BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2018-19 Season Analytical Writings
On Tuesday, the Cats face Vanderbilt in Nashville in a rematch of the game these teams played at Rupp on January 12 that saw the Cats scratch their way to an unimpressive 9-point win, 56-47. Since that time, the Cats won back to back road games at #105 Georgia by 20, and a tough 2-point win at #13 Auburn. The Cats then won impressively at Rupp over #28 Mississippi State by 21 and over #17 Kansas by 8.
Now the Cats return to the road for their first rematch of the season. Vanderbilt, since their loss at Rupp, has lost all four of their games, three SEC games all in Nashville against # 108 South Carolina by 3, #28 Mississippi State by 16, and #5 Tennessee by 5 in OT before losing at #23 Oklahoma by 31 points in the SEC-Big 12 challenge last Saturday.
Vanderbilt's fortunes have been declining since the beginning of the year. After finishing the bulk of their non-conference schedule 8-4, the Commodores are winless in 2019, losing all 6 of their SEC games and their only additional non-conference game to stand at 9-10. In contrast, the Cats have won their last 6 games, and 9 of their last 10 games since their disappointing loss to Seton Hall at MSG on December 8. In addition, as this winning streak continues to extend, the quality of the Cats' play is steadily improving. In these last four games since the initial encounter with Vanderbilt, the Cats' game ANE values have been 0.436 ppp, 0.377 ppp, 0.417 ppp, and 0.299 ppp, with a four game average 0.382 ppp.
The Commodores' schedule has a SOS value of 0.0412 ppp (#56). The Vanderbilt ANE for the season stands at 0.065 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.005 ppp.
The Cats' schedule has a SOS value of 0.0550 ppp (#39). The Cats' ANE for the season stands at 0.258 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.354 ppp.
The ANE (Last 5 game basis) analysis indicates a Kentucky margin of 21 points, 79-58, in a game played at a pace of 72 possessions. As a matter of record, the traditional ANE analysis indicates a 9-point Kentucky advantage (78-69). Pomeroy has this game as 9 points in Kentucky's favor, 74-65, at a pace of 68 possessions.
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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 but fails to score until their third possession. After Vandy moved ahead 3-2 with a 3 point shot, the Cats regained the lead and moved into a 5 point lead at the under 16 media time out with 14:02 left in the first half. After the timeout, Vandy trimmed the lead to 2 with their 2 nd 3 point basket of the game, but Nick Richards makes a 3 point play at the other end to negate the Vandy 3 pointer. Over the rest of the abbreviated second segment, the Cats add a second chance basket by P J Washington to extend their early lead to 7 points, 17-10 at the under 12 media time out with 11:49 left in the first half.
In the third segment, the Cats put up their first double digit lead, 22-12, but Vandy closes the gap to 8 points, 22-14, at the under 8 media time out with 7:14 left and Vandy in possession of the ball. After the timeout, Vandy commits a turnover, and misses on shots inside and outside the arc while the Cats make a pair of free throws and back to back 3 pointers to extend the lead to 16 points, 30-14, forcing a Vandy timeout. After the time out, the Cats extend their lead to 20 points, 34-14, at the under 4 media time out, and the Cats are in possession of the ball.
The Cats extend their lead to 22 points, 36-14 before Vandy makes 1 of 2 free throws and they would not score again in the first half. The Cats on the other hand score the final 9 points to lead by 30, 45-15 at the half.
The Cats scored 45 points on 34 possessions, 1.324 points per possession, and VANDERBILT managed their 15 points on 34 possessions 0.441 ppp. The Cats made 51.5% of their first half shots, including 5-10 from outside the arc. VANDERBILT managed to make 25.0% of their first half shots, including 2-11 from outside the arc.
The Cats made 6-7 free throws (85.7%) and VANDERBILT made 3-5 (60.0%).
Kentucky committed 1 turnover to 14 by the Commodores.
On the Boards, the Cats controlled the glass 16-15 overall, and Kentucky won the offensive glass 3-2. Kentucky outscored Vanderbilt 4-2 on second chance points. The Cats secured 18.8% of their misses and allowed VANDERBILT to grab 13.3% of their misses as second chance opportunities.
Vanderbilt opens the second half with a turnover and the Cats extend their lead to 33 points on a 3 pointer by Keldon Johnson. Wat the under 16 media time out, the Cats lead by 29, 57-28. A pair of free throws by P J Washington and a 3-point play by Immanuel Quickley extends the Cats' lead to 34. At the under 12 media time out, the Cats lead 66-31. In the third segment, the Cats add another point to their lead to lead by 35, 70-35, at the under 8 media time out.
In the 4 th segment, the Cats lead stands at 34 points, 77-43 at the under 4 media time out.
Cats win by 35, 87-52.
UK scored its 87 points on 66 possessions (1.318 ppp) for the game, and VANDERBILT scored its 52 points on 66 possessions (0.788 ppp).
Kentucky and Vanderbilt each grabbed 29 rebounds, and Vanderbilt won the battle of the offensive boards with a rebounding edge 9-6. Kentucky won the second chance point battle 7-5. VANDERBILT had an offensive efficiency of 0.712 ppp on its 66 first chance possessions and 0.556 ppp for its 9 second chance possessions. UK had 1.212 ppp on its 66 first chance possessions and 1.167 ppp on its 6 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 23.1% of its misses as offensive rebounds while VANDERBILT was able to convert 28.1% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 17-23 (73.9%]. VANDERBILT made 9-18 [50.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 30-54 overall [55.8%] and 10-17 from long range [58.8%]. For VANDERBILT, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 8-22 [36.4%] and from long range, VANDERBILT hit 9-24 [37.5%].
The Cats committed 7 turnovers, one for every 9.4 possessions. The Cats forced 20 VANDERBILT turnovers, one for every 3.3 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon against Florida in Gainesville for the twenty first regular season game and the 8 th game of the 2019 SEC season.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks