2016-17 Season Analytical Writings

Cats Face Arkansas For Their 30 th SEC Tournament Championship

The Cats fell back into their habit of allowing an opponent to post an early double digit lead before closing the gap by the halftime break, and moving on to a second half victory. Alabama led by 10, 17-7, but the Cats scored 11 straight to take their first lead, and 22-7 to establish a lead the Cats could manage. In the second half, Alabama managed to regain the lead by scoring the first 4 points of the second half, but the Cats quickly regained control, and played from the lead to the end of a very competitive game, winning by 5, 79-74. The Cats advanced to the SEC Tournament's Championship Game again and will square off against Arkansas today at 1 pm in pursuit of their 30 th SEC Tournament Championship.

ARKANSAS enters this game with a 25-8; 12-6 SEC regular season record and a winner over Mississippi and Vanderbilt in the quarterfinal and semi-final rounds of the SEC Tournament. While the Cats are the hottest team in the SEC, riding a 10 game winning streak, Arkansas is nearly as hot, winning 8 of its last 9 games. The Hogs' only loss since early February was at #9 Florida by 13 on March 1.

ARKANSAS enters this game with an ANE of 0.156 points per possession against strength of schedule of 0.0692 ppp (#61). The Cats enter this game with an ANE of 0.285 ppp against strength of schedule of 0.0961 ppp (#32). The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 9 points, 80-71 at apace of 74 possessions. This would produce game efficiencies of 1.078 ppp and 0.957 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game in Kentucky's favor by 8 points 86-78 at a pace of 74 possessions. Vegas opened favoring the Cats by 8 1/2 points.

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Game Summary:

Coach Calipari continues with the starters Edrice (BAM) Adebayo, Derek Willis, Malik Monk, Isaiah Briscoe, and De'Aaron Fox.

Arkansas controls the opening tip and fails to score. The Cats get the first score of the game on a drive through the lane by Edrice (BAM) Adebayo. After the Cats move on top 7-2, Arkansas trims the early lead to 2 points on a 3 pointer. At the under 16 media timeout, the Cats lead by 2, 7-5. The Cats have committed 3 early turnovers, and their 3-4 shooting has been the difference in this game in the first 4 minutes. In the second segment, the Hogs tie the score and following the Cats' 4 th turnover, score to take their first lead of the game, 9-7. The Cats score the next 6, including 2 free throws following an Arkansas technical foul, to lead 13-7. Arkansas trims the lead to 2 points, and Arkansas converted the Cats' 5 th turnover into a trip to the foul line for a pair of shots after the under 12 media timeout with a chance to tie the score again.

In the third segment, the team traded baskets and the lead to an Arkansas lead of 18-17. The Cats scored the next 6 points to take a 5 point lead, 23-18 on baskets by Edrice (BAM) Adebayo, Malik Monk, and Isaiah Briscoe. After the under 8 media timeout, Arkansas will again have a pair of free throws. De'Aaron Fox in now on the bench with 2 fouls, and with 6:30 remaining, Malik Monk must join De'Aaron Fox on the bench with his second foul. The Cats score 8 straight to go on top by 9, 31-22. With 4:07 left, and the Cats on top by 7, Edrice (BAM) Adebayo commits his 2 nd foul, knocking down a 3 point shooter. These 3 free throws and another 2 without a Kentucky score trims the lead to 4 points.

At the under 4 media timeout, with 2:46 remaining, the Cats hold a 6 point lead, 36-30 and have possession from Arkansas' 8 th turnover of the first half. Back to back 3 pointers, the first by Dominique Hawkins and the second by Mychal Mulder at the buzzer, propel the Cats to a 12 point lead, 42-30, at the half.

The Cats scored 42 points on 35 possessions, 1.200 points per possession, and ARKANSAS managed their 30 points on 36 possessions, 0.833 ppp. The Cats made 60.7% (17-28) of their first half shots, including 3-7 (42.9%) from outside the arc. ARKANSAS managed to make 37.0% (10-27) of their first half shots, including 3-12 (25.0%) from outside the arc.

The Cats made 5-6 free throws (83.3%) and ARKANSAS made 7-10 (70.0%) in the first half.

The Cats committed 9 turnovers while forcing ARKANSAS to commit 9.

On the Boards, Kentucky won the battle of the boards, 19-11 in the first half, and each team grabbed 4 offensive rebounds, and the Cats hold an 2-0 advantage on second chance points. The Cats secured 36.4% of their misses and allowed ARKANSAS to grab 21.1% of their misses as second chance opportunities.

Second Half:

Kentucky opens the second half with a pair of free throws by Edrice (BAM) Adebayo. After an empty first possession by Arkansas, Edrice (BAM) Adebayo scores again to lift the Cats to a 16 point lead, 46-30. The teams traded baskets for the balance of the opening segment, with the Cats up by 17, 55-38 when Arkansas takes a timeout with 14:53 remaining. Coach Anderson stopped play so the officials could review the Malik Monk 3 pointer in the last Kentucky possession, just ahead of the shot clock. The officials took the shot down during the timeout, changing the score to 52-38. In the second segment, Arkansas trims the Kentucky lead to 10 points on two occasions, but the Cats extend the lead back to 14 points at the under 12 media timeout, and the Cats have possession.

In the third segment, a 3 pointer from the left corner by Dominique Hawkins lifts the Cats to a game high 17 point lead, 61-44 at the under 8 media timeout. Edrice (BAM) Adebayo will be on the line for the 1+1 after the timeout. The Cats establish a new game high lead of 19 points on two occasions before Arkansas trims the lead to 13, 68-55, at the under 4 media timeout. De'Aaron Fox will be shooting free throws after the timeout.

Cats win 82-65.


UK scored its 82 points on 68 possessions (1.206 ppp) for the game, and ARKANSAS scored its 65 points on 69 possessions (0.942 ppp).

Kentucky won the battle of the boards, 40-26, and Kentucky won on the offensive end 12-8. Kentucky used its 12 second chance possessions to score 15 second chance points, and ARKANSAS used its 8 second chance possessions to score 6 second chance points. ARKANSAS had an offensive efficiency of 0.855 ppp on its 69 first chance possessions and 0.750 ppp for its 8 second chance possessions. UK had 0.985 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.250 ppp on its 12 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 40.0% of its misses as offensive rebounds while ARKANSAS was able to convert 22.2% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit well from the free throw line making 22-25 (88.0%). ARKANSAS made 15-20 [75.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 27-56 overall [48.2%] and 6-16 from long range [37.5%]. For ARKANSAS, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 19-37 [51.4%] and from long range, ARKANSAS hit 4-18 [22.2%].

The Cats committed 15 turnovers, one for every 4.5 possessions. The Cats forced 14 ARKANSAS turnovers, one for every 4.9 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Either Thursday or Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at a location, time and opponent to be determined over the next 24 hours.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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