2018-19 Season Analytical Writings

The Games Have Begun But Cats Have Been AWOL!

When I tuned in on November 6 to watch what should have been a classic college basketball war between the Duke Blue Devils and the Kentucky Wildcats, I checked my channel several times. Like Tweety Bird, I thought I saw a “Puddy Cat” and there was nary a Wildcat anywhere within sight. In the aftermath of two lackadaisical exhibition performances against Transy and IUP, my disgust and disappointment were palpable. I refused to analyze the next game against Southern Illinois, and did not participate in tracking that game in the manner I have used for nearly 3 decades.

The negative emotions that the last four games evoke cannot be overstated. While I will do everything within my power to withhold season forecasts until this team has finished its first five regular season games, suffice it to say that if Coach Calipari does not right this ship very soon, this season will go into the annuls of UK record books as the worst season of my lifetime.

To put the 118-84, 34 point beat down that Duke handed this Kentucky team into perspective, Duke returned home to confront #167 Army, beating them by 22 points, 94-72. Kentucky's second opponent, SIU, returned Carbondale to lose to Buffalo by 9 points after falling by 13 to the Cats at Rupp.

This start has produced an ANE of 0.034 points per possessions for the Cats, and the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota will bring a single game ANE of 0.008 ppp into Rupp on Wednesday night to face these struggling Cats. The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 7 points, 80-73 in a game played at a pace of 78 possessions. Pomeroy, still strongly influenced by its pre-season values, projects a 24 point Kentucky win over North Dakota, 89-65 at a pace of about 75 possessions. Will the final margin be closer to 7 or 24? That will provide some light on the question of where Coach Calipari stands in his mission to right this ship.

See how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board at:

You can participate in the score prediction contest at 247Sports at the following link:

Game Summary:

After two lackluster games to open the season, Coach Calipari starts PJ Washington, Reid Travis, Keldon Johnson, Immanuel Quickley, and Tyler Herro. Ashton Hagans. E. J. Montgomery, Nick Richards, and Quade Green will come off the bench. Jemarl Baker remains unavailable with knee issues, but reports tonight indicate he could return to action in 1 to 2 weeks..

Kentucky controls the opening tip and turns the ball over. NDU gets on the board first with a 3 pointer. After Immanuel Quickley makes 1 of 2 free throws, and a pair of free throws around a 15 foot jump shot by Tyler Herro, the Cats catch up at 5-5. Reid Travis makes a layup, a 3 pointer, and a pull up jump shot to give the Cats a 12-10 lead at the under 16 media timeout. In an extended second segment, the Cats traded baskets to a 17-16 lead before finishing the segment on a 10 point run to lead 27-16 at the under 12 media timeout with 9:54 remaining and Tyler Herro set for a pair of free throws after the break.

In a short third segment, the Cats continued their run to 32-16 before NDU stopped the run with a goal tending call against Nick Richards with 8:20 left in the first half. The Cats lead by 14, 32-18 at the under 8 media timeout. Nick Richards ended the segment with the goal tending followed by an illegal screen. Nick Richards started the next segment with a charging foul. In the 4 th segment, the Cats extended their lead to a game high 19 points, 39-20, but NDU scored the last 5 points of the segment to pull within 14, 39-25, at the under 4 media timeout.

Cats finish the half with a 21 point lead, 46-25.

The Cats scored 46 points on 38 possessions, 1.205 points per possession, and North Dakota University managed their 25 points on 37 possessions, 0.676 ppp. The Cats made 51.9% of their first half shots, including 3-6 from outside the arc. North Dakota University managed to make 33.3% of their first half shots, including 5-13 from outside the arc.

The Cats made 15-19 free throws (78.9%) and North Dakota University managed to make 2-2 free throws (100.0%).

On the Boards, the Cats controlled the glass 20-10 overall, and Kentucky won the battle on the offensive glass 6-4. The Wildcats used its second chance possessions to outscore the Fighting Hawks 3-0 on second chance points. The Cats secured 50.0% of their misses and allowed North Dakota University to grab 22.2% of their misses as second chance opportunities.

Second Half:

North Dakota opens the second half with a basket on the baseline followed by a Kentucky turnover. The Cats allow NDU to trim the lead to 18 points, but the Cats extend their lead to 25 points, 57-32 on a pull up 3 pointer by Tyler Herro forcing a NDU timeout with 16:07 left. After the timeout, NDU commits another turnover taking the game to the under 16 media timeout with the score still 57-32. In the second segment, the Cats extend their lead to a game high 30 points, 64-34, just prior to the under 12 media timeout. NDU scored to trim the lead to 28 at the timeout, but the Cats will have a pair of free throws after the break. In the 4 th segment, the Cats extend the lead to 33 points, 88-55, at the under 4 media timeout.

Cats win by 38, 96-58.


UK scored its 96 points on 70 possessions (1.371 ppp) for the game, and North Dakota University scored its 58 points on a total of 71 possessions 0.817 ppp).

Kentucky won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 45-15, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 19-5. Kentucky used its 19 second chance possessions to score 16 second chance points, and North Dakota University used its 5 second chance possessions to score 0 second chance points. North Dakota University had an offensive efficiency of 0.817 ppp on its 71 first chance possessions and 0.000 ppp for its 5 second chance possessions. UK had 1.143 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 0. 842 ppp on its 19 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 66.5%of its misses as offensive rebounds while North Dakota University was able to convert 16.1% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 24-30 [80.0%]. North Dakota University made 13-18 [72.2%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 33-62 overall [53.2%] and 6-13 from long range [46.2%]. For North Dakota University, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 12-29 [41.4%] and from long range, North Dakota University hit 7-19 [36.8%].

The Cats committed 13 turnovers, one for every 5.4 possessions. The Cats forced 20 North Dakota University turnovers, one for every 3.6 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Sunday afternoon, again at Rupp Arena, the Cats will take on VMI in the fourth regular season game of the 2018-19 season.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


Submitted by Richard Cheeks


Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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