BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2012-13 Season Analytical Writings
The Cats passed their Lipscomb quiz last Saturday, probably earned a grade of C+ or B-, and this Saturday they get their last quiz of the month, the Marshall quiz, before their December, non-conference Final Exam on December 29, at Louisville. The Marshall quiz will be more difficult than the Lipscomb quiz, and more difficult than any of the non-BCS quizzes of this non-conference season. However, make no mistake, the Louisville Final Exam will be the most difficult non-conference test the Cats are likely to face all season, including the big dance because the Cats will have to do it on the Cards' home instead of Rupp or even a neutral location.
Marshall has opened the season with seven wins in twelve starts, and one of the seven wins came at the expense of non-D1 opponent District of Columbia by 22 points. All six of Marshall's D1 wins have been at home, and their most impressive win to date was over #155 Nevada by 7 points. Marshall has not won on the road so far this season, losing at #97 Villanova by 12, and at #309 Hofstra by 3 in 2OT. Marshall has also lost to #16 Cincinnati at a “semi-home” venue by 16.
Marshall has averaged about 71 to 72 possessions per game, producing 74.1 ppg (1.03 ppp) and allowing 71.4 ppg (1.00 ppp) against an early schedule that Pomeroy rates as the 300 th toughest (0.3876). Marshall has turned the ball over on 20.8% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on 17.5% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, Marshall has secured an offensive rebounding rate of 40.2%, about 7% above the 33% NCAA average, and a defensive rebounding rate of 67.1%, which is the same as the national average.
In contrast, the Cats have averaged about 70 to 71 possessions per game, producing 78.1 ppg (1.10 ppp) and allowing 61.8 ppg (0.88 ppp) against a schedule strength of 0..5225 (164 th ). The Cats have committed turnovers on 17.8% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 21.7% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats' rebounding rates have been 33.7% and 69.8% on the offensive and defensive ends.
Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of the Cats by 23 points, 83-60, in a game played at a pace of 73 possessions for the Cats and 73 possessions for Marshall. Pomeroy figures the Game in Kentucky's favor by 26 points, 87-61 at a pace of 71 possessions. From my perspective, a margin on Saturday of less than 14 points would not bode well for the Cats final exam preparations, and a win by 35 or more would suggest that the team is benefitting from the first full week of Camp Calipari.
Since his return to the team, Ryan Harrow has appeared in 4 games, logging 9 minutes at Notre Dame, 18 against Baylor, 21 against Samford, and 25 minutes against Portland. In the last game, Harrow logged 31 minutes and scored 12 points as he continues to shape into form as he returned to the starting lineup. Kyle Wiltjer also responded to his relegation to the #6 man by putting up 23 points on 8-12 shooting. Today, Jon Hood will not be available due to a throat infection. Coach Calipari will use the three freshmen, Noel, Goodwin, and Poythress starting with Ryan Harrow and Julius Mays. Coach Calipari will use Cauley-Stein, Kyle Wiltjer , and Polson off the bench, and he has mentioned that he may let Beckham have Jon Hood's minutes today based on recent practice work.
Kentucky controlled the opening tip and drew first blood in the game. The teams traded baskets for the first 5 minutes, with the Cats leading by 2 points, 12-10, at the under 16 media timeout with 14:53 to play in the first half. Marshall will be shooting a pair of free throws when play resumes. Out of the timeout, Marshall made 1 of 2, and Poythress ;picked up his second foul of the game with 14:40 to play. Marshall then scored in the lane to ease on top by 1 point, 13-12. The Cats were able to regain the lead, but only briefly, and back to back baskets by Marshall lifted the Thundering Herd on top by 2 points, 20-18, prompting Coach Calipari to call a timeout with 11:43 to go in the first half.
Out of the timeout, Harrow makes a floater in the lane just ahead of the shot clock to tie the score at the under 12 media timeout with 11:03 to play in the first half and the score tied, 20-20. In the short third segment, the Cats managed the only points of the segment, a 3 pointer by Harrow, to lift the Cats on top by 3 points, 23-20, at the under 8 media timeout. Marshall will have the ball after the timeout. In the fourth segment, the Cats outscored Marshall 6-2 to extend their lead to 7 points, 29-22, prompting a Marshall timeout with 4:28 to play in the first half.
After the timeout, Nerlens Noel stole the ball and drove for a basket at the UK end, and was fouled. However, he missed the free throw attempt, and the Cats lead stands at 9 points, 31-22, at the under 4 media timeout. Each team only managed 2 points in the final segment, and the Cats take the 9 point lead, 33-24, to the locker room.
UK scored its 33 points in a total of 37 possessions for the half, and MARSHALL scored its 24 points on a total of 37 possessions. Kentucky managed a 1 rebound advantage, 24-23, in the first half, and they managed a 2 rebound advantage on the offensive ends, 7-5. Kentucky converted its offensive rounding advantage into a 6-2 advantage in second chance points. MARSHALL had an offensive efficiency of 0.595 ppp on its 37 first chance possessions and 0.400 ppp for its 5 second chance possession. UK had 0.730 ppp on its 37 first chance possessions and 0.857 ppp on its 7 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a low 28.0% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MARSHALL was able to convert an even lower 22.7% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this half, after making 6-8 (75.0%). MARSHALL finished 6-10 [60.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 13-37 overall [35.1%] and 1-13 from long range [7.7%]. For MARSHALL, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 6-21 [28.6%] and from long range, MARSHALL hit 2-8 [25.0%].
The Cats committed 3 turnovers, one for every 12.3 possessions. The Cats forced 8 MARSHALL turnovers, one for every 4.6 possessions.
Marshall opens the second half with a basket, and following a Kentucky turnover, and 3 pointer to trim the 9 point halftime lead to 4 points, forcing Coach Calipari to stop the action with a timeout after only 37 seconds of play in the second half. This has become a trademark of this Kentucky team, and again, they have allowed an undermanned opponent to climb back in the game with a lethargic second half start. After the timeout, the Cats fail to score again, and Marshall trims the 4 point lead in half, 34-32. However, the Cats outscored Marshall 8-1 over the balance of the segment to reestablish their 9 point halftime lead, 41-32, at the under 16 media timeout.
In the second segment, the Cats outscored Marshall 14-4 to extend the 9 point lead to 19 points, 55-36, at the under 12 media timeout. After the timeout, the Cats covert 2 empty Marshall trips with back to back baskets to stretch their lead out to 23 points, 59-36, prompting a Marshall timeout with 11:01 to play in the game. The Cats manage to add 1 more point to the game high lead before Marshall trims the lead to 17 points, 62-45 just prior to a segment ending basket by Nerlens Noel to lift the lead back to 19 points. Nerlens Noel will be attempting to complete the 3 point play after the timeout with 6:56 to play in the game.
The teams finish the fourth segment with a 29 point lead, 76-47. The teams play out the final segment as the Cats secure a 28 point win, 82-54.
UK scored its 82 points in 73 possessions [1.12 ppp] for the game, and MARSHALL scored its 54 points on 74 possessions [0.73 ppp].
Kentucky won the boards, with a rebounding edge 48-43, and Kentucky won the offensive glass with a 17-16 offensive rebounding advantage. MARSHALL converted its 8 second chance possessions into 8 second chance points while Kentucky converted their 17 second chance possessions to score 19 second chance points. MARSHALL had an offensive efficiency of 0.622 ppp on its 74 first chance possessions and 0.500 ppp for its 16 second chance possessions. UK had 0.863 ppp on its 73 first chance possessions and 1.118 ppp on its 17 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 38.6% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MARSHALL was able to convert 34.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 21-27 [77.8%]. MARSHALL made 14-26 [53.8%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 29-67 overall [42.0%] and 3-17 from long range [17.6%]. For MARSHALL, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a weak 14-46[30.4%] and from long range, MARSHALL hit 4-15 [26.7%].
The Cats who committed 9 turnovers, one for every 8.1 possessions. The Cats forced 17 MARSHALL turnovers, one for every 4.4 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 23 point UK win, 83-60 at a pace of 71 possessions for UK and 71 possessions for Marshall. The final score was 82 (83) to 54 (60) at a pace of 73 possessions for the Cats and 74 possessions for MARSHALL. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.123 ppp (1.169 ppp) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.730 ppp (0.845 ppp).
Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon at Louisville, Cats vs. Cards.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks