Sunday, February 5, 2023

Update on Kentucky's Status

Overall Record:  16-7
SEC Record:  7-3 (5th place)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency:  116.4 (19th in the country)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency:  99.6 (69th)
Adjusted Efficiency Margin:  16.82 (33d)
Luck:  173
Projected Overall Record:  20-11
Projected SEC Record:  11-7

Record in "A" games:  1-6
Record in "B" games:  5-0
Record in other games:  10-1

Remaining games:

2/11:  at Georgia
2/15:  at Mississippi St.
2/22:  at Florida
2/25:  AUBURN
3/4:  at Arkansas

With the lone exception of the Vandy game on Senior Night, Ken Pom predicts that each of UK's remaining games will be decided by four points or less.


  1. They sure look like a team with a round-of-32 ceiling at the moment, but I remain hopeful of a DeAndre Liggins/Josh Harrelson breakout in this last month of games.

  2. Liggins, by the way, is averaging 18.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game for the 17-2 Al Ali Jeddah in Saudi Arabia’s SBL league. In the Jeddah’s most recent game, Jan. 28 against the 16-2 Al Nassr Riyadh, Liggins (a forward) had 22 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and six steals. He hit six of nine three-pointers. It still wasn’t enough, as the Riyadh turned back the homesteading Jeddah, 73-69, to move into a tie for the SBL lead.

  3. K-Pom has data going back to 2002, and this is the worst defensive team UK has had over that time. It's worse than either of Billy G's teams, and worse than the 2013 and 2021 teams that missed the NCAA's.

    1. Here is the offensive efficiency rating of UK's opponents down the stretch last year:

      2/15: at Tennessee (1.12) (UK loses 76-63)
      2/19: ALABAMA (1.27) (UK wins 90-81)
      2/23: LOUISIANA ST. (1.03) (UK wins 71-66)
      2/26: at Arkansas (1.09) (UK loses 75-73)
      3/1: MISSISSIPPI (1.14) (UK wins 83-72)
      3/5: at Florida (0.94) (UK wins 71-63)
      3/11: Vanderbilt (SEC T) (1.04) (UK wins 77-71)
      3/12: Tennessee (SEC T) (1.00) (UK loses 69-62)
      3/17: St. Peter's (NCAA T) (1.13) (UK loses 85-79 in OT)

    2. So over the course of a month in which it played nine games, UK played only one game in which it held the opponent to less than one point per possession, and that was against a Florida team on the verge of changing coaches.

  4. Earlier in the year, UK had held Kansas to 0.93 points per possession, and had generally played good defense for most of the season. But its defense fell apart down the stretch.

  5. At the time, I assumed that the real problem here had something to do with TyTy Washington's injury. And then, when Keion Brooks left, I thought maybe Cal thought it had something to do with him.

  6. But the problem seems to run deeper than that, because whatever teams were doing to us down the stretch last year is working again this year. Florida is not a good offensive team (133d in offensive efficiency), and they scored 45 points in the second half against a UK team that could not get a stop. The Cats scored enough points to hold them off, and survived the game, but they were really laboring down the stretch.

  7. We saw the same thing with LSU, a terrible offense (154th in offensive efficiency) that torched UK for 1.2 points per possession, forcing UK to squeeze out a 74-71 win at home.

  8. Here's the bottom line: the rest of the country sees a hole in UK's defense, and the Cats have not figured out how to plug it. Until they do, their ceiling is not very high.

  9. By the way, after their big win over Belmont, Murray State lost to Indiana State by 43 points on Saturday.

  10. WKU, on the other hand, is on a three-game win streak. The red-hot red Tops whipped Middle Tennessee State last night, 93-89, in Diddle Arena.

  11. Metro 7 Standings (with Ken Pom rankings):

    37. Memphis: 18-6
    59. Virginia Tech: 14-10
    61. Cincinnati: 16-9
    79. Tulane: 16-7
    96. Saint Louis: 16-8
    186. Florida St: 8-17
    304. Louisville: 3-21

  12. Old School OVC Standings (with Ken Pom rankings):

    122. Mid. Tenn. St: 15-10
    168. W. Kentucky: 14-11
    180. E. Kentucky: 17-9
    219. Murray St: 13-12
    272. Morehead St: 16-10
    297. Tennessee Tech: 12-14
    315. Austin Peay: 8-18

  13. Kentucky was completely dominated in Athens today, losing to a horrific Georgia team by the score of 75-68, and that should end any possibility of their going to the NCAA's, unless they win the SEC Tournament. At this point, I don't even see much point in accepting a bid to the NIT. I just want to get rid of all these guys and start over. I have never seen any Kentucky team so terrible at executing in the last five minutes of a basketball game.