2016-17 Season Analytical Writings

Cats Advance To NCAA Second Round To Face Wichita State

On Friday night, the Cats made their first appearance in the 2017 NCAA Tournament and bounced a scrappy and determined Northern Kentucky team from the tournament 79-70. The final score can be deceiving because the Cats led by 14 at the half, and extended their lead to 18 points, 63-45 with 8:17 remaining in the game. The lead remained at 15, 67-52, with 6:10 left. However, over the next 5 ½ minutes, the Norse outscored the Cats 8-16 to trim the lead to a mere 6 points, before the clock finally ticked to 0:00 with the Cats leading by 9. Since about midnight, Friday, almost all of the focus has been on those final 6 minutes.

Following the game, Coach Calipari was clearly not pleased with the overall effort in this game, but there were bright spots as well as blemishes. Edrice (BAM) Adebayo had another double double, and his 18 rebounds are the most ever by a Cat in NCAA Tournament play. Despite only making 3 of 17 from long range, the team found offense from other sources in addition to Edrice (BAM) Adebayo. De'Aaron Fox put up 19 points on 8-15 shooting, Isaiah Briscoe scored 17 on 7-11 shooting, and Malik Monk managed to score 12, primarily from the free throw line (6-7) despite 3-11 shooting and 0-6 from long range.

The Cats now advance to the tournament's round of 32 where the Cats will once again face the Shockers of Wichita State. All Cat fans remember the 2014 NCAA Tournament Round of 32 when the Cats, having been slighted with an 8 seed, faced #1 seed Wichita State. WSU entered that game undefeated, 35-0. The Cats shocked the Shockers, 78-76, with their only loss of the season, and sent them back to Wichita while the Cats eventually advanced to the championship game.

This year, the NCAA slighted a very strong Wichita State team with a 10 seed, opposite Kentucky's 2 seed, and placed these two programs onto a collision course. The Big Blue Nation should not be deceived, or lulled into complacency about the 10 seed. In 2014, the Shockers had an POMEROY ADJEM of 0.254 ppp against a schedule strength of 0.0168 ppp. This year's version of the Shockers enters the game against the Cats with an POMEROY ADJEM of 0.265 ppp against a schedule strength of 0.0113 ppp. As noted earlier, that team was 35-0 but this team is 31-4. The 2014 team was 3-0 against Pomeroy top 50 teams, beating #48 BYU, #10 Tennessee, and # 35 Saint Louis. The 2017 Shockers also have beaten 3 top 50 teams this season, but also have lost to top 50 teams 4 times. In 2014, the Shockers were the 4 th most efficient team (Pomeroy), and as of this morning, the 2017 Shockers are the 5 th most efficient team (Pomeroy).

Do not be deceived or overly confident Big Blue Fans. These Shockers are everything that their 2014 brethren were, except they have tasted defeat 4 times. They have lost to Louisville, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, and Illinois State. The Shockers have not tasted defeat since January 14, and enter the game against the Cats with a 16 game winning streak.

WICHITA STATE enters this game with an ANE of 0.281 points per possession against strength of schedule of 0.112 ppp (#119). The Cats enter this game with an ANE of 0.281ppp against strength of schedule of 0.0926 ppp (#32). The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 1 point, 74-73 at apace of 73 possessions. This would produce game efficiencies of 1.010 ppp and 0.997 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game in Kentucky's favor by 1 point 79-78 at a pace of 73 possessions. Vegas opened favoring the Cats by 4 points.

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:

Game Summary:

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

Wichita State controls the opening tip and fail to score despite getting a pair of shots on their first possession. However, the Cats turn it over on its first trip. Wichita State scores first on 1 of 2 free throws, and after the Cats get on the board, Wichita State hits a 3 pointer to lead 4-2. The Cats match the Shockers at 4-4, but the Shockers take the lead again, to lead 6-4 at the under 16 media timeout, and Wichita State has the ball. In the early going, neither team is shooting well, but the Shockers are controlling the boards, 8-4, including 3 0 on the offensive glass. In the second segment, the Cats manage 4 points on three possessions while holding Wichita State scoreless on 4 possessions to forge its first lead of the game, 8-6, at the under 12 media timeout. The early pace is very slow, equivalent to about 65 possessions for the game.

In the third segment, the Cats rushed out to a 8 point lead, 14-8 on back to back three pointers, but Wichita State then found the range from outside the arc with two of their own to trim the lead to 1 point, 17-16. Wichita State takes a timeout with only 5:55 remaining. The Shockers have taken 4 more shots than the Cats due to its 6-2 advantage on the offensive glass, but the Cats have 1 more field goal. With just under 6 minutes remaining in the first half, the Cats have not earned a trip to the free throw line, while Wichita State has been their once, making 1 of 2 attempts.

In the 4 th segment, Wichita State regains the lead and moves on top by 3, 22-19, before Edrice (BAM) Adebayo scores his first points of the game to trim the lead to 1 at the under 4 media timeout with only 2:06 remaining in the first half. Cats lead by 2, 26-24 at the half.

The Cats scored 26 points on 32 possessions, 0.813 points per possession, and WICHITA STATE managed their 24 points on 32 possessions, 0.750 ppp. The Cats made 32.3% (10-31) of their first half shots, including 4-11 (36.4%) from outside the arc. WICHITA STATE managed to make 30.3% (10-33) of their first half shots, including 3-11 (27.3%) from outside the arc.

The Cats made 2-2 free throws (100.0%) and WICHITA STATE made 1-2 (50.0%) in the first half.

The Cats committed 4 turnovers while forcing WICHITA STATE to commit 4.

On the Boards, Wichita State has outrebounded the Cats by 2, 21-19, and the advantage comes from their 6-4 advantage on the offensive glass. Neither team has scored a second chance point. The Cats secured 21.2% of their misses and allowed WICHITA STATE to grab 28.6% of their misses as second chance opportunities.

Second Half:

Wichita State opens the second half with a missed 3 pointer as the shot clock buzzer sounds. Edrice (BAM) Adebayo gets a put back basket at the other end. However, Wichita State gets a second chance 3 pointer and a basket in the post to regain the lead. After Wichita State moves on top by 4, 37-33, Derek Willis hits a 3 pointer to trim the lead to 1 at the under 16 media timeout. The second segment has Edrice (BAM) Adebayo missing a pair of free throw attempts, but a drive by Isaiah Briscoe and a basket down low by Edrice (BAM) Adebayo lift the Cats into a 3 point advantage, 40-37. Wichita State takes a timeout with 13:07 remaining in the game. After the timeout, Wichita State gets back to back baskets to more than offset the Cats point on 1-2 from the line to tie the score at 41-41 at the under 12 media timeout. In the third segment, the Cats moved on top by 4 points, 45-41, and maintain that lead, 48-44 at the under 8 media timeout. On the last play prior to the media timeout, Edrice (BAM) Adebayo was undercut on a rebound attempt and fell hard to the floor. The Cats will have the ball after this break under their own basket.

In the fourth segment, the Cats put some space between themselves and the Shockers on the scoreboard, moving on top by 7, 58-51 on a steal and layup by De'Aaron Fox. Wichita State takes a timeout with 4:01 remaining in the game. After the timeout, Wichita State gets a lay up to trim the lead back to 5 points with 3:03 remaining. After the Cats miss, De'Aaron Fox fouls a 3 point shooter, sending him to the line for 3 shots. This cuts the lead to 2 points with 2:30 remaining in the game. A 3 pointer by Malik Monk is answered by a second chance 3 pointer at the other end, and following a dunk by De'Aaron Fox, Wichita State makes another 3 pointer to trim the lead to 1 point, 63-62, with about 55 seconds remaining. Wichita State timeout.

After the timeout, the Cats cannot get the ball inbounds, and takes a timeout with 55 second remaining on the clock. The Cats miss, and when Wichita State tries a 3 pointer, Malik Monk blocks the shot, Derek Willis grabs the ball out of the air, and the Shockers foul Malik Monk with 10.6 on the clock. Cats win 65-62.


UK scored its 65 points on 61 possessions (1.066 ppp) for the game, and WICHITA STATE scored its 62 points on 62 possessions (1.000 ppp).

Wichita State won the battle of the boards, 38-36, and Wichita State won on the offensive end 14-10. Kentucky used its 10 second chance possessions to score 11 second chance points, and WICHITA STATE used its 14 second chance possessions to score 10 second chance points. WICHITA STATE had an offensive efficiency of 0.839 ppp on its 62 first chance possessions and 0.714 ppp for its 14 second chance possessions. UK had 0.885 ppp on its 61 first chance possessions and 1.100 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 29.4% of its misses as offensive rebounds while WICHITA STATE was able to convert 35.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit poorly from the free throw line making 12-18 (66.7%). WICHITA STATE made 6-9 [66.7%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 23-55 overall [41.8%] and 7-18 from long range [38.9%]. For WICHITA STATE, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-38 [42.1%] and from long range, WICHITA STATE hit 8-24 [33.3%].

The Cats committed 7 turnovers, one for every 8.7 possessions. The Cats forced 11 WICHITA STATE turnovers, one for every 5.6 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Friday evening in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament against either UCLA or Cincinnati in Memphis at a time to be determined.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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