BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2015-16 Season Analytical Writings
The On Again-Off Again Cats were in the On Again mode on Saturday when Florida entered Rupp Arena. Can anyone really know which brand of Cat will make an appearance at Rupp Arena on Tuesday night when the Georgia Bulldogs come to town?
Georgia brings a 13-8, 6-4 record into this SEC showdown with the Cats, who sport a record of 17-6, 7-3 in the SEC. Georgia completed their non-conference schedule 7-4, with losses to #69 Chattanooga by 2 in OT, at #30 Seton Hall by 7, to #39 Kansas State by 2, and at #29 Baylor by 10. Georgia's most impressive non-conference win came at the expense of #52 Clemson by 23. Halfway through the SEC season, the Bulldogs and Cats have each played Florida, Missouri (Georgia twice), Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, LSU, and Auburn. Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Auburn, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas. The Cats finished 4-3 against that array of opponents while the Bulldogs managed a 5-3 record against those common SEC opponents. The Cats also faced Alabama and Mississippi State, winning both while the Bulldogs faced Texas A&M and South Carolina, splitting those games.
GEORGIA has played its first 21 games at an average tempo of about 70 possessions per game, scoring 70.5 ppg (1.007 ppp) and allowing an average 67.7 ppg (0.962 ppp). GEORGIA has turned the ball over on 19.4% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on 16.3% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, GEORGIA has secured an offensive rebounding rate of 30.1%, and a defensive rebounding rate of 70.6%. The Georgia schedule has a strength of schedule of 0.6281.
In contrast, the Cats have averaged about 70 to 71 possessions per game, producing 78.2 ppg (1.115 ppp) and allowing 68.0 ppg (0.964 ppp). The Cats have committed turnovers on 17.5% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 18.7% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats' rebounding rates have been 38.8% and 69.6% on the offensive and defensive ends. The Cats have a strength of schedule of 0.6598.
Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of Kentucky by 14 points, 78-64 in a game played at a pace of 70 possessions for the Cats and 70 possessions for Georgia. Pomeroy figures the Game in Kentucky's favor by 10 points, 73-63 at a pace of 67 possessions. Vegas opened Monday evening with the Cats favored by 11 ½ points.
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It seems that Alex Poythress will not be available again tonight. Coach Calipari starts Isaiah Briscoe, Derek Willis, Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis, and Jamal Murray. Against Florida, the Cats got solid contributions from Isaac Humphries in Alex Poythress' absence. There is also some pre-game conversation that Tai Wynyard may see his first game action as a Wildcat.
Marcus Lee controlled the opening tip but the Cats cannot get on the scoreboard first. After Georgia takes leads at 2-0 and 4-2, the Cats run 7 straight points to move on top 9-4. At the under 16 media timeout, the Cats have the ball with a 14-8 lead with 14:50 remaining in the first half. In the second segment, the Cats make two more 3 pointers, 4-5 for the game, and Charles Matthews comes off the bench to give the Cats an offensive boost with a pair of free throws and a baseline jumper from 15 feet to lift the Cats to a double digit lead, 24-13, at the under 12 media timeout.
In the 3 rd segment, the Cats failed to score and allowed 3 points by Georgia as their 11 point lead was reduced to 8 points, 24-16 at the under 8 media timeout. In the fourth segment, the Cats got 6 points on 3-7 shooting and 0-2 from the line while Georgia got 6 points, 6-6 from the line, and 0-2 from the floor. At the under 4 media timeout, the Cats lead by 8, 30-22, and Tyler Ulis will have free throws after the break.
In the final segment, the Cats finish with a 12-2 segment, and a 14-2 run to take a 42-24 lead to the locker room.
Kentucky scored 42 points on 31 possessions (1.35 ppp) while GEORGIA scored 24 points on 31 possessions (0.77 ppp). The Cats shot well for most of the half making 17-30 (56.7%) including 5-10 (50.0%) from long range. GEORGIA shot the ball poorly, 5-25 overall (20.0%) which included 1-5 (20.0%) from long range. From the line, the Cats were 3-6 (50.0%) while GEORGIA was 13-16 (81.3%). The Cats committed 4 turnovers, one for each 7.8 possessions, and the Cats forced GEORGIA into 8 turnovers, one for each 3.9 possessions.
On the boards, the Bulldogs won the battle 19-16, but the Bulldogs won the battle on the offensive glass 10-6. The Cats converted their 6 second chance opportunities into 7 second chance points while GEORGIA used their 10 second chances to score 6 second chance points.
GEORGIA had an efficiency of 0.58 ppp on its 31 first chance possessions and 0.60 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. Kentucky had an efficiency of 1.13 ppp on its 31 first chance possessions and 1.17 ppp on its 6 second chance possession. The Cats grabbed 40.0% of its misses and GEORGIA grabbed 50.0% of its missed shots in the first half.
Georgia opened the game making 4 of their first 7 shots from the field. Over the balance of the first half, Georgia made 1 of 18 shots.
The Bulldogs open the second half with a miss, and the Cats extend their lead to 23 points, 47-24. Georgia calls a timeout with 16:50 remaining in the game. At the under 16 media timeout, the Cats lead has swollen to 26 points, 52-26, and the Cats will have the ball after the timeout. In the third segment, the Cats lead moves to 33 points, 70-37 at the under 8 media timeout. At the under 4 media timeout, the Cats lead by 33, 74-41 with 2:36 remaining in the game. Cats win 82-48.
UK scored its 82 points on 63 possessions for the game, and GEORGIA scored its 48 points on 63 possessions.
The Bulldogs controlled the Boards, 36-34, and Bulldogs won the battle on the offensive glass 16-10. Kentucky used its 10 second chance possessions to score 12 second chance points, and GEORGIA used its 16 second chance possessions to score 10 second chance points. GEORGIA had an offensive efficiency of 0.603 ppp on its 63 first chance possessions and 0.625 ppp for its 16 second chance possessions. UK had 1.111 ppp on its 63 first chance possessions and 1.200 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 33.3% of its misses as offensive rebounds while GEORGIA was able to convert 40.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 14-22 [63.6%]. GEORGIA made 23-27 [85.2%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 29-56 overall [51.8%] and 10-21 from long range [47.6%]. For GEORGIA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a 8-39 [20.5%] and from long range, GEORGIA hit 3-11 [27.3%].
The Cats committed 7 turnovers, one for every 9.0 possessions. The Cats forced 15 GEORGIA turnovers, one for every 4.2 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon at South Carolina in the 25 th regular season and 12 th SEC game of the 2015-16 season .
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks