2014-15 Season Analytical Writings

Destruction of Cats Prepared For Final March For Perfection

Pack mentality is what Coach Calipari says he wants from this group of Wildcats, but unlike the canine varieties that do indeed hunt their prey and move in packs, the feline version is properly called a clowder , but “if one wants to refer to a group of wild cats, the correct terms are 'dowt' and 'destruction.' ” Clearly, the 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats have left “destruction” in their wake as they have subdued their prey. This Destruction of Cats have prevailed over its victims whether it be fowl (Jayhawks and Cardinals), or opponents more fit to appear in the forest of Oz, Lions (Columbia), Tigers (LSU), or Bears (UCLA). Oh my. Other breeds have tried, such as the Elephants in Alabama, fighting Gamecocks, Commodore with his fleet, a Tarheel, and even some Gators.

Perhaps Davey killed him a bear before he was 12, but Ole Davey never encountered Destruction until his his journey ended at the Alamo. So even a group of Volunteers, in the spirit of none other than Davey Crockett, wearing the bright orange garb of a hunting team, met their Alamo by the destruction of Wildcats on Tuesday night in Knoxville. Yes, the Destruction toyed with the Volunteers for about 30 minutes before finishing their inevitable kill with the 18-4 run to finish off the Volunteers.

This Destruction of Kentucky Wildcats have conquered all who have tried.

There are still some still who believe they can overcome the Destruction, and realize their most likely method will include the dispersion of the Destruction into a group of individual cats, but Coach Calipari, the leader of this Destruction, has instilled in his group of Wildcats the essential need to remain together, to hunt as one.

AUBURN's Tigers have played 25 games against legitimate D1 opponents at an average tempo of about 70 to 71 possessions per game, scoring 68.1 ppg (0.981 ppp) and allowing an average 70.1 ppg (0.984 ppp). AUBURN has turned the ball over on 19.3% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on 21.1% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, AUBURN has secured an offensive rebounding rate of 28.0%, and a defensive rebounding rate of 67.5%.

In contrast, the Cats have averaged about 64 to 65 possessions per game, producing 73.3 ppg (1.13 ppp) and allowing 51.7 ppg (0.804 ppp). The Cats have committed turnovers on 17.1% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 23.0% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats' rebounding rates have been 41.8% and 66.8% on the offensive and defensive ends.

The Tigers' schedule strength stands at 0.6501(#40), and the Cats' schedule strength is 0.6740 (#23).

Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of KENTUCKY by 30 points, 81-51 in a game played at a pace of 68 possessions for the Cats and 67 possessions for AUBURN . Pomeroy figures the Game in Kentucky's favor by 25 points, 80-55 at a pace of 65 possessions. The March towards March in Search of Perfection will continue Saturday evening at 7 PM at Rupp Arena.

See how other Big Blue Fans see this game's likely outcome by clicking the following link. .htm

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Game Summary:

Coach Calipar i sticks with the starting players he has used before Trey Lyles illness consisting of Trey Lyles, Willie Cauley-Stein,, Karl-Anthony Towns, Aaron Harrison, and Andrew Harrison. Platoon 2 consists of Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, Dominique Hawkins, Devin Booker, and Tyler Ulis. Derek Willis, and E. J. Floreal to provide deep reserve help should the game require or permit Coach Calipari to go to his 11th or 12 th players.

The Cats control the opening tip and scores on a second chance basket. Willie Cauley Stein makes a 15 foot baseline jump shot to lift the Cats to a 4-0 lead. Following an Auburn turnover, Aaron Harrison hits from the left baseline for a 6-0 lead. Andrew Harrison adds a 3 pointer for a 9-0 start before Auburn scores a bucket following the Cats' first turnover of the game on a goal tending call. Karl Anthony Towns then scores a hook shot from about 5 feet out in the lane, forcing an Auburn timeout with 16:02 remaining and the Cats on top 13-2. Out of the timeout, Auburn fails to get a shot with a shot clock violation, sending the game to the under 16 media timeout with 15:27 remaining.

Coach Calipari did not bring in the second platoon at either of the first two timeouts. However, he does bring in the second group with 13:24 remaining, with the Cats on top 16-2. At the under 12 media timeout, the Cats have exploded on the Tigers, 23-2, with Auburn set to shoot a pair of free throws after the timeout. In the third segment, Auburn finally begins to make baskets and free throws, and match the Cats point for point to a 32-10 score at the under 8 media timeout. Auburn will shoot one free throw to complete a 3 point play after the timeout.

In the first 12 minutes, the teams have each had 23 possessions. The Cats' efficiencies are 1.39 and 0.435 ppp respectively. In the fourth segment, the Cats move on top by 26, 42-16 at the under 4 media timeout, and the Cats are in possession of the ball. In the final segment, the teams play on even terms to a 52-26 halftime score.

The first half was played at a pace of 37 possessions (74 game pace). The Cats scored its 52 points on 37 possessions (1.41 ppp) and AUBURN scored 26 points on 37 possessions (0.70 ppp). The Cats shot well in the first half making 21-34 (61.8%) overall and 3-8 (37.5%) from outside the arc. AUBURN shot poorly for the half, making 6-22 (27.3%) inside the arc, and the Tigers were 3-7 (42.9%) shooting the ball from outside the arc. From the line, UK made 7-9 (77.8%) while AUBURN made 5-11 (45.5%). Kentucky won the battle of the boards in the first half, out rebounding the Tigers 26-10 overall. The Cats won the offensive glass 7-3, and won the second chance point battle 11-5.

The Cats committed 6 turnovers (16.2% of possessions) and forced 6 AUBURN turnovers (16.2% of possessions).

Second Half:

The Cats open with a turnover and a quick 3 pointer that missed the mark, and Auburn converted each to quick baskets prompting Coach Calipari to take a quick timeout. During the timeout, Coach Calipari bring in the starting 5. However, the first unit continues with the poor play with 4 more turnovers before the first segment of the second half comes to a close on a basket by Karl Anthony Towns who will shoot 1 free throw after the under 16 media timeout with the Cats leading 58-36. In the second segment, the Cats' offense revived with 14 points in 8 possessions to push their lead to a game high 29 points, 72-43, at the under 12 media timeout.

In the third segment, the game has become a race horse affair for the Cats, and a 3 point shooting demonstration by Auburn. The Cats scored 14 point on 9 possession, and Willie Cauley Stein will have a free throw after the timeout to try to complete a 3 point play. Auburn scored 15 points on 10 possession, driven by 4-4 shooting from long range. The Cats' lead holds at 28, 86-58, at the under 8 media timeout.

In the fourth segment, the Cats extend their lead to 32 points, 98-66. With a pair of free throws by Aaron Harrison, the Cats break the 100 mark for the first time this season, and the first time in a SEC game since 2010 against Arkansas. With 2 minutes remaining, Coach Calipari inserts Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins, and EJ Floreal. Withou 1:32 remaining, Coach Calipari empties his bench The final score is 110-75 to move to 27-0, 14-0.


UK scored its 110 points in 80 possessions (1.375 ppp) for the game, and AUBURN scored its 75 points on 80 possessions (0.938 ppp).

Kentucky won the rebounding battle 44-22, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive rebounds 12-7. The Cats gained a 14 point advantage on second chance points, 21-7. AUBURN had an offensive efficiency of 0.850 ppp on its 80 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp for its 7 second chance possessions. UK had 1.113 ppp on its 80 first chance possessions and 1.750 ppp on its 12-second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 44.4% of its misses as offensive rebounds while AUBURN was able to convert 17.9% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 16-23 [69.6%]. AUBURN made 14-26 [53.8%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 44-68 overall [64.7%] and 6-17 from long range [35.3%]. For AUBURN , their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 14-41 [34.1%] and from long range, AUBURN hit 11-19 [57.9%].

The Cats committed 15 turnovers, one for every 5.3 possessions. The Cats forced 15 AUBURN turnovers, one for every 5.3 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Wednesday evening, February 25, 2015 against Mississippi State in the 15 th SEC game of the 2015 season at Starkville.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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