2019-20 Season Analytical Writings

Will Cats Make A Statement Tonight Against a Good Lamar Team?

On Friday night, the Cats experienced a tale of two halves against Mount. St. Mary's at Rupp. In the first half, the Cats allowed a clearly inferior opponent to stay in the game, matching the Cats nearly basket for basket, point for point until the Cats eased out to a fragile 5-point lead, 39-34, in the final 3 minutes of the first half. In the second half, the Cats opened with a 10-2 run on their way to a 43-28 margin in the second half. The first half was akin to the way these Cats played against Evansville and Utah Valley while the second half was akin to the way these Cats played against EKU.

For the first time this season, the game ANE against Mount St. Mary's was sufficiently higher than the previous game to increase the season average ANE for the team, thus halting the 4 game slide that marks the beginning of the 2019-20 season. However, the average ANE improvement was marginal. While the Cats managed to stop the plummeting ANE of the first 4 games, the evidence is not yet enough to conclude that this team is ready to play at the substantially higher game ANE levels to return to the conversation about a deep March run. This evening, these young Cats can make such a statement on this point when they face Lamar.

Yes, the Cats now stand at 4-1 with an Adjusted Net Efficiency (ANE) of 0.14 points per possession (ppp) against a schedule strength of -0.051 ppp. The Cats' average tempo remains about 71 possessions per game.

#117 Lamar has played five games, three against D1 opposition with a 2-1 record in those games. The Cardinals lost at #96 Duquense by 10, beat the same Mount St. Mary's team at home by 15, and won at #197 Utah Valley by 6. These games produced an ANE of 0.071 ppp against a schedule strength of 0.016 ppp. Lamar will bring the highest ANE into this game against the Cats since Michigan State.

Based on this early season data for these teams, an ANE analysis indicates this game will have a tempo of 72 possessions with the Cats prevailing by 9 points, 74-65.

Game Summary:

Calipari starts Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, Nate Sestina, Nick Richards, and Kahlil Whitney. Immanuel Quickley, E. J. Montgomery, Johnny Juzang, and Keino Brooks will come off the bench tonight. Dontaie Allen remain on the disabled list.

Lamar controls the opening tip and misses. The Cats miss on their first attempt as well, but then the Cats run off 10 points, forcing a Lamar timeout with 16:45 left in the first half. After the timeout, Lamar breaks the scoring ice, and trail the Cats 10-2 at the under 16 media timeout. After the timeout, the Cats extend their lead to a game high 13 points, 15-2, but Lamar charges back with a 10-0 run to the end of the second segment. The Cats lead is 3 points, 15-12, at the under 12 media timeout, and Lamar has the possession.

In the third segment, the teams played with a Kentucky margin of 2 to 4 points until Lamar tied the game at 19-19. Then the Cats closed the segment with a 5-0 run, and will have the ball when the game resumes after the under 8 media timeout with 7:17 left in the first half. In the 4 th segment, the Cats added 13 points to their 5-0 run leading into the timeout to move on top by a game high 18 points, 37-19, at the under 4 media timeout.

In the final segment, the Cats complete the run at 20-0 for a 20 point lead, 39-19 before Lamar stops the run with a basket. The Cats lead by 20, 41-21 at the half.

The Cats scored 41 points on 32 possessions, 1.281 points per possession, and Lamar managed their 21 points on 33 possessions, 0.636 ppp. The Cats made 48.5% (16-33) of their first half shots, including 7-16 (43.8%) from outside the arc. Lamar made 9-31 (29.0%) shooting in the first half and managed to make 3-6 shots from long range (50.0%) and 6-25 (24.0%) from inside the arc.

The Cats made 2-2 free throws (100.0%) and Lamar managed to make 0-2 (0.0%) free throws.

On the Boards, the Cats won the battle 25-14 and the Cats and the Cats won on the offensive glass, 7-5. The Cats used its 7 second chance possessions to score 5 points and LAMAR used its 5 second chances to score 2 second chance points. The Cats grabbed 43.8% of their missed shots while LAMAR only rebounded 21.7% of its missed shots. The Cats committed 5 turnovers, one for each 6.4 possessions while Lamar committed 6 turnovers, one for each 5.5 possessions.

Second Half:

Kentucky opens the second half with a turnover, but then the Cats take a 7-2 run to move on top by 25, 48-23, forcing a Lamar timout with 17:03 left in the game. After the timeout, Lamar scores on a 3 pointer to stop the 7-2 run and trim the lead to 22 at the under 16 media timeout. In the second segment, Lamar cut into the 25 point lead and trimmed it to only 14 points, 53-39, and at the under 12 media timeout, the Cats lead by 16, 55-39.

In the third segment, the Cats moved back to a 20 point lead, 63-42, at the under 8 media timeout with 6:52 left in the game. In the 4 th segment, the teams traded baskets and the Cats added 1 point to their lead to lead by 21, 74-53, at the under 4 media timeout.

Cats win by 25, 81-56.


UK scored its 81 points in a total of 66 possessions (1.227 ppp) for the game, and Lamar scored its 56 points on a total of 67 possessions (0.886 ppp).

Kentucky won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 41-34, but Lamar won the battle of the offensive glass 14-10. Kentucky used its 10 second chance possessions to score 8 second chance points while LAMAR used its 14 second chances to score 3 points. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a season poor 33.3% of its misses as offensive rebounds while Lamar was able to convert 31.3% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK made 13-19 [68.4%] from the free throw line. Lamar made 7-15 [46.7%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 29-57 overall [50.9%] and 10-22 from long range [45.5%]. For Lamar, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 14-47 [29.8%] and from long range, Lamar hit 7-17 [41.2%).

The Cats committed 11 turnovers, one for every 6.0 possessions. The Cats forced 10 Lamar turnovers, one for every 6.7 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Friday night against UAB in the seventh game of the 2019-20 regular season.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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