BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2018-19 Season Analytical Writings
This past week was something of a roller coaster ride for the Cats during a two game home stand that saw them fall to LSU by 2 points on a disputed tip in at the buzzer and soundly defeat the consensus #1 Tennessee Volunteers by 17 points in a game that was never really in doubt for the Cats once P J Washington outscored the Volunteers 7-4 in the first 4 minutes of the game.
These outcomes clarified the situation for the SEC race. LSU and Tennessee remain in control of their own destinies as the current leaders with only 1 conference loss each and a single game between them to determine which of them will continue in control of the conference race. Kentucky on the other hand, finished this week with 2 conference losses and now must depend upon help if it can pass LSU for the championship and #1 tournament seed.
Each team has 6 conference games remaining, and with regards to the conference race, there are only 7 of all the remaining 42 SEC games this season that will impact this three-way race. For the Cats, only 2 games remaining on the schedule really matter, and that is the March 2, 2019 rematch with Tennessee in Knoxville followed by a trip to Mississippi on March 5. For the Volunteers, in addition to the March 2nd rematch, Tennessee's games at LSU and at Auburn will probably factor into the final standings for these top 3 teams. LSU has their game against Tennessee, but all must travel to Florida and Alabama over these closing 3 weeks.
Kentucky must finish their final 6 games without a loss and get help from others to hand LSU at least 2 losses to win the SEC title this season. Therefore, the two games with head to head matchups are critical games for all three teams. Further, the Kentucky road trip to Mississippi and the two road games each for Tennessee and LSU are going to determine how these three teams finish at the top of the conference. The other 35 SEC games only will determine the seeding for the remaining 11 spots, and which of those 11 teams will enjoy a double bye as the #4 seed.
For Kentucky, the remaining schedule includes trips to Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi with home games against Auburn, Arkansas, and Florida. Next up will be the road game at Missouri.
#103 MISSOURI brings a 12-12, 3-9 SEC record into this game against the Cats.
In SEC play, the Tigers have been perfect while the Cats have dropped two games, at #54 Alabama by 2 points, and to #19 LSU by 2 at Rupp. MISSOURI defeated Alabama by 3 points in Knoxville and has not played LSU yet, and will only do so once this season. In posting a 9-3 non-conference record, Missouri lost at @14 Iowa State by 17 points, to #35 Kansas State by 15 on a neutral court, and to #83 Temple at home by 2. Among the 9 non-conference wins, Missouri's most impressive win was over #49 UCF by 2 points in OT at home. In their SEC play, they have claimed victories at #100 Texas A&M by 23 points, and home wins over #116 Vanderbilt by 10 and #66 Arkansas by 1.
The Tigers schedule has a SOS value of 0.0781 ppp (#38). The MISSOURI ANE for the season stands at 0.071 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.068 ppp.
The Cats' schedule has a SOS value of 0.0885 ppp (#26). The Cats' ANE for the season stands at 0.298 ppp, their season ANE since game 7 has been 0.360 ppp, and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.362 ppp.
The ANE analysis based on Kentucky's ANE since game 7 indicates a Kentucky margin of 15 points, 76-61, in a game played at a pace of 67 possessions. As a matter of record, the traditional ANE analysis indicates a 11 point Kentucky advantage and a “last 5” analysis indicates a UK advantage of 15 ½ points. Pomeroy has this game as a 9 point Kentucky win, 70-61, at a pace of 64 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 and Keldon Johnson misses the Cats' first shot of the game. Missouri scores first with a 3 pointer, but the Cats then outscore the Tigers 10-2 to the under 16 media time out to lead by 5 points, 10-5. In the second segment, the Cats let Missouri regain a 1 point lead, 11-10, but the Cats score to regain the lead at the under 12 media time out, 12-11, and Tyler Herro will be at the free throw line after the break for a pair of free throws. During the time out, the officials determine that the foul on Tyler Herro was a flagrant 1, so the Cats get the free throws and the ball.
Tyler Herro made both free throws, scored a basket on the ensuing possession, and following a Missouri missed shot made a 3 pointer to extend the Cats into a 19-11 lead. Missouri trimmed the lead to 7 points, 22-15 at the under 8 media time out, and the Cats have the ball. In the 4 th segment, the Cats extend their first half lead to double digits at 27-17, and 29-19, and lead by 13, 32-19 at the under 4 media time out. Missouri will have the ball after the time out.
