BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2016-17 Season Analytical Writings
On Wednesday afternoon, the Cats served a pre-Thanksgiving appetizer to the Big Blue Nation with a 31-point win over the Cleveland State Vikings at Rupp Arena. On Friday, the Cats will be serving a post-Thanksgiving dessert, the Tennessee Martin Skyhawks. This will be the Cats' sixth game, five at Rupp Arena, over the first 2 weeks of the 2016-17 regular season, and this game marks the end of the introduction to this team.
On Monday, when the Cats again leave the friendly confines of Rupp Arena to face #78 Arizona State in the Bahamas, the Cats will move into the second phase of this season, 5 non-conference encounters that includes in addition to #78Arizona State, #24 UCLA, #73 Valparaiso, #2 North Carolina, and #7 Louisville. Over the ensuing 4 weeks, the Cats will learn whether they have learned the early season lessons are ready for a steady prime time diet.
But, before the team officially can move into this next phase with elevated opponent difficulty, it must take care of the post-Thanksgiving dessert.
Tennessee Martin has already played six games, with a 5-1 record. UTM's only loass occurred in their opening game at #79 Mississippi by 3 points. Tennessee Martin has beaten #224 Cleveland State by 11 points, and at #235 Canisius by 3 points and at #203 Duquesne by 3 points. In addition, UTM has posted an 8-point win over #l345 UT Rio Grande Valley and against non-D1 opponent Cumberland by 31 points. They enter this game as the #230 team in the Pomeroy ratings with an ANE of -0.055 ppp with strength of schedule of -0.0360 ppp. The Cats enter this game at #4 with an ANE of 0.305 ppp with strength of schedule of -0.0405 ppp. The Adjusted Net Efficiency (ANE) analysis for this match up indicates a game played at a pace of 77 possessions for the Cats and 77 possessions for the Skyhawks, with the Cats winning by 28 points, 90-62 with game efficiencies of 1.169 ppp and 0.805 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game with UK having a 29-point advantage, 94-65 played at a pace of 77 possessions.
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Isaiah Briscoe is still not be able to play due to a back injury that he sustained two games ago. Therefore, Coach Calipari will keep Dominique Hawkins into the starting lineup. In addition, Coach Calipari has moved Wenyen Gabriel back into a starting role and is sitting Derek Willis. The starting lineup today is Edrice (BAM) Adebayo, Wenyen Gabriel, Malik Monk, De'Aaron Fox, and Dominique Hawkins.
The Cats control the opening tip, but fail to score. UTM scores first on a 3 pointer from the top of the key. The Cats then score the next 9 points before UTM stops the run with their second 3 pointer of the game. At the under 16 media timeout, the Cats lead 9-6 and have possession. At the under 12 media timeout, UTM closed to a single point, 15-14. UTM opens the third segment with a basket to move back into the lead, 16-15, but the Cats answered with 4 straight to regain the lead. They exended the lead to 8 points, 29-21, but a fast break basket off a UK missed shot prompted Coach Calipari to take a timeout with 7:43 remaining and the lead at 6 points.
In the 4 th segment, the Cats responded to Coach Calipari's timeout message and extend their fragile 6 point lead to 14 points, 43-29 at the under 4 media timeout, and Isaac Humphries will have a free throw to complete the 3 point play after the break. Cats lead 53-38 at the half in a game with 39 possessions in the half.
The Cats scored 53 points on 39 possessions, 1.359 points per possession, and Tennessee Martin managed their 38 points on 38 possessions, 1.000 ppp. The Cats made 54.5% of their first half shots, including 4-13 (30.8%) from outside the arc. Tennessee Martin managed to make 48.5% of their first half shots, including 4-12 (33.3%) from outside the arc.
The Cats made 13-17 free throws (76.5%) and Tennessee Martin made 2-2 from the charity line (100.0%).
On the Boards, the Cats won the glass 20-14 overall, and 9-6 on the offensive glass. Kentucky won the second chance points 9-4. The Cats secured 52.9% of their misses and allowed Tennessee Martin to grab 35.3% of their misses as second chance opportunities.
The Skyhawks open play in the second half. In the first segment, the Cats extend their 15 point halftime lead to 21 points, 63-42 at the under 16 media timeout. After the timeout, the Cats get back to back monster dunks by Malik Malik Monk, the first off a missed shot by UTM and the second on a steal. UTM takes a timeout with 14:13 remaining with the Cats leading by 29, 73-44. At the under 12 media timeout, the Cats lead has exploded to 38 points, 86-48. The Cats break the 100 point level with 8:07 to go. At the under 8 media timeout, the Cats lead by 47, 101-54.
Brad Calipari enters the game during the under 8 media timeout. At the under 4 media timeout, with 3:22 remaining, the cats lead 107-68, 41 points. Cats win 111-76, 35 points.
UK scored its 111 points (the most scored in a game during the Calipari Era) in a total of 80 possessions (1.388 ppp) for the game, and Tennessee Martin scored its 76 points on a total of 80 possessions 0.950 ppp).
Kentucky won the battle of the boards 48-26, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 19-11. Kentucky used its 19 second chance possessions to score 20 second chance points, and Tennessee Martin used its 11 second chance possessions to score 6 second chance points. Tennessee Martin had an offensive efficiency of 0.875 ppp on its 80 first chance possessions and 0.546 ppp for its 11 second chance possessions. UK had 1.138 ppp on its 80 first chance possessions and 1.053 ppp on its 19 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 55.9%of its misses as offensive rebounds while Tennessee Martin was able to convert 27.5% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 22-29 [75.9%]. Tennessee Martin made 13-20 [65.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 41-74 overall [55.4%] and 7-22 from long range [31.8%]. For Tennessee Martin, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 18-39 [46.2%] and from long range, Tennessee Martin hit 9-27 [33.3%].
The Cats committed 12 turnovers, one for every 6.7 possessions. The Cats forced 17 Tennessee Martin turnovers, one for every 4.7 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: Monday evening in the Bahamas where the Cats will take on Arizona State in the seventh regular season game of the 2016-17 season.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks