2018-19 Season Analytical Writings

Cats Return Home To Finish the Fall Semester, then Play Utah

The fall semester ends on Friday with the end of Finals Week, As the semester closes, Quade Green announced he is leaving the basketball team to seek better opportunities. While Green's departure for greener pastures is the first to occur during the Calipari Era during the course of the season, Green's departure is not the first Calipari recruited player to conclude that their future will be better served playing basketball somewhere else for another coach.

How can it be possible that any player would consider playing anywhere else a better opportunity than playing for the Kentucky Wildcats? Previous transfers included players who had skills that the Wildcats really needed after their departure, and at least two such departees have joined teams that competed in final fours for NCAA Championships.

The departure of Quade Green should be a cause for concern among the coaching staff, and throughout the Big Blue Nation. At the time of his departure, Quade Green led this team in 3 point shooting percentage at a time when the team struggles to find consistency from outside the arc. Yet, his playing time, which was rather limited on last year's team, had declined from last year's numbers.

When Utah comes into Rupp Arena on Saturday evening, the period that has come to be known as Camp Cal officially begins. No Calipari led UK team has needed Camp Cal more than the current crop of inexperienced (but very talented we are told) players. They have struggled through their first 9 games with a 7-2 record. The chewed up and devoured their 6 November cupcakes and secured a 7 th win at Rupp over Greensboro. However, this team tasted defeat both times it ventured outside of Rupp to face an opponent. Utah will be this group's last game at Rupp until January 8, 2019 when Texas A&M comes to town.

Utah enters this game with a 4-4 record. The Running Utes' most impressive win was over #101 Grand Canyon by 9 points, and Utah's most embarrassing loss came to #182 Hawaii by 11. Utah enters the game placing a heavy emphasis upon 3 point shooting. 46% of Utah's shots occur from beyond the arc, and they have made 36% of those attempts. In two games this season, Utah has made 10 three-point baskets.

UK's most glaring defensive deficiency has been 3 point shooting defense. On the season, this UK defense has allowed opponents to make over 40% of all three-point attempt. Furthermore, opponents have shot better from the arc against this UK team than against all of their opponents, making 3.7% more of their collective 3 point attempts than those teams average against all of their opponents.

Last Saturday's loss to Seton Hall at MSG reduced UK's ANE to 0.154 ppp against a schedule strength of -0.042 ppp. Utah enters this game with an ANE of 0.005 ppp against a schedule strength of -0.036 ppp. The ANE analysis indicates a 15 point advantage for the Cats at Rupp, 84-69 in a game played at a pace of 68 possessions. Pomeroy projects a 13 point Kentucky win over Utah, 80-67, at a pace of about 67 possessions.

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Game Summary:

Quade Green has left the team to transfer and after logging his first minute as a Wildcat against Seton Hall, Jemarl Baker is now available. 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 10 th game of this season. Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards, E. J. Montgomery, and Jemarl Baker will come off the bench. Jemarl Baker remains unavailable with knee issues.

Utah controls the opening tip and fails to score. However, after the Cats break the scoring ice for a 2-0 lead, Utah runs off 10 straight points on 2 three pointers and 2 layups for an early 10-2 lead. A 3 pointer by Keldon Johnson and a layup off a steal by Tyler Herro pulls the Cats to within 5 points, 12-7, at the under 16 media timeout. After the break, Tyler Herro made 1 of 2 from the line to trim the lead to 4 points, and after back to back Utah turnovers cut ties the score at 12-12. The Cats move back into the lead following a Utah missed shot, and the Cats lead by 1, 17-16, at the under 12 media timeout.

In the third segment, the Cats outscored the Utes 13-3 to move on top by 11 points, forcing Utah to take a timeout with 7:50 left on the clock and the Cats on top 30-19. In the first 12 minutes, Keldon Johnson has made 5 three point shots on 5 attempts. The rest of the tea is 0-3 from outside the arc. In the 4 th segment, each team managed to only score 2 points on 6 possessions and the Cats continue to lead by 11, 32-21 at the under 4 media timeout.

After the timeout, Utah makes a pair of baskets around a missed shot by the Cats to cut the 11 point lead to 7 points, 32-25, and Coach Calipari takes a timeout with 2:46 left in the first half. The Cats respond to Coach Calipari after the timeout by getting their lead back to 11 points, and Tyler Herro makes a 3 point basket at the buzzer to send the Cats to the locker room with a 14 point lead, 41-27.

The Cats scored 41 points on 31 possessions, 1.323 points per possession, and UTAH managed their 27 points on 31 possessions, 0.871 ppp. The Cats made 53.1% of their first half shots, including 6-12 from outside the arc. UTAH managed to make 41.4% of their first half shots, including 3-12 from outside the arc.

The Cats made 1-2 free throws (50.0%) and UTAH did not attempt a free throw in the first half, 0-0 (0.0%).

On the Boards, the Utes controlled the glass 18-13 overall, and Utah controlled the offensive glass 8-5. Despite grabbing fewer offensive rebounds, Kentucky earned an advantage on second chance points of 6-4. The Cats secured 33.3% of their misses and allowed UTAH to grab 50.0% of their misses as second chance opportunities.

Second Half:

Kentucky opens the second half with the first 4 points of the second half to lead 45-27. After moving on top by a game high 19 points, 48-29, Utah scored the next 5 to trim the lead back to the 14 point halftime lead. Coach Calipari takes a timeout with 15:50 left in the game. After the timeout, the Cats get a Tyler Herro basket, but Utah scores and has a 3 point play opportunity down 14, 50-36, after the under 16 media timeout with 15:04 left. In the second segment, Utah trims the UK lead to only 9 points, 56-47 with 5-5 shooting including 2-2 from outside the arc.

During the timeout, the officials reviewed a made basket by Immanuel Quickley and changed it from a 2 pointer to a 3 pointer, giving the Cats an additional point. Cats lead by 17 points, 64-47, at the under 8 media timeout.


UK scored its 88 points on 62 possessions (1.420 ppp) for the game, and UTAH scored its 61 points on 62 possessions (0.984 ppp).

Utah won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 31-23, and Utah won the battle on the offensive glass 13-7. Kentucky won the second chance point battle 11-7. UTAH had an offensive efficiency of 871 ppp on its 62 first chance possessions and 0.539 ppp for its 13 second chance possessions. UK had 1.242 ppp on its 62 first chance possessions and 1.572 ppp on its 7 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 28.0%of its misses as offensive rebounds while UTAH was able to convert 44.8% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 8-12 [66.7%]. UTAH made 6-8 [75.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 34-58 overall [58.6%] and 12-21from long range [57.1%]. For UTAH, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 17-31 [54.8%] and from long range, UTAH hit 7-23 [30.4%].

The Cats committed 6 turnovers, one for every 10.3 possessions. The Cats forced 18 UTAH turnovers, one for every 3.4 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon, in Chicago for the 2018 Champions Classic against North Carolina in the eleventh regular season game of the 2018-19 season.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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