BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2016-17 Season Analytical Writings
Barely 3 weeks ago, Kentucky traveled to Gainesville where they took it on the chin in an humiliating 22-point loss, 88-66, to a very good Florida basketball team. If the lack luster play that the Cats had fallen into while winning at Vanderbilt and Mississippi State, and against Auburn at Rupp were not sufficient to sound the alarm for this team, then perhaps the beating the Gators delivered would get their attention. If the back-to-back losses at Tennessee and to Kansas at Rupp were not sufficient to sound the alarm for this team, then perhaps the beating the Gators delivered would get their attention.
Since February 4, 2017, the Cats have put together a 5 game winning streak. During this time of winning, the Cats have also been on the mend, playing better basketball over these five games than they had played since beating Arkansas on January 7. Saturday afternoon, the Gators will come into Rupp Arena for the long awaited rematch, an opportunity for this team to announce to the entire basketball world that they are corrected their course and the Cats are Back in the hunt for championships.
A win on Saturday over the Gators will be huge toward championships. First, a win over the Gators will all but deliver the SEC regular season championship, and the #1 seed for the SEC Tournament championship. Second, a win over the Gators should lift the Cats to the 2 line for NCAA tournament seeding. Third, the Cats will have avenged the most embarrassing loss of the season against a legitimate top 10 opponent and position the Cats for a legitimate run for #9.
The Gators have not been idle in their pursuit of the SEC Championship since then pounded the Cats in Gainesville. Florida enters Rupp tomorrow on an impressive nine game win streak. The Gators started this winning streak following their back-to-back losses at South Carolina and to Vanderbilt at home. Overall, FLORIDA enters this game with a 23-5; 13-2 record. There is not an embarrassing loss to Florida's credit this season, falling to #1 Gonzaga by 5 on a neutral court, to #14 Duke by 10 on a neutral court, at #18 Florida State by 5, at #29 South Carolina by 4, and to #51 Vanderbilt by 2. Without doubt, Florida's most impressive win this season was its 22-point pounding of the Cats in Gainesville. FLORIDA enters this game with an ANE of 0.295 points per possession against strength of schedule of 0.1051 ppp (#17). The Cats enter this game with an ANE of 0.291 ppp against strength of schedule of 0.0894 ppp (#30). The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 6 points, 77-71 at apace of 75 possessions. This would produce game efficiencies of 1.031 ppp and 0.950 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game in Kentucky's favor by 3 points 80-77 at a pace of 74 possessions.
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De'Aaron Fox will not start today's game due to an injury sustained in the Missouri game. Coach Calipari will start Edrice (BAM) Adebayo, Wenyen Gabriel, Mychal Mulder, Malik Monk, and Isaiah Briscoe.
Kentucky controls the opening tip and fail to score on the game's first possession. The Gators waste no time getting on the board with a 3 pointer. After 2 UK turnovers and 2 more missed three point attempts, the Gators move on top 8-0. Coach Calipari takes a quick timeout with less that 2 minutes gone. The Cats commit their 3 rd turnover out of the timeout. Edrice (BAM) Adebayo finally puts Kentucky on the score board with a pair of free throws with 16:30 remaining. The Cats have the ball, down 6, 8-2, at the under 16 media timeout. The Cats open 0-6 from the field while the Gators are 3-6, including 2-2 from long range. The Cats have 3 turnovers to Florida's one.
Edrice (BAM) Adebayo gets a put back basket, but the Gators score the next 7 to move on top by 11, 15-4. Mychal Mulder gets to the rim for a basket, but Florida answers with their 3 rd 3 pointer to move on top by 12, 18-6. The Cats get 1 of 2 from the line by Isaiah Briscoe, an elbow jump shot by Isaac Humphries, and a 3 pointer by Derek Willis to trim the lead to 6 points. Florida takes a timeout with 11:25 remaining.
In the third segment, the Cats claws their way to with 2 points, 18-16, and a potentially tieing drive by Mychal Mulder was taken off with an offensive foul call. The Gators hit their 4 th 3 pointer of the game at the other end to stop the Kentucky run at 10 points.. Dominique Hawkins adds a floater from 8 feet in the lane to trim the Gators lead to 3 points, 21-18, at the under 8 media timeout.
Malik Monk hits a 3 pointer to tie the game, and the Cats take a lead on a pick and roll dunk to from Malik Monk to Edrice (BAM) Adebayo. However, the Gators answer with 5 straight points to retake the lead, 26-23 at the under 4 media timeout, and the Gators will have the ball. In the final segment, the Gators move back on top by 5, 28-23, but the Cats finish the scoring in the half with 5 of 6 from the line to tie the score, 28-28 at the half.
The Cats scored 28 points on 36 possessions, 0.777 points per possession, and FLORIDA managed their 28 points on 35 possessions, 0.800 ppp. The Cats made 28.6% (8-28) of their first half shots, including 2-8 (25.0%) from outside the arc. FLORIDA managed to make 29.7% (1-37) of their first half shots, including 5-14 (35.7%) from outside the arc.
The Cats made 10-13 free throws (76.9%) and FLORIDA made 1-2 (50.0%) in the first half.
The Cats committed 12 turnovers while forcing FLORIDA to commit 4.
On the Boards, Kentucky won the battle of the boards, 30-17 in the first half, and the Cats earned a 10-7 advantage on the offensive rebounds, earning a 9-6 advantage on second chance points. The Cats secured 50.0% of their misses and allowed FLORIDA to grab 25.9% of their misses as second chance opportunities.
FLORIDA opens the second half with an empty possession, and the Cats ease into a 2 point lead on a layup by Malik Monk. After the teams trade scores to a 1 point Kentucky lead, 37-36, the Gators rip off 9 straight to move on top by 8, 45-37, forcing Coach Calipari to take a timeout with 15:43 left in the game. The Gators extend their lead to 8 points, 52-44, but the Cats score 7 in a row to pull to within 1 point, 52-51. Florida takes a timeout with 11:18 remaining in the game. During that segment, the Cats (Malik Monk) hit 5 of 6 shots, including 2-3 from outside the arc, and a pair of free throws to elevate their shooting percentage to 39.0% for the game.
After the timeout, the Cats move into the lead, but the Gators do not allow the Cats to stay in the lead for long. After the Gators lead by 2 at 55-53, the Cats score 6 straight to take their biggest lead of the game at 4 points, 59-55 at the under 8 media timeout. Florida hits another 3 pointer to trim the lead to 1 point, but the Cats go to Edrice (BAM) Adebayo for a basket and Malik Monk hits another 3 pointer to push the Cats' lead to 6, 64-58. Florida takes another timeout with 6:30 remaining in the game. A pair of free throws by Malik Monk give the Cats their biggest lead, 8 points, 68-60, with 4:34 remaining in the game. Malik Monk makes another pair of free throws to extend the lead to 10 points, 70-60 with 4:04 remaining. The Gators lose the rebound out of bounds, sending the game to the under 4 media timeout with the Cats holding a 10 point lead, 70-60 and 3:48 remaining.
On Kentucky's first possession after the break, Isaiah Briscoe is trapped near the sideline and calls a timeout. After the whistle, a Florida player pushed Isaiah Briscoe, resulting in a technical foul. During the timeout, the referees review the video, and retroactively charge Isaiah Briscoe with a technical foul. The Cats have the ball. Cats win 76-66.
UK scored its 76 points on 69 possessions (1.101 ppp) for the game, and FLORIDA scored its 62 points on 68 possessions (0.971 ppp).
Kentucky won the battle of the boards 48-30, and the Cats won the battle of the offensive glass 12-11. Kentucky used its 12 second chance possessions to score 11 second chance points, and FLORIDA used its 11 second chance possessions to score 11 second chance points. FLORIDA had an offensive efficiency of 0.809 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp for its 11 second chance possessions. UK had 0.942 ppp on its 69 first chance possessions and 0.917 ppp on its 12 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 38.7% of its misses as offensive rebounds while FLORIDA was able to convert 23.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 22-27 [81.5%]. FLORIDA made 4-6 [66.7%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 24-53 overall [45.3%] and 6-14 from long range [42.9%]. For FLORIDA , their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-41 [39.0%] and from long range, FLORIDA hit 10-30 [33.3%].
The Cats committed 16 turnovers, one for every 4.3 possessions. The Cats forced 6 FLORIDA turnovers, one for every 11.3 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: Tuesday evening, February 28, 2017 at 9:00 pm at Rupp for Senior Night against Vanderbilt in the 30 th regular season game and 17 th SEC of the 2016-17 season.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks