EXPLANATION OF DATA AND
Kentucky Struggles From Floor and Free Throw Line Against Iowa
Following the first two UK victories over S. Dakota State and Iowa last week at Rupp Arena, the chattering class of UK basketball fans intensified. Against S. Dakota State, Tubby's charges ran up and down the floor 94 times but only posted 71 points for all that running. Therefore, the next night, Tubby pulled back the reins and slowed his team down to a 66 possession game, earning 67 points from that slower effort. The results are clear that the slower pace yielded greater efficiency on the offensive end. So, the question leading into the Guardian Classic Semi-Final match-up with #17 ranked Iowa is what pace Tubby will have his players run tonight. The second question was whether Iowa would expose UK 's recent rebounding difficulties. It did not take long for that answer to be revealed.
Tubby changed the starting lineup for this game, inserting Sims and Alleyne for Obrzut and Thomas.. In first half, UK had 43 possessions while Iowa had 40 possessions on the strength of its 5-2 Offensive Rebounding Margin. UK 's offensive rebounding advantage, produced 6 second chance points for Kentucky while Iowa capitalized on its 2 second chance opportunities with 5 second chance points .
Iowa had an offensive efficiency of 0.763 ppp on its 38 first chance possessions and 2.500 ppp for its 2 second chance possessions. UK had 0.658 ppp on its 38 first chance possessions and 1.200 ppp on its 5 second chance possessions. Kentucky holds a 4 rebound edge in total rebounds, 21-17. The free throw shooting in the first half was a a poor 5 for 8 [62.5%] for Kentucky and 5-6 [83.3%] for Iowa . The field goal shooting, was pitiful, 28.6% [4-14] for Kentucky and fair for Iowa , 10-21 [47.6%] inside the arc Outside the arc, Kentucky shot a strong 6-14 [42.9%] while Iowas as a cool 3-9 [33.3%]. The pace of this game was about average for these teams, on a pace of 80 to 86 possessions for the game.
MAGIC NUMBER Tonight: First team to score its 67th point will win tonight. To reach that score, Ky needs 36 points, while Ioa needs a whopping 33 points. Iowa scored its 67 th point first with with the last score of the game.
In the second half, Iowa came out of the blocks and added one point to their lead by the first TV timeout at the 14:42 mark. During that game segment, Iowa attacked the boards, getting 5 offensive rebounds to UK 's 0, and providing 4 additional second chance points.
However, the remaining 16 minutes of the game, Kentucky could not close the gap, finally losing by the same 4 point margin.
The defense was moderate, holding IOWA to 0.779 ppp for the game. However, UK 's offensive efficiency was pitiful at 0.716 ppp for the game. The Cats out rebounded Iowa tonight, 45 – 39, with a +4 Offensive Rebounding Margin [13-9]. The second chance possessions were more productive for both teams tonight. Kentucky had 75 first chance possessions in which they scored 52 points, 0.693 ppp while they scored 11 points on their 13 second chance possessions, 0.846 ppp. IOWA had 75 first chance possessions on which they scored only 54 points, 0.720 ppp while they scored 13 second chance points on their 9 second chance possessions, 1.444 ppp.
The Cats' pitiful offensive performance tonight was marked by a significant number of turnover, 33% field goal shooting, and 67% free throw shooting. As we have discussed at great length, recent UK teams have not shot free throws with a high percentage, and tonight's second game of the 2005-06 team did nothing to alleviate that concern. Kentucky committed one turnover for every 4.88 possessions while forcing a turnover in every 5.60 possessions. Last year, in comparison, these turnover rates were 6.2 and 4.6 respectively for the season.
The concerns remain free throw shooting, shooting, and rebounding, and while tonight's rebounding edge went Kentucky's way, when your point guard collects a team high 19 rebounds, none of the other players are committed to working on the boards for the benefit of the team.,
I predicted a Kentucky loss to IOWA by 61-67, and the final score was 63- 67. The predicted v. actual offensive efficiencies were 0.711 and 0.716 ppp respectively, and the predicted v. actual defensive efficiencies were 0.833 and 0.779 ppp respectively.
omorrow night, the Cats will play West Virginia in the Third Place game in Kansas City . West Virginia allowed #2 Texas to escape an upset when West Virginia missed three straight front ends of a 1 and 1 within the last 1 ½ minutes of the game. I predict that UK will defeat West Virginia 67-66 as shown below.
Copyright 2005 Richard Cheeks