2019-20 Season Analytical Writings

Cats Take Two Game Junket To Las Vegas; Next Up Comes Ohio State

My how time flies when we are having fun. The 2019-20 basketball season is now 1/3 finished, and finally the level of competition is rising to the level that this program expects. The Cats next opponent, Ohio State is currently the strongest team (highest ANE) in the land, and after the Christmas break, the Cats will face arch rival Louisville, and the Cards have shared time in the #1 spot early this season. Ironically, the Cats also once held the #1 spot after beating the Preseason #1 Michigan State in the season opener.

So, these Cats should be right at home on Saturday when the Cats play Ohio State in Las Vegas. The Cats held the #1 position for about a week before the Cats' rating plummeted with the home loss to Evansville. However, the development of this team cannot be described as an upward trend despite the stumble against Evansville. The development of this team has been dismal and the Cats' level of performance has been very low in 6 of the 8 games with bookend losses to Evansville and Utah.

At present, the Cats' adjusted net efficiency has leveled off at 0.177 ppp after the Cats' loss to Utah this past Wednesday. The Cats' ANE ranks #34 nationally.

The Cats are at the midpoint of the two game Las Vegas Junket, and with the loss to Utah in their first game in Las Vegas on this Junket, the Cats should recognize that they are facing the reality of a two game losing streak with Louisville laying in wait for their shot at the Cats 3 days after Christmas. .

#1 Ohio State brings a 10-1 record into the game. Ohio State's most impressive wins are over #37 Villanova by 15 and over #26 Penn State by 32. Ohio State's only loss occurred the past Sunday at #53 Minnesota by 13. Ohio State has played this season at an average tempo of 67.6 possessions per game at an ANE 0.351 ppp with a schedule strength of -0.060 ppp.

The #27 Cats bring a 8-2 record into this game with an ANE of 0.177 ppp against a schedule strength of -0.063 ppp.

Based on this data for these teams, an ANE analysis indicates this game will have a tempo of 69 possessions with the Cats falling 12 points short, 63-75.

It is intuitively clear than not all 12-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.

Game Summary:

Coach Calipari has not indicated Dontaie Allen will be available for action in games. Calipari starts Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, Kahlil Whitney, E. J. Montgomery, and Nick Richards. Immanuel Quickley, Nate Sestina, Johnny Juzang, Keino Brooks, and Dontaie Allen will come off the bench tonight.

Ohio State controls the opening tip and each team commits a turnover on the first possession before Ohio State moves on top 2-0, 6-2, and 9-6 at the under 16 media timeout. In the opening 4 minutes, the Cats committed 4 turnovers on the first 8 possessions, and only managed to get up 3 shot attempts and one trip to the line. Ohio State on the other hand was 3-6 from the floor. After Ohio State moves on top by 3, 11-8, the Cats get a 3 pointer by Nate Sestina and a layup off a steal by Ashton Hagans to move the Cats into the lead for the first time, 13-11 with 12:24 left in the half. Ohio State takes a timeout.

In the third segment, the Cats played in the range of up by 3 to down by 1, and find themselves down 1, 22-21, at the under 8 media timeout with 8:28 left in the first half. In the 4 th segment, Ohio State maintained the lead between 1 and 3 points, and Ohio State leads the Cats by 2, 29-27, at the under 4 media timeout.

After Ohio State goes up by 4, 31-27, the Cats catch up at 31-31. Each team closes the first half scoring with a 3 pointer and a basket, but Ohio State was fouled on its basket and takes a 1 point lead, 37-36, to the locker room.

The Cats scored 36 points on 33 possessions, 1.091 points per possession, and Ohio State managed their 37 points on 33 possessions, 1.121 ppp. The Cats made 50.0% (15-30) of their first half shots, including 3-13 (23.1%) from outside the arc. Ohio State made 12-23 (52.2%) shooting in the first half and managed to make 3-13 shots from long range (23.1%) and 9-10 (90.0%) from inside the arc.

The Cats made 3-4 free throws (75.0%) and Ohio State managed to make 10-12 (83.3%) free throws.

On the Boards, the Buckeyes won the battle 17-11, and the Buckeyes won on the offensive glass, 5-4. The Cats used its 4 second chance possessions to score 2 points and OHIO STATE used its 5 second chances to score 2 second chance points. The Cats grabbed 25.0% of their missed shots while OHIO STATE rebounded 41.7% of its missed shots. The Cats committed 6 turnovers, one for each 5.5 possessions while Ohio State committed 9 turnovers, one for each 3.7 possessions.

Second Half:

Ohio State opens the second half and after a couple of empty possessions for each team, Ohio State made 1 of 2 from the line and a basket to move on top by a game high 4 points, 40-36. Coach Calipari takes a quick timeout to complain about a missed block/charge call on Tyrese Maxey that would have tied the score at 38-38. After the timeout, The Cats cut the lead to 1 again with Nate Sestina's 4 th 3 point basket of the game. Nate Sestina has all 4 of the baskets from outside the arc on 7 attempts. The rest of the team is 0-7. The Cats trail by 3, 42-39, at the under 16 media timeout and the Cats have the ball. In the second segment, Ohio State moves on top by a game high 5 points, 49-44 at the under 12 media timeout.

After the timeout, the Cats miss on a bad 3 point attempt by Kahlil Whitney, and Ohio State gets a pair of free throws to extend the lead to a game high 7 points, 51-44.

In the third segment, the Cats clawed back to within 2 points, 53-51 at the under 8 media timeout with 6:57 left in the game and Ohio State ready to shot a one and one from the line. In the 4 th segment, the Cats slipped back to a 5 point deficit, and trimmed Ohio State's lead to 3 points, 59-56, at the under 4 media timeout.

The Cats fall for the second time this week in Las Vegas and for the third time this season to #1 Ohio State by 6, 71-65.


UK scored its 65 points in a total of 65 possessions (1.000 ppp) for the game, and Ohio State scored its 71 points on a total of 65 possessions (1.092 ppp).

Ohio State won the battle of the boards 32-2, but the Cats won the offensive glass 10-7. Kentucky used its 10 second chance possessions to score 7 second chance points while OHIO STATE used its 7 second chances to score 2 points. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 28.6% of its misses as offensive rebounds while Ohio State was able to convert 30.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

UK made 8-13 [61.5%] from the free throw line. Ohio State made 21-27 [77.8%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 25-59 overall [42.4%] and 7-23 from long range [30.4%]. For Ohio State, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-25 [64.0%] and from long range, Ohio State hit 6-19 [31.6%).

The Cats committed 11 turnovers, one for every 5.9 possessions. The Cats forced 14 Ohio State turnovers, one for every 4.6 possessions.

Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon against Louisville at Rupp in the twelvth game of the 2019-20 regular season.

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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