BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2012-13 Season Analytical Writings
Does anyone else get the feeling that this team is in a tailspin? It sure feels that way despite what have been strong overall team numbers for the entire year. Saturday's game against LSU is emblematic of this paradox of the 2012-13 season. Consider that if before this game, you knew the following facts, what type of victory would you have foreseen in this game.
Yet, the game hinged at the end on whether an official noticed that Nerlens Noel had not quite gotten off the floor before another official handed to ball to the UK inbounds players to restart action, and LSU had a shot for a tie at the end that failed to fall. What is going on, pretty soon dogs will start sleeping with cats for all I can tell.
For those who felt the 27-point margin that I offered prior to the LSU game was too high, you were right. This morning, as I updated my databases, I discovered an error in the LSU game spreadsheet. I don't know how this error occurred, but the reason is irrelevant, because it did happen. For the record, the NGE game margin should have been 18 points, not 27 points. Nevertheless, the game performance by the Cats against LSU failed to measure up to their average performance levels for the season, especially on defense.
Mississippi is next up for the Cats in Oxford. This edition of the Ole Miss Mens Basketball team will be long remembered in their state as the team that rewrote large sections of their record book. MISSISSIPPI brings a 17-2 record into this game, and the Mississippi has won 9 games in a row, including a 6-0 start in the SEC. MISSISSIPPI's most impressive win have been by 15 over #56 Missouri at home where the Rebels are perfect this season in eleven games. Their two loses came at #43 Middle Tennessee by 1 point in early December, and to #85 Indiana State by 2 in OT at a neutral location just before Christmas. If there is a knock on the Mississippi record to date, it is that their non-conference schedule was extremely weak, ranked as the 328 th weakest out of 347 D1 teams (0.3266), and now that SEC play is 1/3 through the season, the Mississippi strength of schedule has risen, but only to 0.4400 (#250 th ).
MISSISSIPPI has averaged about 73 to 74 possessions per game, producing 80.3 ppg (1.09 ppp) and allowing 63.9 ppg (0.87 ppp). However, as noted above, their strength of schedule inflate the raw efficiency values. MISSISSIPPI has turned the ball over on 16.1% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on 23.2% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, MISSISSIPPI has secured an offensive rebounding rate of 35.9% about 3% above the 33% NCAA average, and a defensive rebounding rate of 68.7%, about 2% above the NCAA average.
In contrast, the Cats have averaged about 70 possessions per game, producing 75.8 ppg (1.08 ppp) and allowing 62.0 ppg (0.89 ppp) against a schedule strength of 0..5489 (104 th ). The Cats have committed turnovers on 18.7% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 19.5% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats' rebounding rates have been 35.0% and 70.0% on the offensive and defensive ends.
Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of Mississippi by 5 points, 68-73 in a game played at a pace of 72 possessions for the Cats and 72 possessions for MISSISSIPPI. Pomeroy figures the Game in Mississippi's favor by 4 points, 71-75 at a pace of 75 possessions. As discussed previously, this game will depend on which identity shows up in MISSISSIPPI on Tuesday night. If it is the personality that sustained high hopes over the first half of this season, I would expect a Kentucky win by 4 or more. However, if the timid personality shows up for this one, the Cats will experience a loss in the mid teens.
Willie Cauley-Stein traveled with the team to Oxford, but Coach Calipari says he will not play tonight, the fourth game he will miss. Therefore, Coach Calipari will use the three freshmen, Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin , and Alex Poythress starting with Ryan Harrow and Julius Mays. Coach Calipari will use Kyle Wiltjer,, and Jarrod Polson off the bench. Jon Hood has returned to practice, but we do not know how long he can go coming off his bout with mononucleosis. Twany Beckham remains unavailable due to his reinjured back.
Kentucky wins the opening tip, but have to settle for a poor 3 pointer at the end of the shot clock, Poythress fouls Henderson on a head fake from outside the arc. He makes 2 of the 3 free throws to allow Mississippi to ease on top 2-0, and the teams trade baskets to a 4-4 tie before Goodwin makes a pair of free throws to give the Cats their first lead of the game. However, an Ole Miss 3 pointer, coupled with the Cats' 3 rd turnover of the opening segment gave Ole Miss the 1 point lead and the ball, 7-6, at the under 16 media timeout. Poythree picked up two fouls in the first segment, and Mays gets his second foul early in the second segment. Then Harrow commits on offensive foul, sending Ole Miss into the bonus with over 13 minutes to play.
Despite 7 turnovers by the Cats to none by Ole Miss; despite 2 free throws for the Cats to 7 for Ole Miss, the Cats are hanging within 2 points, 12-10, at the under 12 media timeout, and the Cats will have the ball after the timeout. In the third segment, the Cats managed to pull into another brief lead, but Ole Miss did not let the lead stand for long, and answered with a basket each time the Cats eased on top by 2 points. At the under 8 media timeout, the teams are tied at 19-19, and Goodwin will be shooting a pair of free throws when play resumes.
Goodwin missed the first and made the second to ease the Cats on top by a single point, and after the teams traded baskets, and the Cats led 22-21, Ole Miss pounded the Boards to 7 second chance points in a row to take a 28-22 lead, prompting a Kentucky timeout. Kyle Wiltjer hit a 3 pointer to end the Ole Miss Run, and a pair of free throws on 4 attempts trims the lead back to a single point, 28-27. However, the Cats can't get back on top due to very poor free throw shooting, and an inability to get a defensive rebound. At the under 4 media timeout, Ole Miss leads by 3 points, 32-29, and Goodwin will be at the line for a pair of shots after the timeout.
Out of the timeout, Goodwin again missed the first of two, and Henderson drained his first 3 pointer of the game, following another offensive rebound to move Ole Miss on top by 5, 35-30. However, Goodwin made an emphatic dunk, and Kyle Wiltjer made a 3 pointer to tie the score, prompting an Ole Miss timeout with 1:17 to play. Ole Miss responded with a 3 pointer, and Kyle Wiltjer got a put back basket to trim the Ole Miss lead to 1 point, 38-37 at the half.
UK scored its 37 points on 38 possessions for the half, and MISSISSIPPI scored its 38 on 38 possessions. Ole Miss won the battle of the boards in the first half 26-24, and Ole Miss earned its living on the offensive boards, 14-5 producing an Ole Miss advantage on second chance points of 20-7. MISSISSIPPI had an offensive efficiency of 0.474 ppp on its 38 first chance possessions and 1.429 ppp for its 14 second chance possession. UK had 0.789 ppp on its 38 first chance possessions and 1.400 ppp on its 7 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a weak 29.4% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MISSISSIPPI was able to convert 42.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this half, making 10 of 20 attempts (50.0%). MISSISSIPPI finished 9-12 [75.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 12-25 overall [48.0%] and 3-11 from long range [27.3%]. For MISSISSIPPI, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a weak 10-33 [30.3%] and from long range, MISSISSIPPI hit 3-11 [27.3%].
The Cats committed 8 turnovers, one for every 4.8 possessions. The Cats forced 3 MISSISSIPPI turnovers, one for every 12.7 possessions.
Ole Miss opens the first half with a missed layup, and Kyle Wiltjer converts 1 of 2 free throws at the other end to tie the score. Following an Ole Miss offensive foul, Goodwin makes a basket to put the Cats up by a pair. A pair of Kyle Wiltjer 3 pointers lift the Cats to their biggest lead of the game, 6 points, 46-40. After Ole Miss scores 5 in a row to trim the lead to a single point, Alex Poythress makes a three point play, and Mays drives to the hoop for a score to lift the Cats to a 5 point lead, 51-46, prompting an Ole Miss timeout with 16:37 to play in the game. Out of the timeout, Kyle Wiltjer makes a layup on a pick and roll to lift the Cats to a new high lead, 7 points, 53-46 at the under 16 media timeout, and Ole Miss in possession.
In the second segment, Alex Poythress comes to life as Nerlens Noel commits 2 quick fouls and has to take a seat next to Coach Calipari on the bench. When Goodwin gets a put back basket to lift the Cats up by 9 points, Ole Miss takes another timeout. Alex Poythress and Goodwin are growing up in this game before our eyes as they lead the way to a 15 point lead, 71-56, at the under 12 media timeout. The Cats add 2 more points to their lead, 73-56, but Nerlens Noel commits his 4 th foul, and Ole Miss does all the scoring over the remainder of the third segment to pull to within 11 points, 73-62, and Coach Calipari calls a timeout with 7:32 to play. Out of the timeout, the Cats fail again to score, and Ole Miss cuts the lead to 9 points, 73-64 at the under 8 media timeout with 6:40 to play, and the Cats with the ball.
Before the Ole Miss run ends, they cut the lead to a single point, 73-72, forcing Coach Calipari to call yet another timeout with 4:22 to play. The Cats have not scored in about 7 minutes. Out of the timeout, Harrow ends the drought with a 3 pointer, and Nerlens Noel risks his 5 th foul to block a shot at the other end, and as the Cats try to run, Goodwin is fouled and will be shooting the bonus after the under 4 media timeout with 3:50 to play in the game and the Cats up by 4, 76-72.
In the final segment, the Cats used 9 for 10 free throw shooting to seal the victory by 13 points, 87-74.
UK scored its 87 points in 74 possessions [1.18 ppp] for the game, and MISSISSIPPI scored its 74 points on 74 possessions [1.00 ppp].
Mississippi won the boards, with a rebounding edge 52-35, and Mississippi won the battle of the offensive glass 26-10. MISSISSIPPI converted its 26 second chance possessions into 29 second chance points while Kentucky converted their 10 second chance possessions to score 13 second chance points. MISSISSIPPI had an offensive efficiency of 0.608 ppp on its 74 first chance possessions and 1.115 ppp for its 26 second chance possessions. UK had 1.000 ppp on its 74 first chance possessions and 1.300 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 27.8% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MISSISSIPPI was able to convert 42.6% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
Kentucky shot poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 23-37 [62.2%]. MISSISSIPPI made 13-20 65.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 28-56 overall [50.0%] and 8-23 from long range [34.8%]. For MISSISSIPPI, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a weak 23-69 [33.3%] and from long range, MISSISSIPPI hit 5-16 [31.3%].
The Cats who committed 9 turnovers, one for every 8.2 possessions. The Cats forced 7 MISSISSIPPI turnovers, one for every 10.6 possessions.
Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 5 point Mississippi win, 73-68 at a pace of 72 possessions for UK and 72 possessions for MISSISSIPPI. The final score was 87 (68) to 74 (73) at a pace of 74 possessions for the Cats and 74 possessions for MISSISSIPPI. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.176 ppp (0.944 ppp) and the UK defensive efficiency was 1.000 ppp (1.014 ppp).
Next Game On Schedule: February 2, 2013 when the Cats stay on the road for the a chance to avenge a Rupp loss to Texas A&M.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks