Monday, January 22, 2024

Classic OVC Standings

Murray State lost at home to Indiana State, 72 to 63, on Saturday, while Western lost heartbreakers at New Mexico State (72-70) and Texas-El Paso (93-87).  So both teams lost ground to Morehead State, which rolled over Tenn-Martin (84-66) and So. Indiana (81-70).

126.  Morehead St:  15-5
140.  Murray St:  8-11
154.  W. Kentucky:  13-6
190.  E. Kentucky:  9-9
209.  Austin Peay:  10-10
220.  E. Tenn. St:  9-10
301.  Mid. Tenn. St:  6-13
328.  Tennessee Tech:  7-12

Meanwhile, here's the Classic SEC, which is looking crowded at the top:

4.  Tennessee:  14-4
5.  Auburn:  16-2
8.  Alabama:  12-6
16.  Kentucky:  14-3
34.  Mississippi St:  13-5
39.  Florida:  12-6
67.  Georgia:  13-5
78.  Mississippi:  15-3
85.  Louisiana St:  11-7
186.  Vanderbilt:  5-13

Kentucky has 14 games left on the schedule, and four of them are conference games against teams ranked in Ken Pomeroy's top 8:

Feb 17:  at Auburn
Feb 24:  ALABAMA
Mar 9:  at Tennessee


  1. Western is playing at the fastest tempo of any team in America.

  2. Kentucky has an all-time record of 54-14 against South Carolina. In games played since joining the SEC, UK's record is 46-13.

  3. Here are UK's last five trips to South Carolina:

    02/08/22: S. Carolina 76 - 86 Kentucky
    01/15/20: S. Carolina 81 - 78 Kentucky
    01/16/18: S. Carolina 76 - 68 Kentucky
    02/13/16: S. Carolina 62 - 89 Kentucky
    01/24/15: S. Carolina 43 - 58 Kentucky

  4. Tonight's game is being played on the same night as the New Hampshire Primary. On February 11, 2020, UK also played on the same night as the New Hampshire Primary. In that game, they won at Vanderbilt, 78 to 64. The Cats were down 36-27 at the half, but outscored Vandy 51 to 28 in the second half. Tyrese Maxey had 25 points. That 2020 team -- one of my favorites -- was deadly when they paid attention.

  5. In the first half, everything went as wrong as it possibly could. Kentucky, which normally shoots 40.2 percent from 3-point range, went 2-10 from 3-point range. South Carolina, which normally shoots 33-6 percent from 3-point range, went 6-12.

  6. The first half was pretty much a replay of the UNC-Wilmington game. If a team has big, strong guards, they can overpower UK's guards and stop the Cats from running their offense, and that's pretty much what happened here.

    1. For example, the Cats' guards can't drive to the basket. The SC guards body them out of shooting position, or simply block their shots.

    2. So you have to make three-point shots. But UK has missed almost everything from 3-point range.

  7. Kentucky:
    2-10 from 3-point range (20 percent)
    9-22 from 2-point range (40.9 percent)
    1-2 from the line (50 percent)
    25 points, 18 rebounds, 4 turnovers

    S. Carolina:
    6-12 from 3-point range (50 percent)
    7-19 from 2-point range (36.8 percent)
    1-3 from the line (33.3 percent)
    33 points, 20 rebounds, 7 turnovers

  8. One option would be to try to speed up the game. But, like UNC-Wilmington, SC's guards cannot be sped up. They like to play slowly, but physically they are just as quick as the UK guards. So while they made 7 turnovers, the Cats couldn't turn those turnovers into points.

  9. Now at Rupp, this game would have looked more like the Georgia game. The Cats would have made more three's, the Cats would have gotten more free throws, and once the Cats had a 5-10 point lead, the Gamecocks would have been under a great deal of pressure, and that would have opened up the game. As it is, the Cats are now stuck in a half-court game that will be extremely difficult to win.

  10. Here's the bottom line. When you go on the road in the SEC, either you have to make your threes or the other team has to miss its threes. You cannot win on the road in the SEC if you're shooting 20 percent from 3-point range and they're shooting 50 percent. There is no strategy that can make up for that.

  11. In the second half, UK got to within two points, and then Carolina just humiliated them. With 7:38 left in the game, Carolina is up 62 to 44. The Gamecocks have made 10 of 21 three-pointers. UK has made only 3-11. And when the Cats went out to stop the three, Carolina crushed them at the rim. The Cats will really have to go back to the drawing board after this one.

  12. Carolina's coach is Lamont Paris, and he is now 2-0 against Kentucky.

  13. Of course, this result will bury Kentucky on Ken Pom. They were at 16, they should fall down into the 20's.

  14. And next up is a road game at Arkansas. The Razorbacks are a disjointed mess -- they are 10-8 overall and 1-4 in the SEC. But ESPN will be in Fayetteville on Saturday, and based on what they've seen today, the Razorbacks will be confident they can beat UK.

  15. UK gets crushed at South Carolina, 79 to 62. Cats fall from 16 to 21 on Ken Pom. UK's defense is now ranked number 94 in the nation.

  16. Kentucky players are projected to be taken seventh, ninth and 11th in a Yahoo! mock draft posted Monday. I don't know what it's like to be as good at anything as Kentucky basketball players are at doing what they do, but I figure high-profile stuff like that would constantly be throwing me for a loop. So that's going to be my theory for last night's clunker.

    That same article, by the way, has the Old Town Wizards taking a 7-foot-1 center with a hip injury who is averaging fewer than 10 points and five rebounds per game in an Australian league, so it does appear that the Yahoo! writer knows her stuff.