The Cats finish the first half by extending the lead to 18 points, 41-23, at the half.
The Cats scored 41 points on 34 possessions, 1.206 points per possession, and MISSOURI managed their 23 points on 33 possessions 0.700 ppp. The Cats made 50.0% of their first half shots, including 5-14 from outside the arc. MISSOURI managed to make 30.8% of their first half shots, including 2-9 from outside the arc.
The Cats made 6-8 free throws (75.0%) and MISSOURI was 5-6 (83.3%) from the line in the first half.
Kentucky committed 8 turnovers to 8 by the Tigers.
On the Boards, the Cats controlled the glass 20-15 overall, and Kentucky won the offensive glass 6-4. Kentucky won the second chance points 10-2. The Cats secured 35.3% of their misses and allowed MISSOURI to grab 22.2% of their misses as second chance opportunities.
Missouri opens the second half with a second chance basket, and a 3-pointer following a Kentucky turnover, and Coach Calipari calls a quick time out with 19:09 left and the 18 point lead suddenly cut to 13 points, 41-28. After the time out, the Cats use a pair of 3 pointers and a free throw to move out to a 20-point lead, 48-28, with 16:00 left in the game. At the under 16 media time out, the lead stands at 17, 48-31, and Missouri will have the ball when play resumes. After the timeout, Missouri makes another 3 pointer to trim the lead to 14, and Ashton Hagans makes a pair of free throws to stop the Missouri run at 6 points. In an extended second segment, the Cats maintain a 15 point lead, 54-39, at the under 12 media time out with 10:24 left in the game.
In a short 3 rd segment, the Cats fail to score, turning the ball over on both possessions while Missouri trimmed 2 points from the lead to a 54-41 score at the under 8 media time out and the Cats in possession of the ball. After the timeout, the Cats commit their 3 rd consecutive turnover. Missouri takes a timeout with 4:58 left in the game, down by 13, 56-43. Over the last 5 and ½ minutes, the Cats have had 6 possessions ending in 5 turnovers, and 2 points while Missouri has had 5 possessions, and 4 points. Missouri trims the lead to 11 points after the timeout, and Tyler Herro eases the Cats back to the 13 point lead with a pair of free throws. At the under 4 media time out, the Cats lead by 11, 58-47, and Tyler Herro will be at the line for a pair of free throws after this final media time out.
After Tyler Herro makes both free throws to move back on top by 13, Missouri makes a 3 pointer on a second chance possession to trim the lead to only 10 points, 60-50. Missouri takes a timeout with 2:37 left in the game. Keldon Johnson makes a pair of free throws with 2:11 left in the game, but Missouri trims the lead back to 10 points, 62-52.
After the Cats fail to score, Missouri trims the lead to only 7 points on another 3 pointer, 62-55. Ashton Hagans makes a pair of free throws with 0:48 left, and Missouri gets another 3 pointer to cut the lead to 6 points, 64-58 with 13 seconds left. Kentucky hangs on to win by 8, 66-58.
A trend is emerging in that this team has been playing strong in the first half of games, and surrendering large chunks of double digit leads in the second half. Tonight, a 20 point second half lead shrunk to only 6 points.
Cats win 66-58.
UK scored its 66 points on 59 possessions (1.118 ppp) for the game, and MISSOURI scored its 58 points on 58 possessions (0.983 ppp).
Missouri won the battle of the boards 34-28, and mo won the battle of the offensive boards with a rebounding edge 16-6. Missouri won the second chance point battle 15-10. MISSOURI had an offensive efficiency of 0.729 ppp on its 59 first chance possessions and 0.938 ppp for its 16 second chance possessions. UK had 0.949 ppp on its 59 first chance possessions and 1.667 ppp on its 6 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 25.0% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MISSOURI was able to convert 42.1% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK made 19-22 (86.4%) from the free throw line in this game. MISSOURI made 5-7 [71.4%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 20-42 overall [47.6%] and 7-19 from long range [36.8%]. For MISSOURI, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 13-32 [40.6%] and from long range, MISSOURI hit 9-27 [33.3%].
The Cats committed 14 turnovers, one for every 4.2 possessions. The Cats forced 12 MISSOURI turnovers, one for every 4.9 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon against Auburn at Rupp for the twenty seventh regular season game and the 14 th game of the 2019 SEC season.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks