EXPLANATION OF DATA AND
Kentucky Struggles in Opener Against South Dakota State University
Tubby started Obrzut over Sims and or Alleyne, and used the 5 for 5 substitution pattern at the first two TV timeouts tonight and the Kentucky Wildcats sputtered to a 37-24 first half lead against a clearly inferior opponent. In first half, UK had 49 possessions while SDSU had 47. UK offensive rebounding edge, 11-8 producing second chance points advantage of 12 - 8. SDSU had an offensive efficiency of 0.41 ppp on its first chance possessions and 1.00 for its 8 second chance possessions. UK had 0.66 ppp on its 38 first chance possessions and 1.09 ppp on its 11 second chance possessions. Rebounds are even, but the +3 offensive rebounding differential provides 4 of the 13 point first half lead.
The free throw shooting in the first half was dismal [4 – 9], and the field goal shooting, inside the line, was pitiful [9-24].
MAGIC NUMBER Tonight: First team to score its 68th point will win tonight. To reach that score, Ky needs 31 points, while SDSU needs a whopping 44 points. The predicted score was 82 – 58, and the current pace is 74-48.
In the second half, Kentucky came out of the blocks as if they meant business, outscoring SDSU 14-6, and expanding its half time lead to 21 points. However, the remaining 16 minutes of the game were more dismal than the first half had been. Over the last 4 game segments, UK was outscored by SDSU 24-20 on 35 possessions.
Another substitution oddity occurred with about 10 minutes left in the game. For the first 30 minutes, Carter rode the bench. Some speculation that his absence from the game indicated Tubby's plan to red shirt the freshman, and an indication that Morris may be returning. However, Carter's appearance late in the game, after both Orbzut and Alleyne struggled to have any court presence, was bizarre, to say the least.
The defense was acceptable, holding SDSU to 0.614 ppp for the game. However, offensive efficiency was anemic for the Cats, at 0.763 ppp for the game. The Cats grabbed a 5 rebound edge, 45 – 40, and a +4 Offensive Rebounding Margin [18 – 14]. The second chance possessions were very productive for both teams tonight. Kentucky had 76 first chance possessions in which they scored only 49 points, 0.645 ppp while they scored 22 points on their 18 second chance possessions, 1.222 ppp. SDSU had 74 first chance possessions on which they scored only 40 points, 0.614 ppp while they scored 14 second chance points on their 14 second chance possessions, 1.000 ppp.
The pitiful offensive performance tonight was marked by too many turnovers and poor shooting. As we have discussed at great length, recent UK teams have not shot free throws with a high percentage, and tonight's debut of the 2005-06 team did nothing to alleviate that concern. However, the field goal shooting was not very strong either, at 38.8 percent. Kentucky committed one turnover for every 5.22 possessions while forcing a turnover in every 4.00 possessions. Last year, in comparison, these turnover rates were 6.2 and 4.6 respectively for the season.
The concerns remain free throw shooting, rebounding, turnovers, and poor shooting. This is a very unimpressive start for a team that carries such high expectations.
South Dakota State joined the D1 ranks just over a year ago, and last season was 10-18 against a mixed bag of opponents, some of which were not D1 teams. Therefore, there is no prior year data for Strength of Schedule or RPI to consider. For the purposes of this analysis, I have assigned a SOS of 0.4, which is about the same as other D1 teams last year with 10-18 records.
Copyright 2005 Richard Cheeks