2013-14 Season Analytical Writings

Cats Must Take To The Road On The Heels Of A Tough Home Loss

The 2010-11 Cats struggled for sure on the SEC road, but as the season wound down toward the post season, that team got a chance to set the record straight against the likes of Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida a second time, and finally North Carolina in the Elite 8. That team did not fail to reverse an earlier loss from the same team in the same season until their Final Four loss to Connecticut by a single point. Those pay back games occurred in a 10 game winning streak that propelled that team to the school's first Final Four since 1998 (13 years).

This team's stretch run provided an immediate opportunity to right the wrongs against three teams that had handed the Cats defeats this season. This team stumbled in that regard at home against Arkansas in the team's second chance at a second chance. The Arkansas win was the first for a Hog team at Rupp since 1994, and the Hog victory handed Coach Calipari his first season sweep by a SEC opponent since he arrived in Lexington. The loss to Arkansas is further evidence that this team simply is not improving as so many have promised would happen as this season finds its conclusion.

Now, the Cats must head out of town today, less than 24 hours after allowing Arkansas to get out of Lexington with a 4 point overtime win over the Cats on Thursday night. The Cats must lace up the sneakers and put on the shorts tomorrow for a 6 pm encounter with the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia.

SOUTH CAROLINA has a 10-18 overall record, 3-12 in the SEC as they prepare to close out their season with home games against Kentucky and Florida, and at Mississippi State. Pomeroy projects a 10-21, 3-15 finish for the Gamecocks against a schedule strength of 0.6334 (64 th ). SOUTH CAROLINA has averaged 68 possessions per game, scoring 69.4 ppg (1.016 ppp) and allowing 71.1 ppg (1.039 ppp). SOUTH CAROLINA has turned the ball over on 21.1% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on 19.9% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, SOUTH CAROLINA has secured an offensive rebounding rate of 38.7% about 10% above the 29% NCAA average, and a defensive rebounding rate of 66.4%, about 3% below the NCAA average.

In contrast, the Cats have averaged about 69 possessions per game, producing 77.8 ppg (1.123 ppp) and allowing 67.0 ppg (0.970 ppp). The Cats have committed turnovers on 17.9% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 16.4% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats' rebounding rates have been 43.2% and 68.8% on the offensive and defensive ends against a schedule strength of 0.6637 (#33).

Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of Kentucky by 6 points, 74-68 in a game played at a pace of 69 possessions for the Cats and 69 possessions for SOUTH CAROLINA.

Pomeroy figures the Game in Kentucky's favor by 8 points, 76-68 at a pace of 67 possessions.

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Game Summary:

Coach Calipari has started Dakari Johnson in lieu of Willie Cauley-Stein for several weeks, and Coach Calipari will again put an all freshmen starting lineup on the court for the ninth game in a row. 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 take the opening tip, and after making 1 of 3 free throws and a basket, the Cats lead 3-0, but USC scored the next 5 points around two UK shot clock violations to take a 2 point lead, 5-3, at the under 16 media timeout. The Gamecocks will have the ball under their own basket following a 3 point attempt that missed everything but apparently Willie Cauley-Stein's outstretched hand. In the second segment, James Young's 3 pointer lifted the Cats back into a lead, 6-5, but USC responded with a pair of free throws. The Cats then scored the next 4 points to take a 10-8 lead at the under 12 media timeout. After the timeout, Aaron Harrison will have two free throws. In the third segment, the Cats moved up by 4 points, 16-12, but in the fourth segment, USC regained the lead, 26-25 at the under 4 media timeout. In the final segment, USC surged to their biggest lead, 3 points, 31-28, at the half.

UK scored its 28 points in a total of 28 possessions for the half, and SOUTH CAROLINA scored its 31 points on a total of 27 possessions. Kentucky won the battle of the boards 30-14, and UK controlled the offensive glass, 16-5. Kentucky converted its 16 second chance possessions to score 11 second chance points, and SOUTH CAROLINA used its 5 second chance possessions to score 5 second chance points. SOUTH CAROLINA had an efficiency of 0.962 ppp for its 27 first chance possessions, and 1.000 ppp for its 5-second chance possessions. UK had 0.607 ppp on its 28 first chance possessions and 0.688 ppp on its 16 second chance possessions. The Cats managed to grab 64.0% of their misses as offensive rebounds while USC managed to get 26.3% of their misses for second chance possessions.

UK hit well from the free throw line in this half, making 17-23 [73.9%]. SOUTH CAROLINA was 7-10 [70.0] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 5-29 overall [17.2%] and 1-6 from long range [16.7%]. For SOUTH CAROLINA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 6-17 [31.6%] and from long range, SOUTH CAROLINA hit 4-8 [50.0%].

The Cats committed 4 turnovers in the first half, 1 for each 7.0 possessions SOUTH CAROLINA committed 1 turnover in this first half, one for each 27.0 possessions.

Second Half

USC starts the second half with a basket on the first possession to go up by 5. After Young misses 1 of 2 free throws to trim the lead to 4, Young misses a fast break layup and USC takes it to the other end for an uncontested basket to go up by 6, 35-29, forcing Coach Calipari to call a timeout after only 1 minute of the second half. However, the timeout does not do any good as the Cats only manage 2 points on four free throw attempts and fall behind by 13, 43-30, at the under 16 media timeout on their third turnover of the segment. The Cats have not made a basket on their last 14 shot attempts.

Out of the timeout, the Gamecocks extend their lead to 15. After the Cats got their first basket in the memory of man on a USC goal tending, USC drained a 3 pointer to go up by 16, 48-32. At the under 12 media timeout, USC's lead stands at 12, 50-38, and USC will be at the line for free throws after the timeout as a consequence of Willie Cauley-Stein's fourth foul. In the third segment, after two UK misses, and a mugging of Randle, Coach Calipari picked up his second technical of the game, and was ejected. It is the third technical of the game on the UK bench.

Over the balance of the segment, the Cats manage to trim the USC lead to 10 points, 55-45 at the under 8 media timeout with 7:26 to play, and the Cats in possession. The Cats cut the USC lead to 7 points on their second 3 pointer of the game, but can draw no closer. USC takes a timeout, in possession of the ball with that 7 point lead and 5:15 to play in the game. Willie Cauley-Stein steals the ball, and UK takes a timeout to get Randle into the game on offense with 4:44 to play. A 3 pointer by Young brings the Cats to within 4 points. However, the Cats can draw no closer before the under 4 media timeout. With 3:24 to play, USC maintains a 5 point lead, 58-53 and will be shooting a pair of free throws after the timeout.

USC makes 1 of the 2 free throws, and Andrew Harrison makes a 3 pointer at the other end to pull the Cats back to within 3 points, 59-56 with 3:11 to play. The Cats take their next to last timeout to stop the clock. This is the closest the Cats have been since they trailed by 3 points, 31-28, at the half. After using the shot clock, USC misses a 3 pointer, but they got the offensive rebound and got to the line for a pair, making both. The Cats are unable to score again, and Willie Cauley-Stein fouls out on the rebound. USC missed again, but got the second chance basket to go back on top by 6. Young hits another 3 pointer to pull the Cats back to within 3 points, 64-61, and the Cats burn their last timeout with 1:11 to play in the game. USC uses 27 seconds to get a basket in the lane, to go on top by 5, 66-61 with 44 seconds left, and USC takes a timeout to talk about how they want to play the final 1 or 2 possessions. After James Young turns the ball over, the Gamecocks go up by 7 points on another pair of free throws. A 25 foot 3 pointer by Aaron Harrison, a steal by Young leading to a 3 point play by Randle cut the lead to 1 point, 68-67. After a pair of free throws, the a 3 point attempt by Alex Poythress hit the front of the rim, and caromed out of bounds off a UK player with 6.1 seconds remaining.

Cats lose 72-67.


UK scored its 67 points in a total of 61 possessions (1.098 ppp) for the game, and SOUTH CAROLINA scored its 72 points on a total of 61 possessions (1.180 ppp). Kentucky won the battle of the boards with a 46-28 advantage, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 21-12 Kentucky used its 21 second chance possessions to score 10 second chance points, and SOUTH CAROLINA converted their 12 offensive rebounds into 11 second chance points. SOUTH CAROLINA had an offensive efficiency of 1.000 ppp on its 61 first chance possessions and 0.917 ppp for its 11 second chance possessions. UK had 0.934 ppp on its 61 first chance possessions and 0.476 ppp on its 21 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 56.8% of its misses as offensive rebounds while SOUTH CAROLINA was able to convert 32.4%, of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 33-42 [78.6%]. SOUTH CAROLINA made 25-33 [75.8%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 14-52 overall [26.9%] and 6-17 from long range [35.3%]. For SOUTH CAROLINA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-40 [40.0%] and from long range, SOUTH CAROLINA hit 5-13 [38.5%].

The Cats committed 10 turnovers, one for every 6.1 possessions. The Cats forced 6 SOUTH CAROLINA turnovers, one for every 10.2 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Tuesday night against Alabama at Rupp in the last home game of the 2013-14 season.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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To South Carolina Loss Worst Loss of Calipari Era

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