2015-16 Season Analytical Writings

Cats and Gamecocks Meet Again In SEC Tournament Semifinals

For the third time this season, the Cats man handled the Alabama Crimson Tide, and for the third time this season, Alabama had no answer for Alex Poythress. The SEC Tournament 26 point win over Alabama is the largest UK win margin over the Tide since 1992 when the Cats beat the Tide by 26 in Birmingham in the SEC Tournament.

With the win, the Cats advance to the SEC Tournament's Semifinal round where they will take on the winner of the fourth quarterfinal game of the tournament between Georgia and South Carolina.

Georgia came back from an 11 point deficit to beat South Carolina by 1 point and advance to meet the Cats in the Semifinals. On February 9, the Cats beat down the Dawgs by 34 points, 82-48 at Rupp Arena in their only meeting of this season. No one should expect a repeat of that huge beat down.

GEORGIA has played its 30 games at an average tempo of about 71 possessions per game, scoring 75.1 ppg (1.058 ppp) and allowing an average 72.6 ppg (1.025 ppp). GEORGIA has turned the ball over on 17.8% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on 18.6% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, GEORGIA has secured an offensive rebounding rate of 29.9%, and a defensive rebounding rate of 66.6%. The GEORGIA schedule has a strength of schedule of 0.6718 (#44).

In contrast, the Cats have averaged about 69 to 70 possessions per game, producing 79.2 ppg (1.144 ppp) and allowing 67.6 ppg (0.970 ppp). The Cats have committed turnovers on 16.2% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 17.7% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats' rebounding rates have been 37.9% and 68.9% on the offensive and defensive ends. The Cats have a strength of schedule of 0.6815 (#36).

Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of the Cats with a theoretical margin of 11 points, 79-68 in a game played at a pace of 70 possessions for the Cats and 70 possessions for GEORGIA.

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Game Summary:

Coach Calipari starts Skal Labissiere, Isaiah Briscoe, Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, and Alex Poythress.

Georgia controls the opening tip and gets the first offensive possession of the game. The Dawgs open up the scoring, and after Jamal Murray hits a 3 pointer to give the Cats a 1 point lead, Georgia runs 13-2 to take a 10 point lead, 15-5, forcing Coach Calipari to take a timeout with 15:20 remaining. In the second segment, the Cats manage to trim 1 point from the Georgia lead and trail 23-14 at the under 12 media timeout. However, after the break, Jamal Murray will have 3 free throw attempts with an opportunity to pull the Cats to within 6 points. In the third segment, the Cats rally to pull within 2 points at 23-21, and then 1 point 30-29 at the under 8 media timeout.

In a prolonged 4 th segment, the Cats managed to take another lead, but Georgia made sure it was short lived, and moved back on top quickly. At the under 4 media timeout, the Dawgs lead stands at 7 points, 45-38, with 1:36 remaining in the first half, and the Cats in possession. After Jamal Murray makes a pair of free throws, Georgia hits a 3 pointer to extend their lead back to 8 points. A pair of free throws by Tyler Ulis and a layup by Isaiah Briscoe trim the lead to 4 points, 48-44. Georgia takes a timeout with 38 seconds left in the half. Willis commits his second foul with 22 seconds to play, and Georgia makes 1 of 2 to lead by 5 at the half, 49-44.

Kentucky scored 44 points on 33 possessions (1.33 ppp) while GEORGIA scored 49 points on 34 possessions (1.44 ppp). The Cats shot well in the first half making 14-31 (45.2%) including 4-12 (33.3%) from long range. GEORGIA shot the ball very well, 19-31 overall (61.3%) which included 6-12 (50.0%) from long range. From the line, the Cats were 12-15 (80.0%) while GEORGIA was 5-6 (83.3%). The Cats committed 3 turnovers, one for each 11.0 possessions, and the Cats forced GEORGIA into 7 turnovers, one for each 4.9 possessions.

On the boards, the Dawgs won the battle 16-13, but the Cats won the battle on the offensive glass 7-6 that resulted in an 8-2 advantage in second chance points for the Cats. GEORGIA had an efficiency of 1.38 ppp on its 34 first chance possessions and 0.33 ppp on its 6-second chance possessions. Kentucky had an efficiency of 1.09 ppp on its 33 first chance possessions and 1.14 ppp on its 7-second chance possession. The Cats grabbed 41.2% of its misses and GEORGIA grabbed 50.0% of its missed shots in the first half.

Second Half:

Georgia starts the second half extending their lead to 7 points, 51-44, but the Cats go to war on the boards with 7 second chance points to pull within 4 points, 55-51 at the under 15 media timeout. In the second segment, Georgia retains control of the game with 3 offensive rebounds and 7 second chance points to move out to a lead of 8 points before Alex Poythress stops the run to trim the lead to 6 points, 62-56. Georgia takes a timeout with 12:25 remaining, and 0:11 on the shot clock. After the timeout, Georgia misses, the Cats take the rebound to a 3 point play by Isaiah Briscoe to trim the lead to 3. A Georgia turnover on a charging call give the ball back to the Cats at the under 12 media timeout with 11:57 remaining in the game.

In the third segment, the Cats retake the lead on a 3 pointer by Tyler Ulis and a second chance basket by Isaiah Briscoe to lead 68-67. For the first time today, Georgia failed to score on its next possession after the Cats eased into a lead, and Jamal Murray was fouled going for the rim taking the game to the under 8 media timeout. Jamal Murray will have a pair of free throws after the timeout.

Murray made both free throws to extend the lead to 3 points, 70-67. Georgia answered with a jump shot from just inside the arc, and the Cats then ran 9 points to 3 points to extend their lead to 9 points, 81-72, forcing a Georgia timeout with 3:28 remaining in the game.

Cats win by 13, 93-80.


UK scored its 93 points on 63 possessions for the game, and GEORGIA scored its 80 points on 65 possessions.

The Cats controlled the Boards, 31-29, and the battle on the offensive glass was even, 13-13. Kentucky used its 13 second chance possessions to score 22 second chance points, and GEORGIA used its 13 second chance possessions to score 13 second chance points. GEORGIA had an offensive efficiency of 1.031 ppp on its 65 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp for its 13 second chance possessions. UK had 1.127 ppp on its 63 first chance possessions and 1.692 ppp on its 13 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 44.8% of its misses as offensive rebounds while GEORGIA was able to convert 41.9% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 26-30 [86.7%]. GEORGIA made 16-21 [76.2%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 29-58 overall [50.0%] and 9-21 from long range [42.9%]. For GEORGIA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a 20-38 [52.6%] and from long range, GEORGIA hit 8-19 [42.1%].

The Cats committed 5 turnovers, one for every 12.6 possessions. The Cats forced 12 GEORGIA turnovers, one for every 5.4 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Sunday afternoon in the SEC Tournament's Championship Game against Texas A&M.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


Individual Efficiency Values are NOT adjusted for
Schedule Strength or Venue Weighting
Individual Efficiency Values are based on the following Criteria:

    1. A Player's Contribution To Final Scoring Margin
      Is A Measure New in 2015-16
      As such, it is in an experimental stage.
      for more information about this potential new tracking parameter.


Submitted by Richard Cheeks


To Cats Get Another Shot At Texas A&M
In SEC Tournament Championship Game

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