BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2016-17 Season Analytical Writings
Last Sunday evening, Coach Calipari emptied his bench in an impressive 108-51 domination of Clarion in the Cats' first exhibition game in preparation for the 2016-17 basketball season. As impressive as the first contest against an outside opponent was, I am confident that Coach Calipari identified areas requiring work, and as has been his practice over the first seven years at UK, he will use the week between exhibitions to shore up these areas.
However, make no mistake. My old eyes do not see obvious areas of deficiency from the Clarion game. The 1.33 ppp offensive efficiency is the 4 th best in 8 first games, and the 0.65 ppp defensive efficiency is 2 nd best (2009-10 was 0.50 ppp) in Coach Calipari's 8 years for the first exhibition game. The first exhibition performance yielded a game raw efficiency of 0.69 points per possession, which is the 2 nd highest such measure in all 8 of Coach Calipari's tenure at UK in the first exhibition.
The individual performances in the first exhibition were consistently strong. Tai Wynyard posted an amazing individual game efficiency of 7 points per possession ended. He made both of his shots and both of his free throw attempts for 6 points. While he also committed one turnover, he secured three offensive rebounds resulting in a net 1 possession consumed during his 9 minutes of playing time.
But for Tai Wynyard's very strong showing, Isaiah Briscoe's individual efficiency would have been worthy of top team honors in any other season at 1.45 ppp. He played 22 minutes, scored 11 points on 5 total shots and 4 of 5 from the line. Isaiah Briscoe handed out 11 assists, had 3 steals, and only committed 2 turnovers. This level of contribution to the team this season will lead this team to places prior UK teams have failed to reach.
Two other Wildcats, Wenyen Gabriel and Edrice (BAM) Adebayo, each posted game efficiencies above 1.0 ppp in their first ever real game wearing the UK blue and white. Other notable game efficiencies posted by Wildcats in the first exhibition include:
Despite this opening game performance that left fans excited about the upcoming season, this Sunday evening, Coach Calipari will send his team back into Rupp Arena for the second, and last exhibition, this time against Asbury. We will again be entertained by what could be one of the best basketball teams of the Calipari Era at UK.
Asbury will appear in Rupp Arena on Sunday, November 6, 2016 for the last tune-up before beginning the 2016-17 basketball season against Stephen F. Austin on November 11, 2016.
Over the past 7 seasons, the Cats have averaged a 58 point victory over its second exhibition opponent (109-51) a statistically significant improvement over the average 41 point average margin (96-55) in the first exhibition games. This year's 57 point margin in the first exhibition sets a high bar for the second game this season. Based on the exhibition history and the Asbury statistical profile from 2015-16, the analysis indicates a 64 point margin, 112-48.
Coach Calipari will try a slightly different combination to start this second exhibition game. The starters are Edrice (BAM) Adebayo, Malik Monk, Derek Willis, Isaiah Briscoe, and De'Aaron Fox. Coach Calipari is trying a 3 guard starting lineup against a fast, free wheeling, guard oriented Asbury team.
Kentucky controls the opening tip. After turning the ball over to Asbury on the initial possession, Asbury drew first blood and eased out to a 2-0 lead. The Cats took the lead within 2 possessions, and at the under 16 media timeout, the Cats lead 10-4 in a game marked by a pace about 120 possessions. In the second segment, the pace continues at a 120 clip, and the Cats extend their lead to 12 points, 26-14 at the under 12 media timeout. After the timeout, Isaiah Briscoe will have a pair of free throws.
In the third segment, the Cats extend their lead to 45-18 at the under 8 media timeout. Asbury will have a pair of free throws after the timeout. The pace in the third segment slowed slightly, to only 95 equivalent for a full game. Asbury takes a timeout with 6:08 remaining after the Cats break open the game to a 56-19 score. In the fourth segment, the Cats continue to extend the lead, to 69-21 at the under 4 media timeout, with Asbury due to shoot a pair of free throws after the break. The Cats lead 88-25 at the half.
The Cats scored 88 points on 59 possessions, 1.49 points per possession, and Asbury managed their 25 points on 58 possessions, 0.43 ppp. The Cats made 70.0% of their first half shots, and 2 of 9 from outside the arc. Asbury was limited to only 19.6% shooting in the first half, but managed to make 2 of 20 shots from long range (10.0%) and only 7-26 from inside the arc where the Cats' interior defense was nearly air tight.
The Cats made 16-22 free throws (72.7%) and Asbury managed to make 5-12 free throws.
On the Boards, the Cats controlled the glass 41-18 overall, and the Cats won on the offensive glass 10-8. UK secured 50.0% of their misses and limited Asbury to only 20.5% of their misses as second chance opportunities. The Cats committed 9 turnovers, one for each 6.6 possessions while Asbury committed 14 turnovers, one for each 4.1 possessions.
The Cats win 156-63
UK scored its 156 points in a total of 109 possessions (1.43 ppp) for the game, and Asbury scored its 63 points on a total of 109 possessions (0.58 ppp).
Kentucky won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 71-44, but Asbury won the battle of the offensive glass 22-15. Kentucky used its 15 second chance possessions to score 15 second chance points, winning the second chance points battle 15-11. Asbury had an offensive efficiency of 0.477 ppp on its 109 first chance possessions and 0.500 ppp for its 22 second chance possessions. UK had 1.294 ppp on its 109 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 15 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 40.5%of its misses as offensive rebounds while Asbury was able to convert a respectable 28.2% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit about average from the free throw line in this game, making 18-26 [69.2%]. Asbury made 11-21 [52.4%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 66-96 overall [68.8%] and 6-19 from long range [31.6%]. For Asbury, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a low 14-48 [29.2%] and from long range, Asbury hit 8-49 [16.3%].
The Cats committed 16 turnovers, one for every 6.8 possessions. The Cats forced 24 Asbury turnovers, one for every 4.5 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: Next Friday night, again at Rupp Arena, the Cats will open the regular basketball season against Stephen F. Austin.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks