2015-16 Season Analytical Writings

Cats Return To Rupp To Face Texas A&M

Last Thursday night, the road team won each of the five SEC games that start this season. Kentucky was among the road victors with a resounding 23 point win over Mississippi, 99-76. The Cats' next SEC opponent, Texas A&M was a home loser, falling to Tennessee by 10 points.

The 23 point margin is the largest UK win margin in an SEC opener of the Calipari Era. Kentucky played about as well as it can during the first half of the game, blasting to a 21 point halftime lead, 60-39. The Cats coasted home to the win in the second half. The individual highlights in this game included a triple double by Isaiah Briscoe, who becomes only the third player in UK's storied basketball history to have a triple double basketball game, but it is the second such accomplishment by a player on this team. In addition, Malik Monk again was a scoring machine.

TEXAS A&M enters the game with a 8-4; 0-1 record while the Cats return to Rupp for the first time since early December with a 11-2; 1-0 record. The Aggies losses have been to #12 UCLA by 7 at a neutral location, and at home to #49 USC by 2, #14 Arizona by 4, and #63 Tennessee by 10. Texas A&M's most impressive win was over #31 Virginia Tech by 3 on a neutral court.

Texas A&M enters this game with an ANE of 0.134 points per possession against a strength of schedule of -0.235 ppp (#252). The Cats enter this game with an ANE of 0.315 ppp against a strength of schedule of 0.0438 ppp (#55). The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 14 points, 81-67 at apace of 71 possessions. This would produce game efficiencies of 1.136 ppp and 0.940 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game in Kentucky's favor by 15 points, 82-67 at a pace of 71 possessions.

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Game Summary:

Coach Calipari starts Edrice (BAM) Adebayo, De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Isaiah Briscoe, and Wenyen Gabriel.

Texas A&M controls the opening tip but tips it out of bounds, giving the Cats the first possession of the game. The Cats quickly move the ball into Wenyen Gabriel who misses. Texas A&M hits a 3 pointer to move out with the first score of the game. After the teams trade turnovers on their second possessions, the Cats for 5 straight Texas A&M turnovers and score 15 straight points on 6-7 shooting to race out to an early 12 point lead, 15-3 at the under 16 media timeout, actually called by Texas A&M to stop this Kentucky onslaught. In the second segment, the Cats continue to expand its lead to 16 points, 24-8, at the under 12 media timeout. In the third segment, the Cats only manage 4 points on 7 possessions, but that was enough to add 4 points to the margin, increasing the lead to 20 points, 28-8, at the under 8 media timeout.

Through 12 minutes, the Cats have scored 28 points on 23 possessions while limiting Texas A&M to 8 points on 22 possessions, 12 of which ended with an Aggies turnover. After the timeout, Texas A&M hits a second possession 3 pointer, and following a Kentucky miss, a layup to trim the lead to 15 points. Coach Calipari immediately takes a timeout. After the timeout, the Cats quickly reestablish their 20 point lead, and extend it to 22 points, 41-19, at the under 4 media timeout.

Cats lead 50-27 at the half.

The Cats scored 50 points on 39 possessions, 1.282 points per possession, and TEXAS A&M managed their 27 points on 37 possessions, 0.730 ppp. The Cats made 56.7% (17-30) of their first half shots, including 5-9 (55.5%) from outside the arc. TEXAS A&M managed to make 38.5% (10-26) of their first half shots, including 3-6 (50.0%) from outside the arc.

The Cats made 11-11 free throws (100.0%) and TEXAS A&M made 4-8 (50.0%) in the first half.

The Cats committed 6 turnovers while forcing TEXAS A&M to commit 15.

On the Boards, the Aggies outrebounded the Cats 17-12 in the first half, and Texas A&M won on the offensive glass, 7-2 in the first half. TEXAS A&M outscored the Cats 3-2 on second chance points. The Cats secured 16.7% of their misses and allowed TEXAS A&M to grab 41.2% of their misses as second chance opportunities.

Second Half:

The Aggies open the second half with a three pointer, but the Cats run off the next 10 points, taking advantage of 6 more Aggies turnovers during the segment to extend their lead to 30, 62-32 at the under 16 media timeout with 14:48 remaining in the game. In the second segment, the Cats outscore the Aggies 11-7 to extend their lead to 34 points, 73-39 at the under 12 media timeout. In the third segment, the Cats build their lead to 41 points, 81-40 at a Texas A&M timeout with 8:32 remaining. After the Texas A&M timeout, the Aggies trim a pair of points from the lead to 39 points, 81-42 at the under 8 media timeout.

It's Calipari time with 5:25 remaining and the Cats leading 84-48 on 62 possessions. At the under 4 media timeout, the Cats' lead is 38 points, 86-48, and the Aggies will have a pair of free throws after the break. Coach Calipari empties his bench with 1:33 remaining and the Cats leading 95-53 on 68 possessions. Cats win 100-58 on 71 possessions.


UK scored its 100 points on 71 possessions (1.408 ppp) for the game, and TEXAS A&M scored its 58 points on 70 possessions (0.829 ppp).

Kentucky won the battle of the boards 30-28, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 13-9. Kentucky used its 13 second chance possessions to score 21 second chance points, and TEXAS A&M used its 9 second chance possessions to score 3 second chance points. TEXAS A&M had an offensive efficiency of 0.786 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 0.333 ppp for its 9 second chance possessions. UK had 1.113 ppp on its 71 first chance possessions and 1.615 ppp on its 13 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 40.6% of its misses as offensive rebounds while TEXAS A&M was able to convert 34.6% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 21-26 [80.8%]. TEXAS A&M made 10-17 [58.8%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 33-67 overall [52,4%] and 13-25 from long range [52,0%]. For TEXAS A&M , their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 15-34 [44.1%] and from long range, TEXAS A&M hit 6-13 [46.2%].

The Cats committed 9 turnovers, one for every 7.9 possessions. The Cats forced 25 TEXAS A&M turnovers, one for every 2.8 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 8:30 pm at Rupp Arena against Arkansas in the fifteenth regular season game and third SEC game of the 2016-17 season.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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