2018-19 Season Analytical Writings

The SEC Race Ended For Cats In Knoxville

On Saturday afternoon, the Cats should have learned a lesson that one would hope no UK team would have to learn after the Calendar had turned to March. With our without Reid Travis, this team was not prepared to compete when it entered TBA to face an angry group of Volunteers. The big question is why any UK team would not be prepared for the battle that the whole world knew was coming from Tennessee.

As a result of this loss, the Cats are almost certain to go into the SEC Tournament as the #3 seed, having to play on Friday night for an opportunity to play either Tennessee or LSU on Saturday afternoon. A tough row to hoe, and should the Cats manage to advance to the championship game on Sunday afternoon, they will probably have to face the other of the top two teams, LSU or Tennessee. There is no way for the Cats to drop to the #4 seed, and to advance to a #2 seed, Tennessee must lose to Auburn while the Cats must beat Ole Miss and Florida. For all intents and purposes, the SEC race ended for the Cats on Saturday afternoon.

Since the first meeting against Tennessee at Rupp Arena, this has not been the same UK team that had been steadily climbing up the charts. Since that first Tennessee game, this team has been in decline, and noticeably so. That is not the trend a team wants to establish in the early days of March.

Now, this team must stay on the road and find a way to beat a good, and pesky Ole Miss team that did compete with those same Volunteers a week ago in Oxford, before losing to the Vols by 2 points following a disputed charging call in the final seconds of the game. If the Cats are not prepared to battle on Tuesday night, they will start March with back to back losses.

#43 Mississippi's three most recent games were decided by 1 or 2 points. The Rebels beat Georgia by 1 point and lost to Tennessee by 2 and at Arkansas by 1 point. MISSISSIPPI brings a 19-10, 9-7 SEC record into this game against the Cats. The Rebels schedule has a SOS value of 0.0797 ppp (#50). The MISSISSIPPI ANE for the season stands at 0.179 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.169 ppp.

The Cats' schedule has a SOS value of 0.1006 ppp (#22). The Cats' ANE for the season stands at 0..293 ppp, their season ANE since game 7 has been 0.338 ppp, and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.278 ppp.

The ANE analysis based on Kentucky's ANE since game 7 indicates a Kentucky margin of 7 point, 75-68, in a game played at a pace of 69 possessions. As a matter of record, the traditional ANE analysis indicates a 4 1/2 point Kentucky advantage and a “last 5” analysis indicates a UK advantage of 4 point. Pomeroy has this game as a 4 point Kentucky win, 72-68, at a pace of 66 possessions.

Use the following link to see how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board:

You can participate in the score prediction contest at 247Sports at the following link:

Game Summary:

Reid Travis' knee injury has forced Coach Calipari to alter his starting lineup for today's game. He decides to start E J Montgomery in place of Reid Travis along with Ashton Hagans, PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson, and Tyler Herro to start the 27 th game of this season. Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards, and Jemarl Baker will come off the bench.

Mississippi controls the opening tip and makes a 3 pointer from the top of the key to start the game. After the Cats go on top 4-3, Ole Miss scores the next 6 points to lead 9-6 at the under 16 media time out with 14:46 left in the first half. Ole Miss started the second segment exactly as they started the game with a 3 pointer from the top of the key to extend their lead to 6. After the Cats trim the lead to 2 points, P J Washington picks up his second foul and goes to the bench with 12:58 left in the first half with the score 14-12. Over the next 1 ½ minutes to the under 12 media time out, each team scored 4 points and Ole Miss maintains its 2 point lead, 18-16, but Keldon Johnson will have a free throw to complete a 3 point play after the time out.

In the third segment, Ole Miss moved on top 21-17, but the Cats scored 6 straight to move on top by 2 points, and Ole Miss takes a time out with 8:57 left and the Cats on top 23-21. After the time out, Ole Miss fails to score, and Keldon Johnson scores to extend the Cats' lead to 4 points, 25-21 at the under 8 media time out. Ole Miss will have free throws after the break. After trading scores to a 27-25 Kentucky advantage, the Cats score 6 quick points to move out to an 8 point lead, 33-25, and Ole Miss takes another timeout with 6:09 left in the first half. After the time out, Ole Miss goes on an 11-1 run to regain a 2 point lead. The Cats tie the score at 36-36 at the under 4 media time out with 2:18 left in the half.

The Cats trail at the half by 1 point, 39-38.

The Cats scored 38 points on 34 possessions, 1.118 points per possession, and MISSISSIPPI managed their 39 points on 34 possessions 1.147 ppp. The Cats made 54.8% of their first half shots, including 2-5 from outside the arc. MISSISSIPPI managed to make 50.0% of their first half shots, including 4-11 from outside the arc.

The Cats made 2-5 free throws (40.0%) and MISSISSIPPI was 11-13 (84.6%) from the line in the first half.

Kentucky committed 5 turnovers to 8 by the Rebels.

On the Boards, Ole Miss won the glass 17-13 overall, and each team grabbed 4 offensive rebounds. Ole Miss won the second chance points battle 5-4. The Cats secured 23.% of their misses and allowed MISSISSIPPI to grab 30.8% of their misses as second chance opportunities.

Second Half:

Kentucky opens the second half with the first 4 points to move on top by 3, but Ole Miss responds with their 5 th 3 pointer of the game to tie the game again. After trading scores to a 48-48 tie, Ole Miss moves back into the lead with another 3 pointer, 51-48, and leads by 3, 53-50, at the under 16 media time out with 13:55 left in the game and the Cats in possession of the ball. In an abbreviated second segment, the Cats regained a slim 2 point lead with a 3 point play by Ashton Hagans and a 3 point basket by Keldon Johnson to lead 58-56 at the under 12 media time out with 11:52 left in the game and Ole Miss in possession.

After the time out, Nick Richards commits his 4 th foul and Ole Miss ties the score from the free throw line where they have lived this game, making 16-18 for the game. In the third segment, the Cats moved on top by 5 points twice, but another Ole Miss 3 pointer on a second chance possession trimmed the lead to 2 points, 67-65 at the under 8 media time out with 7:24 left and Ole Miss in possession of the ball.

In the 4 th segment, the Cats moved on top by 7, 72-65, and lead by 6, 73-67 at the under 4 media time out with 3:10 left and Ole Miss with the ball. Ole Miss trims the lead to 5 points on another pair of free throws, going 18-20 for the game to only 9-14 from the line for the Cats in the game. Nick Richards fouls out with 2:36 left in the game, and the Ole Miss free throws trim the lead to 4 points, 75-71. Kentucky fails to get a shot off and turns the ball over on a shot clock violation. After an Ole Miss missed shot, the Cats turn the ball over for the second straight possession. Ole Miss takes their next to last time out with 1:27 left in the game and down 4 points, 75-71. Keldon Johnson makes 1 of 2 from the line, and Ole Miss answers with a second chance basket to trim the lead to 3 points, 76-73 with 20 seconds left, and Ole Miss uses its last time out of the game. When Ashton Hagans cannot get the ball inbounds, Kentucky uses one of their 3 time outs with 20 seconds left.

Cats gut one out, 80-76.


UK scored its 80 points on 68 possessions (1.176 ppp) for the game, and MISSISSIPPI scored its 76 points on 68 possessions (1.118 ppp).

Ole Miss won the battle of the boards 37-30, and Ole Miss won the battle of the offensive boards with a rebounding edge 10-4. Ole Miss won the second chance point battle 13-4. MISSISSIPPI had an offensive efficiency of 0.927 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.300 ppp for its 10 second chance possessions. UK had 1.118 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 4 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 12.9% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MISSISSIPPI was able to convert 27.8% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK made 14-20 (70.0%) from the free throw line in this game. MISSISSIPPI made 20-22 [90.9%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 31-56 overall [55.4%] and 4-9 from long range [44.4%]. For MISSISSIPPI, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-34 [47.1%] and from long range, MISSISSIPPI hit 8-25 [32.0%].

The Cats committed 7 turnovers, one for every 9.7 possessions. The Cats forced 9 MISSISSIPPI turnovers, one for every 7.6 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon against Florida at Rupp for the final game of the 2018-19 regular season game and the 18 th and final game of the 2019 SEC season.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks



Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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