYLOR had an offensive efficiency of 0.756 ppp on its 41 first chance possessions and 0.600 ppp for its 5 second chance possessions. UK had 0.675 ppp on its 40 first chance possessions and 0.200 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a very season high 40.0% of its misses as offensive rebounds while BAYLOR was able to convert 25.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this half, after making 6-10 (60.0%) overall. BAYLOR finished 7-10 [70.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 10-35 overall [28.6%] and 3-12 from long range [25.0%]. For BAYLOR, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 9-17 [52.9%] and from long range, BAYLOR hit 3-14 [21.4%].
The Cats committed 11 turnovers, one for every 3.6 possessions. The Cats forced 11 BAYLOR turnovers, one for every 3.7 possessions.
Baylor opened the second half with back to back baskets to extend their lead to a game high 9 points before Kentucky could get a pair of baskets of their own. However, a Baylor 3 pointer closed out the scoring in the first segment of the second half, to put Baylor up by 8 points, 41-33 at the under 16 media timeout. After the timeout, Cauley-Stein will be shooting a pair of free throws.
Out of the timeout, Cauley-Stein missed both free throws, but back to back offensive rebounds ended in a turnover, and Baylor scored to move on top by a game high 10 points, 43-33. Goodwin then scored on back to back drives deep into the Baylor zone defense to cut the lead to 6 points, 43-37, prompting a Baylor timeout with 14:50 to play in the game. However, after the timeout, the Cats could not take advantage of multiple defensive stops and Baylor broke the scoring ice with another 3 pointer to lift them back on top by 9 points, 46-37, at the under 12 media timeout, and Baylor in possession of the ball.
Twice after Kentucky trims the lead to 6, Baylor answered with a basket and lastly with a 3 pointer to go back up by 9, 49-40. The Cats again trimmed it to 6, but failed on two chances to cut the lead further, prompting a Baylor timeout with 8:57 to play to settle his team down for the stretch. Out of the timeout, the Cats force a turnover, and Mays hits a 3 pointer to trim the lead to 3 points, but Baylor answers with a 3 point play. Harrow makes a driving floater to trim the lead to 4 points at the under 8 media timeout with 6:37 to play in the game, and Baylor with the ball.
In the 4 th segment, both teams score 2 baskets in 3 possessions, and Baylor uses another timeout with 4:50 to play to change his players in the game, and prepare his team for the final 5 minutes. Baylor scores out of the timeout, and following a turnover by Goodwin at the other end, Goodwin commits his 4 th foul to take the game to the under 4 media timeout with the Cats down 6, 58-52 with Baylor shooting free throws, and 3:57 to play in the game. In the final segment, Baylor moved to a slow, ball control strategy, and after Goodwin trims the lead to 5 points making 1 or 2 free throws, Goodwin fouls out with 1:44 to play. The final score is 64-55 as Kentucky loses for the first time at home under Coach Calipari, ending the home winning streak at 55 games.
UK scored its 55 points in 73 possessions [0.75 ppp] for the game, and BAYLOR scored its 64 points on 74 possessions [0.87 ppp].
Kentucky won the boards, with a rebounding edge 48-37, and Kentucky won the offensive glass with a 21-6 offensive rebounding advantage. BAYLOR converted its 6 second chance possessions into 5 second chance points while Kentucky converted their 21 second chance possessions to score 8 second chance points. BAYLOR had an offensive efficiency of 0.797 ppp on its 74 first chance possessions and 0.833 ppp for its 6 second chance possessions. UK had 0.644 ppp on its 73 first chance possessions and 0.381 ppp on its21 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a season high 40.4% of its misses as offensive rebounds while BAYLOR was able to convert a weak 18.2% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 9-18 [50.0%]. BAYLOR made 14-18 [77.8%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 21-71 overall [29.6%] and 4-22 from long range [18.2%]. For BAYLOR, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 18-34 [47.1%] and from long range, BAYLOR hit 6-20 [30.0%].
The Cats who committed 16 turnovers, one for every 4.6 possessions. The Cats forced 19 BAYLOR turnovers, one for every 3.9 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 8 point UK win, 77-69 at a pace of 69 possessions for UK and 68 possessions for Baylor. The final score was 55 (77) to 64 (69) at a pace of 73 possessions for the Cats and 74 possessions for BAYLOR. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 0.753 ppp (1.116 ppp) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.865 ppp (1.015 ppp).
Next Game On Schedule: Tuesday night against Samford at Rupp Arena
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks