2016-17 Season Analytical Writings

Cats Destroy Arizona State in the Bahamas
Return To Rupp for Stiffest Test Yet, UCLA

This past weekend, it seemed clear that the Cats' schedule would begin to present progressively higher hurdles in its path through the non-conference portion of their 2016-17 schedule. While Arizona State was not likely to challenge these Cats in the sense of a single digit game, still in doubt late in the second half, no one expected the Cats to demonstrate complete superiority over the Sun Devils. But that is precisely what these Cats did on Monday night in the Bahamas, with a 115-69 poleaxing of Bobby Hurley's PAC12 team. The Cats made certain that the game would never be in doubt as the Cats led 14-8 and 26-12 at the first two media timeouts. Yes, dear friends, that game ended with a 46 point final margin, and Coach Calipari cleared his bench with “It's Calipari Time” with 4:16 remaining in the game.

Well, as discussed in the last pre-game analysis, the level of competition will take another giant step up, this time to #16 UCLA in a game in Rupp Arena. Two years ago, the 2014-15 Cats completely dominated the Bruins on a neutral court, 83-44. Last year, the Cats paid a visit to historic Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, and the Bruins used their hosting opportunity to deliver a measure of payback to the Cats, handing the Cats a 10-point loss, 77-87. On Saturday afternoon, the Cats will host the Steve Alford's Bruins for their third encounter in three seasons in what should be the rubber match in the series.

UCLA has played eight games without a defeat. Their average level of opposition has been #178. The Bruins' most impressive wins of this young season have been over #72 Nebraska by 11 points and #34 Texas A&M by 7 points on a neutral court. UCLA enters this game with an ANE of 0.272 points per possession against a strength of schedule of -0.0364 ppp. The Cats enter this game with an ANE of 0.350 ppp against a strength of schedule of -0.0431 ppp. The ANE analysis indicates a UK win by 23 points, 89-76 at a pace of 78 possessions. This would produce game efficiencies of 1.143 ppp and 0.976 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game in UK's favor by 10 points, 90-80 at a pace of 79 possessions.

Use the following link to see how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board:

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Game Summary:

Missed the start of the game due to personal reasons and did not catch the starting lineup.

Media timeout 1: UK 7 UCLA 7

Media timeout 2: UK 19 UCLA 14

Media timeout 3: UK 27 UCLA 24

Media timeout 4: UK 39 UCLA 35

Halftime: UK 45 UCLA 49

The Cats scored 45 points on 39 possessions, 1.154 points per possession, and UCLA managed their 49 points on 40 possessions, 1.225 ppp. The Cats made 42.5% (17-40) of their first half shots, including 3-11 (27.3%) from outside the arc. UCLA managed to make 58.1% (18-31) of their first half shots, including 6-12 (50.0%) from outside the arc.

The Cats made 8-12 free throws (66.7%) and UCLA made 7-9 (77.8%) in the first half.

The Cats committed 2 turnovers while forcing UCLA to commit 9.

On the Boards, the Bruins won the glass 19-18 overall, and the Cats won on the offensive glass 9-4. The Cats secured 37.5% of their misses and allowed UCLA to grab 30.8% of their misses as second chance opportunities.

Second Half:

UCLA opens the second half with a second chance basket. After the Cats match the Bruins with a second chance basket of their own, the Bruins make 2 of their next 4 shots while the Cats miss three shots in a row allowing UCLA to post its biggest lead of the game, 9 points, 56-47. Coach Calipari takes a timeout to regroup his Cats. After the timeout, the Bruins add 4 more points to their lead, 60-47 before Isaiah Briscoe stops the UCLA run with a pair of free throws. At the under 16 media timeout, UCLA extends its lead to 11 points, 60-49 with the Cats in possession.

In the second segment, the Cats begin to claw their way back into the game, trimming the UCLA lead from 13 to 7, 67-60, forcing Coach Alford to take a timeout with 12:37 remaining in the game. UCLA stops the Cats with a 3 pointer to end the segment with a 10 point lead, 70-60 at the under 12 media timeout. Isaiah Briscoe will have a pair of free throws after this timeout.

At the under 8 media timeout, the Bruins maintained their lead at 12 points, 78-66. In the fourth segment, the Cats clawed to within 6 points, but UCLA stopped the Cats in their tracks with a 3 pointer, and lead by 9, 85-76, at the under 4 media timeout. After the timeout, Edrice (BAM) Adebayo will have one free throw to complete a 3 point play, and the chance to trim another point from the UCLA lead.

The Cats in a frantic attempt to get back in the game, manage to cut the lead to 3 points, 95-92, with about 8 seconds left, but a pair of free throws with 7 seconds on the clock close the UCLA upset at 97-92.


UK scored its 92 points in a total of 83 possessions (1.108 ppp) for the game, and UCLA scored its 97 points on a total of 83 possessions (1.169 ppp).

UCLA won the battle of the boards 48-43, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 19-11. Kentucky used its 19 second chance possessions to score 19 second chance points, and UCLA used its 11 second chance possessions to score 13 second chance points. UCLA had an offensive efficiency of 1.012 ppp on its 83 first chance possessions and 1.182 ppp for its 11 second chance possessions. UK had 0.880 ppp on its 83 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 19 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 33.9%of its misses as offensive rebounds while UCLA was able to convert 31.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 18-27 [66.7%]. UCLA made 17-21 [81.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 33-80 overall [41.3%] and 8-24 from long range [33.3%]. For UCLA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 25-43 [58.1%] and from long range, UCLA hit 10-23 [43.5%].

The Cats committed 9 turnovers, one for every 9.2 possessions. The Cats forced 18 UCLA turnovers, one for every 4.6 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Wednesday evening at Rupp Arena against Valparaiso in the ninth regular season game of the 2016-17 season.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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