BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2016-17 Season Analytical Writings
UK showed positive signs against Alabama that their 9 game skid may be ending. However, the Cats still squandered a sizable second half lead (18 points) late in the game to get out of Tuscaloosa with an 8-point win. With six games remaining, 3 on the road (Georgia, Missouri, and Texas A&M) and 3 at Rupp (Tennessee, Florida, and Vanderbilt), the Cats still have the SEC regular season championship within their own control, and an opportunity to play itself into perhaps a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The win at Alabama provides a basis for optimism on both fronts.
Five of these final six games will be rematches with previous SEC opponents (only the game with Missouri is not a second game). The Cats have lost to two of these final opponents, and has beaten the other three. Tennessee handed the Cats their first SEC loss three weeks ago in Knoxville by 2 points, 82-80. In that game, the Cats were not at full strength, with Mychal Mulder missing the game completely, and De'Aaron Fox nursing an ankle injury, and it showed. The Cats trailed at the half by 5 points, and about 8 minutes into the second half, the Vols expanded their lead to 11 points. The Cats did find a way to fight back into the game, and make it close at the end, but could not get into the lead. The story of the game: Poor shooting and rebounding, and Tennessee hitting 50% of their 3 point attempts.
TENNESSEE enters the game with a 14-11; 6-6 record. Since the victory over the Cats, the Vols have won three times, over #28 Kansas State by 12, at #75 Auburn by 10, and over #69 Mississippi by 9. The Vols have lost twice since they beat the Cats; at #97 Mississippi State by 5 and to #50 Georgia by 1. TENNESSEE enters this game with an ANE of 0.165 points per possession against a strength of schedule of 0.1125 ppp (#6). The Cats enter this game with an ANE of 0.289 ppp against a strength of schedule of 0.0847 ppp (#27). The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 15 points, 83-68 at apace of 75 possessions. This would produce game efficiencies of 1.101 ppp and 0.902 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game in Kentucky's favor by 12 points 86-74 at a pace of 75 possessions, and Vegas has opened with the Cats favored by 14.
Use the following link to see how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board:
You can participate in the score prediction contest at 247Sports at the following link:
For the third consecutive game, and the 18 th game this season, Coach Calipari will start Edrice (BAM) Adebayo, Wenyen Gabriel, De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, and Isaiah Briscoe.
Tennessee controls the opening tip and get on the score board first. After falling behind 5-0, the Cats scored 7 of the next 8 points to move into a 1 point lead, 7-6, at the under 16 media timeout. In the second segment, the teams traded baskets to a 13-12 UK lead when Derek Willis broke the game open with an assist for a 3 pointer and back to back 3 pointers of his own to lift the Cats to a 20-12 lead, forcing a Tennessee timeout with 10:50 remaining.
After the timeout, Tennessee trims the lead to 5 with their 2 nd 3 pointer of the game, 20-15, but the Cats run off 11 straight to move on top by 16, 31-15, forcing another Tennessee timeout with 8:07 left in the first half. Since trailing 5-0, the Cats have outscored the Vols 31-10 propelled by 8-14 shooting from outside the arc, 3 by Derek Willis, 4 by Malik Monk, and 1 by Dominique Hawkins. In the fourth segment, Tennessee whittles the lead back to 11 points, 34-23, and Coach Calipari takes a timeout with 4:48 remaining. The Cats move back on top by their game high 16 points, 39-23 at the under 4 media timeout on a basket by Dominique Hawkins and another 3 pointer by Malik Monk.
Cats lead by 15, 47-32, at the half.
The Cats scored 47 points on 37 possessions, 1.270 points per possession, and TENNESSEE managed their 32 points on 38 possessions, 0.842 ppp. The Cats made 45.7% (16-35) of their first half shots, including 10-18 (55.6%) from outside the arc. TENNESSEE managed to make 31.0% (9-29) of their first half shots, including 2-9 (22.2%) from outside the arc.
The Cats made 5-7 free throws (71.4%) and TENNESSEE made 12-14 (85.7%) in the first half.
The Cats committed 2 turnovers while forcing TENNESSEE to commit 6.
On the Boards, the Tennessee outrebounded the Cats 22-21 in the first half, and the Vols earned a 4-3 advantage on the offensive rebounds, earning a 4-2 advantage on second chance points. The Cats secured 14.3% of their misses and allowed TENNESSEE to grab 18.2% of their misses as second chance opportunities.
Kentucky opens the second half with Isaiah Briscoe going to work on the inside for back to back baskets to stretch the Cats lead to a game high 17 points. However, Tennessee worked hard to cut the lead to 13 points, 53-40 when the Cats started a 6-0 run driven primarily by De'Aaron Fox steals and fast break layups. Tennessee called a timeout, down 19, 59-40 with 14:52 remaining in the game. Mike Pratt just pointed out that Old Smokie is being out foxed in Rupp Arena tonight.
In the second segment, the Cats extend their lead to 21 points, 68-47, at the under 12 media timeout with 10:29 remaining in the game. Baskets by Edrice (BAM) Adebayo and Isaiah Briscoe give the Cats a 25 point lead with 9:20 remaining. The Cats maintain that lead, 72-47, at the under 8 media timeout, and the Cats have the ball. At the under 4 media timeout, the Cats hold their biggest lead of the game, 28, 81-53 with 3:16 remaining in the game. The pace has had 64 total possessions for both teams, and the efficiencies have been 1.266 ppp and 0.828 ppp (0.438 ppp).
It's Calipari time with 1:30 remaining and the Cats leading 81-56 on 68 possessions. . Cats win 83-58 on 70 possessions.
UK scored its 83 points on 71 possessions (1.169 ppp) for the game, and TENNESSEE scored its 58 points on 70 possessions (0.829 ppp).
Kentucky won the battle of the boards 43-37, and the Cats won the battle of the offensive glass 10-6. Kentucky used its 10 second chance possessions to score 7 second chance points, and TENNESSEE used its 6 second chance possessions to score 6 second chance points. TENNESSEE had an offensive efficiency of 0.743 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp for its 6 second chance possessions. UK had 1.070 ppp on its 71 first chance possessions and 0.700 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 24.4% of its misses as offensive rebounds while TENNESSEE was able to convert 15.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 8-12 [66.7%]. TENNESSEE made 19-24 [79.2%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 32-69 overall [46.4%] and 11-25 from long range [44.0%]. For TENNESSEE , their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-36 [41.7%] and from long range, TENNESSEE hit 3-16 [18.8%].
The Cats committed 7 turnovers, one for every 10.1 possessions. The Cats forced 13 TENNESSEE turnovers, one for every 5.4 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: Saturday evening, February 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm at Athens against Georgia in the 27 th regular season game and 14 th SEC of the 2016-17 season.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks