BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2013-14 Season Analytical Writings
The NCAA selection committee showed their complete disdain for anything SEC by placing Kentucky, a one point loser on a neutral court to the overall #1 seed in the Tournament as a 8 seed, and placing the hottest team in the SEC, Tennessee as a 12 seed forced to play in the NCAA's newest concoction, the first round play in game on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, the mighty A10 conference got 6 teams invited to the dance, and their seeding defy any reasoning in the opposite direction. This litany of inexplicable team selections and seeding could go on for the next 3 pages, but suffice it to say that anyone who places the Louisville team as a 4 seed when Louisville ended the season as the most efficient team in the land shows their ignorance.
But, as Coach Calipari has said over the last 48 hours, it does not good to complain, and it is time to go play the games. I will avoid the tendency and temptation this time of year to venture beyond the one game that stands in front of this team, Kansas State in St. Louis on Friday night at about 9:40 pm. One thing is certain about Friday night, Wildcats will win …. And Wildcats will lose.
The Kansas State will bring an overall record of 20-12 overall record into the Tournament. After opening the season with 12 wins in their first 15 games, the Manhattan Kansas Wildcats lost 9 of their last 17 games, including their last 3 games. KSU lost in their first B12 Tournament appearance to #23 Iowa State by 6. However, Kansas State has some impressive wins on their resume including over #9 Kansas by 3 on OT, over #23 Iowa State by 7, over #29 Oklahoma by 6, #20 Gonzaga by 10, and #22 Oklahoma State by 3. The most difficult losses sustained by Kansas State are to #222 Northern Colorado by 2 in their season opener and to #176 Charlotte by 7 on a neutral court. The KSU Wildcats and the UK Wildcats had two common opponents. UK beat #90 Mississippi in Oxford by 14, and the KSU Wildcats beat Ole Miss by 3 at home. Kentucky lost to #31 Baylor in Dallas by 5, and KSU lost to Baylor twice, in Manhattan and at Baylor by 10 in 2OT and by 2 at home.
The Kansas State schedule strength has been 0.6667 (44 th ). KANSAS STATE has averaged 67 possessions per game, scoring 69.7 ppg (1.038 ppp) and allowing 65.7 ppg (0.980ppp). KANSAS STATE has turned the ball over on 18.3% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on 18.7 of opponent possessions. On the Boards, KANSAS STATE has secured an offensive rebounding rate of 35.0% about 6% above the 29% NCAA average, and a defensive rebounding rate of 67.0%, about 2% below the NCAA average.
In contrast, the Cats have averaged 68 possessions per game, producing 75.9 ppg (1.111 ppp) and allowing 66.6 ppg (0.979 ppp). The Cats have committed turnovers on 17.9% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 16.2% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats' rebounding rates have been 42.2% and 70.1% on the offensive and defensive ends against a schedule strength of 0.6880 (#27).
Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of Kentucky by 7 points, 73-66 in a game played at a pace of 68 possessions for the Cats and 68 possessions for KANSAS STATE. Pomeroy has this game in Kentucky's favor by 5 points, 69-64 in a game played at a pace of 64 possessions. Vegas has it in Kentucky's favor by 6 1/2 points, 69 1/2 to 63.
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Coach Calipari stays with the all freshmen starting lineup with Dakari Johnson, Julius Randle, James Young, Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison, to start the game. Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, Hawkins, Lee, and Polson will probably see action off the bench. The big unknown for this game is the tweak that Coach Calipari has teased the media with all week long, and can the Cats begin to find the level of play that the entire BBN has been waiting to see all season.
During the warm-ups, the officials cite Kansas State for n administrative technical foul for dunking the ball during the warm-ups, and Kentucky opened the game prior to the jump ball with a pair of technical free throws. Andrew Harrison missed the first of two, and UK went to the opening tip with a 1-0 lead. UK controlled the tip, but the KSU Cats used 3-6 shooting to move on top 6-5 at the under 16 media timeout. The Cats have hit only 2 of 10 shots, but have gotten 5 offensive rebounding in the opening segment, and the Cats will have the ball. In the second segment, the Cats fail to score and KSU does score to extend their lead to 3 points, 8-5, but the Cats finish the second segment with a 8 point run on a pair of free throws and three pointers by Alex Poythress and Andrew Harrison to move on top 13-8 at the under 12 media timeout. The Cats will have the first possession of the third segment.
After KSU cut the lead to 3 points, 13-10, the Cats answered with another pair of 3 pointers, one by Andrew and the other by Aaron Harrison to lift the Cats to a 9 point lead, 19-10, prompting Coach Weber to call a timeout. Out of the timeout, KSU stopped the UK run, and then got a defensive stop to pull within 7, 19-12, at the under 8 media timeout, with 7:40 left in the first half. In the fourth segment, the Cats extended their lead to 10 points, 26-16 at the under 4 media timeout. After the Cats establish their biggest lead, 29-17, KSU scores 6 straight points to cut the lead in half, 29-23 with 35 seconds remaining in the first half. Coach Calipari takes a timeout to plan the final possession of the first half. The Cats fail to get a shot and take a shot clock violation with 1 second remaining. The Cats lead by 6 at the half, 29-23.
UK scored its 29 points in a total of 31 possessions for the half, and KANSAS STATE scored its 23 points on a total of 30 possessions. Kentucky won the battle of the boards 22-16, and UK won the offensive glass, 8-5. Kentucky converted its 8 second chance possessions to score 3 second chance points, and KANSAS STATE used its 5 second chance possession to score 2 second chance points. KANSAS STATE had an efficiency of 0.700 ppp for its 30 first chance possessions, and 0.400 ppp for its 5-second chance possession. UK had 0.839 ppp on its 31 first chance possessions and 0.375 ppp on its 8 second chance possessions. The Cats managed to grab 42.1% of their misses as offensive rebounds while KANSAS STATE managed to get 26.3% of their misses for second chance possessions.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this half, making 7-9 [77.8%]. KANSAS STATE was 3-6 [50.0%] for the half. Field goal shooting for UK was 9-27 overall [33.3%] and 4-11 from long range [36.4%]. For KANSAS STATE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 10-21 [47.6%] and from long range, KANSAS STATE hit 0-6 [0.0%].
The Cats committed 9 turnovers in the first half, one for each 3.4 possessions. KANSAS STATE committed 5 turnovers in this first half, one for each 6.0 possessions.
Kansas State opens the second half with a 3 pointer, their first of the game, to cut the one time 12 point lead to only 3 points. The Cats fail to score on their first possession, and the foul Gibson, sending him to the line for a pair of free throws but he missed them both. Randle finally found the hoop for UK's first score of the second half. The teams then trade scores until KSU's second 3 pointer trims the UK lead to a pair of points, 35-33, at the under 16 media timeout with 14:54 remaining in the game.
After the timeout, the Cats score 4 straight, and following their third straight empty possessions, the officials tag KSU with a technical foul. Andrew Harrison makes 1 of the 2 shots to move the team up by 7, 40-33, with 12:32 remaining. The Cats then convert on the possession with Randle scoring from the right side of the lane to lift the Cats to a 9 point lead, 42-33. On the KSU next possession, play stops on an offensive goal tending call taking the game to the under 12 media timeout with 11:39 remaining in the game.
In the third segment, the Cats maintain their lead between 6 and 9 points, and the lead stands at 8 points, 46-38 at the under 8 media timeout with 7:35 to play, and KSU in possession of the ball. The teams trade turnovers out of the timeout until Randle makes a driving layup from the left side and is fouled for a 3 point play to lift the lead to 11, 49-38, and 51-40 at the under 4 media timeout with 2:36 remaining in the game. The Cats win by 7, 56-49.
UK scored its 56 points in a total of 60 possessions (0.933 ppp) for the game, and KANSAS STATE scored its 49 points on a total of 60 possessions (0.817 ppp). Kentucky won the battle of the boards with a 40-28 advantage, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 13-9 Kentucky used its 13 second chance possessions to score 7 second chance points, and KANSAS STATE converted their 9 offensive rebounds into 8 second chance points. KANSAS STATE had an offensive efficiency of 0.683 ppp on its 60 first chance possessions and 0.889 ppp for its 9 second chance possessions. UK had 0.817 ppp on its 60 first chance possessions and 0.538 ppp on its 13 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 40.6% of its misses as offensive rebounds while KANSAS STATE 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 game, making 14-21 [66.7%]. KANSAS STATE made 6-12 [50.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 19-50 overall [38.0%] and 4-15 from long range [26.7%]. For KANSAS STATE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 14-32 [43.8%] and from long range, KANSAS STATE hit 5-21 [23.8%].
The Cats committed 15 turnovers, one for every 4.0 possessions. The Cats forced 10 KANSAS STATE turnovers, one for every 6.0 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: The Second Round of the NCAA Tournament as the #8 seed in the Midwest Region against the #1 Seed Wichita State.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks