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2016-17 Season Analytical Writings
The two exhibition games against NAIA and NCAA Division II opponents are in the books, and the performances turned in by this new group of Wildcats was impressive to say the least. The Cats scored over 100 points in each of the games for the third consecutive pre-season. However, in the second exhibition this season against Asbury, the Cats broke nearly every single game scoring record in route to a 156-63 pounding.
The Cats will face its first D1 opponent on Friday night when the Stephen F. Austin Jacks come into Rupp Arena to open their season. Over their last 4 seasons, the Great Danes have posted winning records, winning 27, 32, 29, and 28 last year. The Jacks earned post season play in each of those seasons, the NCAA in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and the NIT in 2013. Last year's 28-6 record was good enough for Stephen F. Austin to win the Southland Conference with a 18-0 record with that leagues most efficient offense and most efficient defense. SFA won the Southland post season tournament before ending their season in the NCAA second round in a loss to Notre Dame by 1. Stephen F. Austin's most impressive win was at #8 West Virginia by 14 in the NCAA First Round. SFA's most embarrassing loss was to #200 Tulane by 1 point on a neutral court in November.
Albany has a consistent track record of solid, better than average D1 basketball accomplishments. They ended the last 4 seasons with Pomeroy ratings of #70, #69, #51, and #41 last year. Stephen F. Austin is a worthy opponent for the Cats' first encounter with a D1 basketball team. SFA opens the 2016-17 season with a Pomeroy rating of #125 having lost 4 of their top 6 players from last season to graduation.
The Adjusted Net Efficiency (ANE) analysis for this match up, based on pre-season estimates derived from each team's recent history, indicates a game played at a pace of 68 possessions, with the Cats winning by 16 points, 78-62. Pomeroy sees this game with UK having a 20 point advantage, 81-61 played at a pace of 70 possessions.
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Coach Calipari opens the season with Edrice (BAM) Adebayo, Derek Willis, Malik Monk, De'Aaron Fox, and Isaiah Briscoe in the starting lineup.
The Cats control the opening tip but draw a blank on the first shot by Malik Monk. After De'Aaron Fox makes a pair of free throws following a steal, SFA hits a 3 pointer to take a brief lead, 3-2. Edrice (BAM) Adebayo commits 2 quick fouls and goes to the bench and Isaac Humphries. However, the Cats score the next 7 points, primarily by Derek Willis, to move on top 9-3 with 17:03, forcing a SFA timeout. At the under 16 media timeout, the Cats lead expands to 13-7, and Derek Willis will have a free throw to complete a 3 point play after the timeout. Derek Willis has scored 9 of the Cats first 13 points. Derek Willis completes the 3 point play and takes a rest on the bench giving way to Wenyen Gabriel.
In the second segment, the Cats extend their lead to 12 points, 23-11 at the under 12 media timeout. In the third segment, SFA chips into the UK lead, pulling to within 8 points, 28-20 at the under 8 media timeout. At the under 4 media timeout, the Cats lead stands at 14, 41-27. The Cats lead 48-32 at the half.
The Cats scored 48 points on 41 possessions, 1.171 points per possession, and Stephen F. Austin managed their 32 points on 39 possessions, 0.820 ppp. The Cats made 51.4% of their first half shots, including 2-10 from outside the arc. Stephen F. Austin managed to make 47.8% of their first half shots, including 3-9 from outside the arc.
The Cats made 10-14 free throws (71.4%) and Stephen F. Austin managed to make 7-10 free throws(70.0%).
On the Boards, the Jacks controlled the glass 17-15 overall, but the Cats managed a 7-5 advantage on the offensive glass. The Cats used its second chance possessions to outscore SFA 10-6 on second chance points. The Cats secured 36.8% of their misses and allowed Stephen F. Austin to grab 38.5% of their misses as second chance opportunities.
The Cats open play in the second half, and over the course of the first 4 minute segment, extend their lead to 23 points, 59-36 at the under 16 media timeout. After the timeout, Malik Monk will have one free throw to complete a 3 point play off a steal. In the second segment, the teams play on even terms to a 67-44 UK lead at the under 12 media timeout.
Cats win 87-64
UK scored its 87 points in a total of 77 possessions (1.130 ppp) for the game, and Stephen F. Austin scored its 64 points on a total of 76 possessions 0.842 ppp).
SFA won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 36-24, and SGA won the battle of the offensive glass 14-11. Kentucky used its 11 second chance possessions to score 10 second chance points, and Stephen F. Austin used its 14 second chance possessions to score 10 second chance points. Stephen F. Austin had an offensive efficiency of 0.710 ppp on its 76 first chance possessions and 0.714 ppp for its 14 second chance possessions. UK had 1.000 ppp on its 77 first chance possessions and 0.909 ppp on its 11 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a weak 33.3%of its misses as offensive rebounds while Stephen F. Austin was able to convert a strong 45.2% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 20-30 [66.7%]. Stephen F. Austin made 13-19 [68.4%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 31-62 overall [50.0%] and 5-18 from long range [27.8%]. For Stephen F. Austin, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a strong 18-33 [54.5%] and from long range, Stephen F. Austin hit 5-19 [26.3%].
The Cats committed 13 turnovers, one for every 5.9 possessions. The Cats forced 28 Stephen F. Austin turnovers, one for every 2.7 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: Sunday night, again at Rupp Arena, the Cats will take on Canisius in the second regular season game of the 2016-17 season.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks