Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kentucky 68 - 61 Cleveland St. (No. 2,116)

I think it's safe to say that if Kentucky had lost this game last night, I wouldn't have watched too many others this year.  I was very frustrated with the Wildcats, who looked flat and clueless for most of the game.  Here are a few interesting facts, in no particular order:

1.  UK is a bad three-point shooting team.  The Cats have made 30.5 percent of their three-pointers, which ranks them 250th in the country.  As I expected, they really miss Kyle Wiltjer's outside shooting.

2.  UK is a bad free-throw shooting team.  The Cats have made 67 percent of their free throws, which ranks 233d in the country.  Last night, however, they went 27-35 (77.1 percent), which made a big difference.

3.  Both of the Harrison twins had higher offensive ratings last night than Julius Randle, mainly because Randle went 3-10 from the field.  James Young was even worse; he went 3-11.

4.  Kentucky's defense does not create turnovers.  Only 16.7 percent of the other team's possessions result in turnovers, which ranks UK 252d in the country.  Last night, it was maddening to watch Cleveland State hold the ball for 30 seconds, and get a wide open shot almost every time.

5.  Ken Pomeroy breaks down each game into four 10-minute quarters.  Here was the score by quarters:

1st:  Cleveland St. 20, Kentucky 15
2d:  Kentucky 12, Cleveland St. 11 (Cleveland St. led 31-27 at the half)
3d:  Cleveland St. 16, Kentucky 11 (Cleveland St. led 47-38 with 10 minutes left)
4th:  Kentucky 30, Cleveland St. 14 (Kentucky won 68-61).

6.  Kentucky's comeback was even more dramatic than the score-by-quarter numbers show.  The Cats were down 54-44 with only 7:41 to go.  At this point, KenPom only gave them a 30.8 percent chance of victory.  But to their credit, they ended the game on a 24-7 run to pull out the victory.

7.  The UK fans gave Cleveland State a big ovation after the game was over.  I certainly thought Cleveland State deserved it.

8.  If the Cats think it's hard trying to break down Cleveland State's zone at home, wait until they start slogging through nine SEC road games.

9.  KenPom has UK ranked number 7 in the country; he thinks they'll go 24-7 overall and 14-4 in the SEC.  I would take those numbers right now.

5 comments:

  1. Gonzaga lost last night to Dayton.

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    1. I'll be curious to see how Wiltjer does for them next year when he's eligible.

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    2. He would have had a big night last night. Cleveland State left the perimeter wide open the whole game.

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    3. Hey, Gonzaga lost, and UK won--that's all I'm saying.

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    4. I actually think Wiltjer was smart enough to understand that he was going to get zero playing time this year as all the time was promised to recruit these guys.

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