2018-19 Season Analytical Writings

Cats Open 2019-20 Against A Real Opponent
In First Exhibition Game-Georgetown

Big Blue Fans, it is the last week of October and Coach Calipari is once again warning the Big Blue Nation about their need for patience with a new group of players because it will take them until March to be ready for March. He has added to his fine whine, a whine that is worthy of the finest Italian vineyards, a concern about a roster so thin, it could be harmed by any player loss due to injury.

Yes, on Sunday afternoon, the Cats will demonstrate the fruits of their labors in practice against a real, live opponent, Georgetown, defending NAIA National Champions. This will be Georgetown's first appearance in Rupp against a Kentucky team since November 9, 2014 when the 2014-15 Cats defeated the Tigers 121-52 in the second exhibition game of that fateful 38-1 season.

For the record, Pomeroy has tagged this UK team as the #2 team in the nation in the pre-season ratings. Pomeroy projects a 30-1 record against this schedule, with the only loss coming in the first game of the year when the Cats will confront #1 Michigan State in the Champions' Classic in New York City. The two exhibitions are the final tune ups for the season opener. This year, the two exhibition opponents are Georgetown and Kentucky State.

The Cats make their final preparations to begin their quest for a return to the Final Four in search of the program's 9 th National Championship. Let the journey begin with the exhibitions, just as it has every year within my memory.

Over the past 9 seasons, the Cats have averaged a 43-point victory over its first exhibition opponent (98-55) and for those same previous nine (9) seasons, the Cats have improved between their first and second exhibition games to a 60 point average margin (114-54). This and the second exhibition game next Friday are about effort and improvement. The measuring sticks are the margins of victory and the degree of improvement between the first and second starts. It is unclear how the bonus exhibition game against Morehead, sandwiched between the two traditional exhibitions will affect this relationship.

This year, based on how prior exhibition games have played out and the relative strength of Georgetown, this game shapes up to be a 39 point game, 96-57 if the Cats are on par with the previous nine Calipari led teams at the end of October.

Game Summary:

Coach Calipari raises the curtain on the 2019-20 season with a starting lineup that includes Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans, Nick Richards, E. J. Montgomery, and Kahlil Whitney. Maxey, Nate Sestina, Johnny Juzang, and Keino Brooks will come off the bench tonight. Dontaie Allen will not be available tonight due to a “knee issue.”

Georgetown controls the opening tip, but the Tigers fail to score on its first possession, despite getting 3 shots at the bucket. The Cats ran out to an early 9-0 lead with 2-3 from outside the arc and 3-4 from the line, prompting a Georgetown timeout. At the under 16 media timeout, the Cats extended this early lead to 13 points, 17-4, and the Cats will have a pair of free throws after the timeout. In the short, second segment, the Cats extend their lead to 17 points, 23-6, at the under 12 media timeout.

In the third segment, the Cats stretched the lead to 18 points, 27-9, at the under 8 media timeout. In the fourth segment, the Cats move on top by 25, 38-13, at the under 4 media timeout.

In the final segment, the Cats scored first to extend the lead to a game high 27 points, 40-13. However, the rest of the half was Tiger Time as the lead was cut to 15 points, 40-25 before Nate Sestina closed the first half with a 3 pointer to give the Cats an 18 point lead, 43-25, at the half.

The Cats scored 43 points on 38 possessions, 1.132 points per possession, and Georgetown managed their 25 points on 37 possessions, 0.676 ppp. The Cats made 55.6% (15-27) of their first half shots, including 6-13 (46.2%) from outside the arc. Georgetown was limited to only 28.8% shooting in the first half but managed to make 1 of 6 shots from long range (16.7%) and only 9-29 (31.0%) from inside the arc.

The Cats made 7-11 free throws (63.6%) and Georgetown managed to make 4-4 free throws.

On the Boards, the Cats won the glass 21-19 overall, but the Tigers had a 8-4 advantage on the offensive glass and a 6-2 advantage on second chance points.. The Cats secured 26.7% of their misses and limited Georgetown to only 32.0% of their misses as second chance opportunities. The Cats committed 9 turnovers, one for each 4,2 possessions while Georgetown committed 9 turnovers, one for each 4.1 possessions.

Second Half:

Cats win 80-53.


UK scored its 80 points in a total of 75 possessions (1.067 ppp) for the game, and Georgetown scored its 53 points on a total of 74 possessions (0.716 ppp).

Georgetown won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 43-41, and Georgetown won the battle of the offensive glass 14-6. Kentucky used its 6 second chance possessions to score 7 second chance points, but Georgetown used its 14 offensive rebounds to score 12 second chance points. Georgetown had an offensive efficiency of 0.554 ppp on its 74 first chance possessions and 0.857 ppp for its 12 second chance possessions. UK had 0.973 ppp on its 75 first chance possessions and 1.167 ppp on its 6 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a weak 17.1% of its misses as offensive rebounds while Georgetown was able to convert 28.6% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 11-17 [64.7%]. Georgetown made 18-22 [81.8%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 30-61 overall [49.2%] and 9-22 from long range [40.9%]. For Georgetown, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 13-49 [26.5%] and from long range, Georgetown hit 3-15 [20.0%].

The Cats committed 12 turnovers, one for every 6.2 possessions. The Cats forced 14 Georgetown turnovers, one for every 5.3 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Friday night, again at Rupp Arena, the Cats will take on Kentucky State in the second exhibition game of the 2019-20 season

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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