BIG BLUE FANS FOR
2019-20 Season Analytical Writings
As the Wildcats prepare to face Georgia on Tuesday night in Athens, Georgia, the Cats will be venturing into enemy territory for the first time this season. The Cats have played the first 13 games at Rupp (10 games) and at neutral venues (3 games). The trip to Georgia will be the first of 9 such trips for the Cats during the SEC season.
Both teams enter this game with 10-3 records. However, one of the Georgia wins came against unranked Chaminade. The Cats are also 1-0 in SEC action while Georgia will be playing its first SEC game of the season when they face the Cats. The Dawgs and Cats have faced two common opponents this season, #84 Georgia Tech and #4 Michigan State. The Cats defeated #4 Michigan State by 7 at MSG while Georgia lost to the Spartans by 8 points in Hawaii. The Cats defeated #84 Georgia Tech by 14 points at Rupp while the Dawgs defeated Georgia Tech by 4 at home.
Since sustaining its third loss of the season at #98 Arizona State by 20, the Dawgs have won their last four games, defeating #78 SMU by 2 in 2 OT periods, #174 Georgia Southern by 9, #190 Austin Peay by 30, and at #20 Memphis by 3. Georgia is playing their best basketball of the season as they begin SEC action against the Cats and enter this game with an ANE of 0.113 ppp.
The Cats have shown improvement in its game since its back to back losses in Las Vegas to #88 Utah and #3 Ohio State. The Cats defeated #11 Louisville by 8 in OT and #39 Missouri by 14 in the last two games, which has improved the team's ANE to 0.192 ppp.
These trends indicate this game is dangerous for the Cats.
In summary, #75 Georgia brings a 10-3 (9-3 vs D1 opponents) record into the game. Georgia has played this season at an average tempo of 74.8 possessions per game at an ANE 0.113 ppp with a schedule strength of 0.012 ppp. The #32 Cats bring a 10-3 record into this game with an ANE of 0.192 ppp against a schedule strength of -0.013 ppp, having played at an average tempo of 68.9 possessions per game.
Based on this data for these teams, an ANE analysis indicates this game will have a tempo of 72 possessions with the Cats winning by 2 points, 73-71.
It is intuitively clear than not all 2-point wins or losses are created equal. The quality of any win depends upon the final margin, the strength of the opponent, and the venue of the game.
The table provides tools to evaluate this game's final margin considering the relevant factors. This table separates game outcomes into three ranges, red, tan, and green. Over the years, Calipari's strongest teams win most of their games on the season in the green range and the fewest number of games end in the red range. Conversely, Calipari's weakest teams win most of their games in the red and fewest in the green ranges. move the game into the strong group while smaller margins move the game into the poor range.
Near the end of Saturday's game, Ashton Hagans left the game with an ankle injury. Reports suggest that Ashton Hagans will be available against Georgia. Coach Calipari starts Keion Brooks, E. J. Montgomery, Nick Richards, Tyrese Maxey, and Ashton Hagans, to start the 14 th game of this season against the Dawgs. Nate Sestina, Kahlil Whitney, and Immanuel Quickley will come off the bench.
Kentucky controls the opening tip and fails to score on its first several possessions that allowed Georgia to move on top 5-0. Then the Cats ran the next 8 points to lead by 3, 8-5 at the under 16 media timeout with 14:50 left in the first half. After the Cats ease on top by 5, 12-7, Georgia moves into the lead, 13-12, after Nick Richards commits a flagrant foul, resulting in 2 free throws and possession, with the score on the subsequent possession, which is the score at the under 12 media timeout.
After the timeout, the Cats could not get a good shot and Georgia made a 3 point basket to extend their lead to 4, 16-12, and Coach Calipari calls timeou with 11:10 left. After the timeout, the Cats score 5 straight to move back into the lead, and the teams traded baskets and leads to a 21-21 tie. Then Georgia scores and completes a 3 point play spanning the under 8 media timeout that produced a 3 point, 24-21 lead for the Dawgs. At the under 4 media timeout, the Dawgs lead by 1, 29-28.
In the final segment, Georgia moves on top by 3, and then explode to a 9 point lead, 37-28. The Cats close the scoring in the first half by trimming the lead to 6, 37-31, at the half.
The Cats scored 31 points on 37 possessions, 0.838 points per possession, and GEORGIA managed their 37 points on 35 possessions, 1.057 ppp. The Cats made 42.4% of their first half shots, including 2-6 from outside the arc. GEORGIA managed to make 43.3% of their first half shots, including 3-11 from outside the arc.
The Cats made 1-3 free throws (33.3%) and GEORGIA made 8-14 (57.1%).
On the Boards, the Dawgs controlled the glass 24-17 overall, and Georgia controlled the offensive glass 6-3. Georgia earned an advantage on second chance points of 4-2. The Cats secured 14.3% of their misses and allowed GEORGIA to grab 30.0% of their misses as second chance opportunities.
Georgia opens the second half with a pair of free throws to extend their lead to 8, 39-31. The Cats pulled to within 1 point, 39-38, but could not get into the lead, and trail by 3, 45-41 at the under 16 media timeout. In the second segment, the teams traded baskets with the Cats pulling to within 1 point, 51-50, at the under 12 media timeout with 10:52 left in the game, and Georgia set for free throws after the timeout.
In the third segment, the Cats clawed back into the lead, 58-57 on a 3 point basket by Immanuel Quickley despite missing 3 free throws including the front end of the bonus. Georgia takes a timeout with 8:04 left in the game, down 1. After the timeout, the Cats get a defensive stop and Tyrese Maxey scores on the other end for a 3 point Cats lead at the under 8 media timeout, 60-57, and Tyrese Maxey will have one free throw to complete a 3 point play after the timeout. However, the Cats' free throw woes continue as Tyrese Maxey misses. After another defensive stop, the Cats extend their lead to a game high 6 on a 3 point play by Nick Richards, 63-57. However, Georgia stops the run and cuts the lead to 2 points, 63-61. A 3 point basket by Immanuel Quickley extends the lead back to 5 points, 66-61 at the under 4 media timeout, and Nick Richards will be at the line for a 1+1 free throws after the break. However, the Cats have only been to the line 11 times in the game, and only made 4 of their attempts, and Nick Richards missed another after the under 4 media timeout.
The Cats extend the lead to 6 points, 70-64, and Georgia takes a timeout with 1:33 left in the game.
Cats win by 9, 78-69.
UK scored its 78 points on 71 possessions (1.099 ppp) for the game, and GEORGIA scored its 69 points on 70 possessions (0.986 ppp).
Kentucky won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 41-35, and Kentucky won the battle on the offensive glass 12-9. Kentucky won the second chance point battle 6-4. GEORGIA had an offensive efficiency of 0.929 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 0.444 ppp for its 9 second chance possessions. UK had 1.014 ppp on its 71 first chance possessions and 0.500 ppp on its 12 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 31.6%of its misses as offensive rebounds while GEORGIA was able to convert 23.7% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 10-20 [50.0%]. GEORGIA made 16-23 [69.6%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 31-62 overall [50.0%] and 6-12 from long range [50.0%]. For Georgia, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 19-34 [55.9%] and from long range, GEORGIA hit 5-23 [21.7%].
The Cats committed 12 turnovers, one for every 5.9 possessions. The Cats forced 14 GEORGIA turnovers, one for every 5.0 possessions.
Next Game On Schedule: Saturday against Alabama at Rupp in the Cats' fifteeth regular season game, and the 3 rd game of the 2020 SEC season.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
Submitted by Richard Cheeks