BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2013-14 Season Analytical Writings
In recent years, a basketball encounter with the Auburn Tigers could be marked as a W on the schedule as early as a fan would first view it in August, and this past August, I would have marked the Auburn trip as a certain W this year as well. However, since the beginning of SEC play in 2014, these Auburn Tigers have been something of a surprise with the improved level of their play.
The Cats on the other hand have not measured up to the August Anticipation. That combination works to make this road game dangerous for the Cats.
AUBURN will put their 11-10, 3-7 SEC record on the line when the Cats come calling on Wednesday night. AUBURN's schedule strength has been 0.5302 (139 h ). AUBURN has averaged 69 to 70 possessions per game, scoring 73.9 ppg (1.056 ppp) and allowing 72.0 ppg (1.035 ppp). AUBURN has turned the ball over on 17.8% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on 18.3% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, AUBURN has secured an offensive rebounding rate of 31.8% about 3% above the 29% NCAA average, and a defensive rebounding rate of 68.5%, about 2 to 3% below the NCAA average.
In contrast, the Cats have averaged about 69 possessions per game, producing 79.5 ppg (1.145 ppp) and allowing 66.7 ppg (0.964 ppp). The Cats have committed turnovers on 17.5% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 16.3% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats' rebounding rates have been 42.8% and 69.2% on the offensive and defensive ends against a schedule strength of 0.6298 (#50).
Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of Kentucky by 8 points, 77-69 in a game played at a pace of 69 possessions for the Cats and 70 possessions for AUBURN. Pomeroy figures the Game in Kentucky's favor by 9 points, 81-72 at a pace of 69 possessions.
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For the fourth consecutive game, Coach Calipari has started Dakari Johnson in lieu of Willie Cauley-Stein and Coach Calipari will again put an all freshmen starting lineup on the court. Johnson joins the four freshmen Randle, Young, and the Harrison Twins. Willie Cauley-Stein, Poythress, Hawkins, Lee, and Polson will probably see action off the bench.
The Cats control the opening tip and score on a put back, and by the under 16 media timeout, the Cats lead 7-4, with 4 offensive rebounds and 5 second chance points. In the second segment, the Cats move on top 12 -6 on a 3 pointer by Young and a lob to Alex Poythress, prompting a quick Auburn timeout with 14:09 to play. Over the next 3 minutes, the Cats extend their lead to 10 points, 18-8, before Auburn's first 3 pointer cut the lead to 7, 18-11 at the under 12 media timeout with 11:14 to play. The Cats will have the ball under their own basket with only 2 seconds remaining on the shot clock. The Cats can't get the shot off before the buzzer, and Auburn makes them pay with a pair of free throws at the other end. Then the Cats take a bad shot at the end of the shot clock, and Auburn cut the lead to 2. Then the Cats commit their second turnover. However, Auburn could not make the Cats pay for the second turnover of this sequence. The Cats end the third segment clinging to a 2 point lead, 20-18, and Auburn will have the ball with a chance to tie after the timeout.
In the fourth segment, after the Cats ease back out to a 5 point lead, Alex Poythress commits his second foul, and Auburn makes both shots to pull back within 3 points, 23-20. The Tigers go to war on the offensive glass, getting a basket on their third attempt to cut the one time 10 point UK lead to a single point, 23-22 at the under 4 media timeout with 3:47 to play, and Auburn in possession. In the final segment, the Cats score all the points to take a 6 point halftime lead, 28-22.
UK scored its 28 points in a total of 29 possessions for the half, and AUBURN scored its 22 points on a total of 28 possessions. Kentucky won the battle of the boards in the first half, 22-20, and Kentucky controlled the offensive glass with a 10-6 advantage. Kentucky converted its 10 second chance possessions to score 8 second chance points, and AUBURN used its 6 second chance possessions to score 6 second chance points. AUBURN had an efficiency of 0.571 ppp for its 28 first chance possessions, and 1.000 ppp for its 6-second chance possessions. UK had 0.690 ppp on its 29 first chance possessions and 0.800 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 41.7% of its misses as offensive rebounds while AUBURN was able to convert 33.3% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this half, making 7-13 [53.8%]. AUBURN was 5-5 [100.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 9-30 overall [30.0%] and 3-8 from long range [37.5%]. For AUBURN, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a weak 7-20 [35.0%] and from long range, AUBURN hit 1-6 [16.7%].
The Cats committed 3 turnovers in the first half, 1 for each 9.7 possessions AUBURN committed 6 turnovers in this first half, one for each 4.7 possessions.
Kentucky opens the second half with a 3 pointer following an offensive rebound to move on top by 9, but Auburn responds with 6 straight to close the gap to 3 points. Before the opening segment comes to a close, Auburn has cut the lead to 2 points, 32-30 and will have the ball for their 4 th opportunity to either pull even or take the lead in this game. The make one of two free throws to pull to within 1 point, 32-31, and Polson gives the Cats a little breathing room with a 3 pointer, but that would be the last point the Cats would score prior to the under 12 media timeout, allowing Auburn to forge its first lead of the game, 38-35.
Out of the timeout, Randle muscles in a basket in the paint, and following an Auburn miss, Dakari Johnson gets a put back basket to lift the Cats back on top 39-38 prompting a timeout by Auburn. The Cats and the Tigers seesawed back and forth with alternating 1 point leads until the Cats got a stop, and managed to hold their lead for at least one possession at the under 8 media timeout with 6:41 to play in the game. The Cats lead 43-42 and will be shooting the bonus free throws with play resumes.
In the fourth segment, the Cats extend their lead from a single point to 8 points with a 7-0 run, and overall a run of 15-4 since Auburn grabbed their 3 point lead with 11:25 to play. At the under 4 media timeout, the Cats lead 50-42, and Auburn will be shooting free throws after the timeout. The Cats manage to hang on to get an 8 point win, 64-56.
UK scored its 64 points in a total of 60 possessions (1.067 ppp) for the game, and AUBURN scored its 56 points on a total of 59 possessions (0.949 ppp). Kentucky controlled the boards with a 49-36 advantage, and Kentucky won the battle on the offensive glass 22-15. Kentucky used its 22 second chance possessions to score 21 second chance points, and AUBURN converted their 15 offensive rebounds into 14 second chance points. AUBURN had an offensive efficiency of 0.712 ppp on its 59 first chance possessions and 0.933 ppp for its 15 second chance possessions. UK had 0.717 ppp on its 60 first chance possessions and 0.955 ppp on its 22 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 51.2% of its misses as offensive rebounds while AUBURN was able to convert 35.7%, of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 25-40 [62.5%]. AUBURN made 18-24 [75.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 17-55 overall [30.9%] and 5-12 from long range [41.7%]. For AUBURN, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-39 [41.0%] and from long range, AUBURN hit 2-16 [12.5%].
The Cats committed 9 turnovers, one for every 6.7 possessions. The Cats forced 8 AUBURN turnovers, one for every 7.4 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: Saturday night against Florida at Rupp Arena
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks