2018-19 Season Analytical Writings

Cats Return To Rupp After 2-0 Road Trip To Face Mississippi State

Kentucky completed a successful road swing through Athens, Georgia and Auburn, Alabama with two impressive wins. After taking the DAWGS apart by 20, the Cats took down #10 Auburn by 2, handing Auburn their first home loss in quite some time. These two games, however, are becoming the rule for this team rather than the rare exception. After the Seton Hall loss, the team had an ANE of 0.155 ppp, but in the since that 2 point loss to Seton Hall in overtime, this team has played 8 games with an average ANE of 0.336 ppp, and the quality of play over the last week has been above 0.41ppp for both games. This level of efficiency is sufficient to place this team in the hunt, come March.

Auburn, currently #9 (ANE) is the first of three consecutive top 25 opponents. The Cats will face #22 Mississippi State and #16 Kansas at Rupp on Tuesday and Saturday when ESPN's College Game Day will broadcast from Lexington again.

Mississippi State enters this game with a 14-3 overall record, and 2-2 in the SEC. Mississippi State rolled through its non-conference schedule with a 12-1 record. The Bulldogs' only non-conference loss was against #62 Arizona State by 5 points on a neutral court. Among its most impressive non-conference wins are a 4 point win over #30 Saint Mary's on a neutral court, and 11 point wins over #27 Cincinnati and #32 Wofford in Starkville. After their 12-1 non-conference start, the Bulldogs dropped their first two SEC games, at #120 South Carolina by 5 points and at home to #29 Mississippi by 4 points. Over the last week, Mississippi State won twice, over #23 Florida by 3 points and at #91 Vanderbilt by 16 points. The Bulldogs are 2-1 on the road this season and the Cats are undefeated at Rupp.

The Bulldogs' schedule has a SOS value of 0.0477 ppp (#39). The Bulldogs' ANE for the season stands at 0.202 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0,198 ppp.

The Cats' schedule has a SOS value of 0.0408 ppp (#53). The Cats' ANE for the season stands at 0.222 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.273 ppp.

The ANE (Last 5 game basis) analysis indicates a Kentucky margin of 9 points, 78-69, in a game played at a pace of 69 possessions. As a matter of record, the traditional ANE analysis indicates a 6-point Kentucky advantage (77-71). Pomeroy has this game as 6 points in Kentucky's favor, 75-69, at a pace of 67 possessions.

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Game Summary:

Coach Calipari stays with Ashton Hagans, Reid Travis, PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson, and Tyler Herro to start the 18 th game of this season. Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards, E. J. Montgomery, and Jemarl Baker will come off the bench.

Kentucky controls the opening tip and fail to score. After Mississippi State scores the first 4 points of the game, the Cats go on a 10-0 run, and lead 10-6 at the under 16 media time out. After the timeout, Mississippi State missed on two 3 point attempts while Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson each made 3 point baskets at the other end extending the lead to 10 points, 16-6. Mississippi State takes a time out with 14:45 left. After the timeout, the Cats take their biggest lead, 20-7, but Mississippi State scores the last 6 points of the second segment to trail by 7, 20-13, at the under 12 media time out.

In the third segment, the teams played on relatively even terms as the Cats maintain a 10 point lead, 28-18 at the under 8 media time out with7:04 left and Mississippi State in possession of the ball. In the fourth segment, Mississippi State trimmed the Cats' lead to 6 points, but the Cats responded and extended the lead back to 10, 32-22, at the under 4 media time out.

After leading by 10 points, 34-24, Mississippi State got the last basket of the first half to trim the lead to 8 points at the half, 34-26.

The Cats scored 34 points on 37 possessions, 0.919 points per possession, and MISSISSIPPI STATE managed their 26 points on 37 possessions, 0.703 ppp. The Cats made 41.9% of their first half shots, including 4-9 from outside the arc. MISSISSIPPI STATE managed to make 30.3% of their first half shots, including 1-8 from outside the arc.

The Cats made 4-5 free throws (80.0%) and MISSISSIPPI STATE made 5-8 (62.5%).

On the Boards, the Bulldogs controlled the glass 22-21 overall, and Mississippi State won the offensive glass 9-5. Kentucky scored only 3 second chance points of the first half while Mississippi State scored 6 second chance points. The Cats secured 27.8% of their misses and allowed MISSISSIPPI STATE to grab 36.0% of their misses as second chance opportunities.

Second Half:

Kentucky opens the second half with its 10 th turnover of the game. The first segment of the second half was played with a margin of 7 to 9 points, and the Cats lead by 9, 41-32 at the under 16 media time out. After the timeout, Mississippi State scores to cut the lead to 7, and after a pair of Kentucky turnovers, Mississippi State trims the lead to 4. Then when the Cats cannot score from point blank range on 3 consecutive attempts, Mississippi State cuts the lead to 2 points, 41-39, and Coach Calipari takes a timeout with 13:36 left in the game.

After the timeout, the Cats extend the lead to 5, 46-41, at the under 12 media time out, and Tyler Herro will have 3 free throws after the time out. After Tyler Herro makes all three of his free throws, the Cats foul a Mississippi State 3 point shooter, who makes 2 of the 3 to trim the lead to 6 points. In the third segment, the Cats extend their lead back to double digits, 11 points, 54-43 with 8:16 left in the game. Mississippi State takes a time out.

In the 4 th segment, the Cats extend their lead to a game high 14 points on two occasions, and they lead by 13 points, 66-53, at the under 4 media time out with 3:29 left in the game. Immanuel Quickley will have 2 free throws after the timeout, with a chance to move the lead to 15 points.

Cats win by 21, 76-55.


UK scored its 76 points on 70 possessions (1.086 ppp) for the game, and MISSISSIPPI STATE scored its 55 points on 69 possessions (0.797 ppp).

Kentucky won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 43-36, but Mississippi State and Kentucky tied the battle on the offensive glass 15-15. Mississippi State won the second chance point battle 15-11. MISSISSIPPI STATE had an offensive efficiency of 0.580 ppp on its 69 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp for its 15 second chance possessions. UK had 0.929 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 0.733 ppp on its 15 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 41.7% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MISSISSIPPI STATE was able to convert 34.9% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 16-22 (72.7%]. MISSISSIPPI STATE made 14-18 [77.8%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 26-59 overall [44.1%] and 8-16 from long range [50.0%]. For Mississippi State, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-41 [39.0%] and from long range, MISSISSIPPI STATE hit 3-20 [15.0%].

The Cats committed 16 turnovers, one for every 4.4 possessions. The Cats forced 15 MISSISSIPPI STATE turnovers, one for every 4.6 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Saturday evening at Rupp for the nineteenth regular season game of the 2019 SEC season against Kansas.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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