2018-19 Season Analytical Writings

Cats Continue To Raise The Level Of Opposition, Face Seton Hall in MSG

Basketball games are a full 40 minutes, and trying to cherry pick a portion of the game, say 20, 24, 33, or even 38 minutes, to make a point is deceptive in its intent and affect. For example, so games end with an opponent scoring a flurry of very late points against reserve players with the effect of reducing the final margin and reducing the game's ANE. Other times, the winning team may finish the game with a flurry of unanswered points against a defeated and dejected weaker opponent with the effect of increasing the final margin and increasing the game ANE.

Last Saturday's game against North Carolina Greesboro is an example of the latter, as the Cats found themselves in a nip and tuck encounter. Greensboro led by 3 points at the half. The Cats did not lead in the second half until a 3 point play by Ashton Hagans lifted them into a brief 1 point lead with 10:28 left in the game. Over the next 5 minutes, the Cats stretched their fragile lead to 5 points, 64-59 with 5:25 left. From that point in the game, the Cats finished on a 14-2 run to finish with a 78-61 win. The game ANE at the 5:25 mark was about 0.15 points per possession which coincidently was slightly greater than UK's season average ANE coming into this game. However, the final margin has a game ANE of about 0.31 ppp, which increases the team's average ANE by about +0.02 ppp.

Therefore, looking at Saturday's game in its entirety, the Cats have played at an elevated level in each of their last two games. Five games define a trend, and the Cats are hopefully 40% into a trend-setting phase. Can this new trend continue this Saturday when the Cats travel to MSG to face Seton Hall? Seton Hall brings a 5-3 record into this MSG matchup on Saturday. The Pirates' losses have been at #24 Nebraska by 13, to #76 Saint Louis by 2, and to #41 Louisville by 5. Seton Hall's best win this season has been over #42 Miami FL on a neutral court by 2.

The Seton Hall body of work against D1 opponents has produced an ANE of 0.116 points per possession. Kentucky's last two wins has raised its' ANE from the 0.085 ppp it had entering the Monmouth game to 0.160 ppp entering the Seton Hall game on Saturday. The ANE analysis indicates a 4 point advantage for the Cats at this neutral location, 75-71 in a game played at a pace of 71 possessions. Pomeroy projects a 7 point Kentucky win over Seton Hall, 78-71, at a pace of about 71 possessions.

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Game Summary:

Coach Calipari inserts Ashton Hagans into the starting lineup for Immanuel Quickley. The starting lineup today is Reid Travis, PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson, Ashton Hagans, and Tyler Herro to start the 8 th game of this season. Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards, E. J. Montgomery, and Quade Green will come off the bench. Jemarl Baker remains unavailable with knee issues.

Seton Hall controls the opening tip and fails on its first shot. PJ Washington scores with a layup. At the under 16 media timeout, the Cats hold the early 2 point lead, 11-9. In the second segment, the only scoring came from a pair of Seton Hall free throws that tied the score, 11-11 at the under 12 media timeout. However, Seton Hall will have two more free throws, with a chance to move into the lead for the first time in the game following the under 12 media timeout.

After making 1 of 2 to move on top, PJ Washington makes a pair of free throws for the Cats to put the Cats back on top, 13-12. In the third segment, neither team scored a basket and both teams made 4 free throws. Seton Hall needed 6 attempts and UK needed 4 attempts. Seton Hall committed 2 turnovers and UK three turnovers in the segment. The score is tied, 15-15 at the under 8 media timeout, and Seton Hall has possession. With the score tied 16-16, Reid Travis makes a 3 point play for the first basket by either team in about 10 minutes. Then following a Seton Hall turnover, the Cats' Immanuel Quickley makes their second 3 point shot of the game to move on top by 6 points, 22-16. Seton Hall takes a timeout with 5 minutes left in the first half. Seton Hall turns the ball over to UK again, and PJ Washington makes a pair of free throws to stretch the lead to 7 points, 24-17. Seton Hall stops the Kentucky run with a 3 point basket to trim the lead to 24-19 at the under 4 media timeout.

In the first 16 minutes, UK has scored 24 points on 28 possessions (0.857 ppp) while Seton Hall has managed 19 points on 28 possessions (0.679 ppp) for a RNE of about 0.18 ppp. After the timeout, Seton Hall makes their third 3 pointer of the game to trim the lead to only 2 points. The Cats lead by 6, 31-25, at the half.

The Cats scored 31 points on 35 possessions, 0.886 points per possession, and SETON HALL managed their 25 points on 35 possessions, 0.714 ppp. The Cats made 31.0% of their first half shots, including 3-10 from outside the arc. SETON HALL managed to make 33.3% of their first half shots, including 3-9 from outside the arc.

The Cats made 10-13 free throws (76.9%) and SETON HALL managed to make 8-14 free throws (57.1%).

On the Boards, the Cats controlled the glass 22-16 overall, and Kentucky controlled the offensive glass 8-3. Kentucky used its 8-3 advantage with second chance possessions to an advantage on second chance points of 4-3. The Cats secured 35.0% of their misses and allowed SETON HALL to grab 16.7% of their misses as second chance opportunities.

Second Half:

Seton Hall opens the second half with a basket and over the first 6 minutes of the second half cut the lead to 2 points, 39-37, forcing Coach Calipari to take a timeout with 14:18 left in the game. After the timeout, Seton Hall continues their run, that began with the Cats leading by 7, 39-32. It ends with Seton Hall on top by 4, 43-39. Quade Green ends the Seton Hall run. The Cats trail by 2, 43-41 at the under 12 media timeout.

At the under 8 media timeout, the score is tied at 51-51 and Seton Hall has the ball. The teams exchange the lead a few times until the Cats take the lead by 3, 62-59. Then Ashton Hagans steals the ball at midcourt and makes a layup to give the Cats a 5 point lead, 64-59, with 3:14 left, and Seton Hall takes a timeout. Seton Hall makes a 3 pointer after the timeout, trimming the lead to 2 points.

PJ Washington answers, but Reid Travis fouls out with 2:20 left, sending Seton Hall to the free throw line where they trim the lead back to 2 points, 66-64. After Nick Richards makes 1 of 2 from the line, Seton Hall hits a 3 pointer to tie the game, 67-67. Coach Calipari takes a timeout with 48 seconds left. The Cats fail to score, and Seton Hall takes a timeout with 24 seconds left, the score tied, and Seton Hall in possession of the ball.

Seton Hall makes a 3 pointer with 1.5 seconds left. Keldon Johnson makes a shot from mid court at the buzzer to tie the game, 70-70 and send it to overtime.

The Cats start OT without Reid Travis, and Seton Hall starts without 3 of their players.

Seton Hall controls the tap, and scores on a layup. After Tyler Herro missed from tha arc, Seton Hall goes on top by 4 on another layup. Seton Hall plays with a 2 to 4 point lead for most of the OT until PJ Washington hit 1 of 2 from the line to trim the lead to 1 point. Then, Seton Hall makes another 3 pointer to move back on top by 4. Ashton Hagans makes a layup, and Keldon Johnson makes a 3 pointer to give the Cats a 1 point lead, 82-81, and Seton Hall takes a timeout with 39 seconds left. Seton Hall misses a 3 pointer, and Seton Hall fouls Ashton Hagans. Ashton Hagans missed the first of 2 shots, and made the second to extend UK's lead to 2 points, 83-81. Seton Hall makes another 3 pointer with 9.5 seconds left. UK missed the final shot, and loses the game, 84-83 in overtime.


UK scored its 83 points on 78 possessions (1.064 ppp) for the game, and SETON HALL scored its 84 points on 79 possessions (1.063 ppp).

Seton Hall won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 37-36, and both teams ended the game with 11 offensive rebounds. Seton Hall won the second chance point battle 12-7. SETON HALL had an offensive efficiency of 0.911 ppp on its 79 first chance possessions and 1.091 ppp for its 11 second chance possessions. UK had 0.974 ppp on its 78 first chance possessions and 0.636 ppp on its 11 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 29.7%of its misses as offensive rebounds while SETON HALL was able to convert 30.6% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 24-29 [82.8%]. SETON HALL made 19-26 [73.1%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 27-61 overall [44.3%] and 5-20 from long range [25.0%]. For SETON HALL, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-33 [48.5%] and from long range, SETON HALL hit 11-27 [40.7%].

The Cats committed 16 turnovers, one for every 4.8 possessions. The Cats forced 17 SETON HALL turnovers, one for every 4.6 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon, at Rupp against Utah in the tenth regular season game of the 2018-19 season.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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