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Kentucky's Shakes the February Offensive Funk With Big Win Over Mississippi State


Kentucky returned to Rupp Arena and shook off the February Funk evidenced by their last two games, an unimpressive victory of Georgia and a loss at South Carolina.   Kentucky came out of the gate on first and built an early 12 point first half lead, forcing State's main player to the bench with 3 fouls just 8 minutes into the game.  However, Mississippi State fought back into the game over the rest of the first half, to close to within 3 points, 46 - 43 at the half.  However, after the intermission, Kentucky dominated on both ends, building a lead of 25 points and removing all doubt about the ultimate outcome.  They coasted to the easy 94 - 78 victory.


Kentucky's offensive efficiency for the game was an impressive 0.990 ppp, about 0.09 ppp above its season average, and well above the 0.858 ppp I predicted. On defense, Kentucky was slightly weaker than predicted for the game, allowing Mississippi State 0.867 ppp, which is somewhat higher than the 0.810 ppp I predicted. 

Based on Season performance of both teams, as well as their schedule strength for this year, I predicted a 4 point Kentucky Win, 70 - 66.

During the Mississippi State game, Kentucky had a total of 95 possessions, seventeen of which resulted from offensive rebounds.  Kentucky's 17 second chance possessions produced 13 second chance points. Kentucky's offensive efficiency for second chance possessions was 0.765 ppp, significantly lower than Kentucky's first chance efficiency of 1.039 ppp.  Mississippi State had a total of 91 possessions for the game, 14 of which were second chance possessions, producing 18 second chance points. State's second chance offensive efficiency was 1.206 ppp, which is significantly higher than their first chance efficiency of 0.779 ppp.

Kentucky remains at Rupp Arena on February 23, 2005 for a game against Auburn. 

Let's compare the teams as of February 19, 2005

                       UK            Auburn

Win-Loss Record         20 - 3          12 - 13
Offensive Efficiency    0.912           0.883    Points per Poss
Defensive Efficiency    0.755          0.908     ppp
Net Game Efficiency   0.157          -0.024     ppp
RPI Ranking, 1/10/04   12                159
RPI SOS, 1/10/04       0.5509        0 .5238

Based on each team's early performance with an adjustment for strength of schedule, I would make the following prediction based on data available 2/20/05 at 11 pm.  I will update this prediction from time to time between now and game time as indicated by daily changes in the current Strength of Schedule factor.

             UK  76   Auburn 65
                 See details Below

    
    
Kentucky
Auburn
Points
76
65
FGM
28
23
FGA
48.4%
57
55
40.9%
3PTM
7
7
3PTA
33.8%
19
22
32.8%
FTM
14
13
FTA
66.0%
21
18
71.5%
TO
5.99
14
17
4.88
REB
38
34
Possessions
82
81
PPP
0.932
0.807
    

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Copyright 2004 Richard Cheeks
All Rights Reserved