By RICHARD CHEEKS
Last Thursday night, the road team won each of the five SEC games that start this season. Kentucky was among the road victors with a resounding 23 point win over Mississippi, 99-76. The Cats’ next SEC opponent, Texas A&M was a home loser, falling to Tennessee by 10 points.
The 23 point margin is the largest UK win margin in an SEC opener of the Calipari Era. Kentucky played about as well as it can during the first half of the game, blasting to a 21 point halftime lead, 60-39. The Cats coasted home to the win in the second half.
The individual highlights in this game included a triple double by Isaiah Briscoe, who becomes only the third player in UK’s storied basketball history to have a triple double basketball game, but it is the second such accomplishment by a player on this team. In addition, Malik Monk again was a scoring machine.
TEXAS A&M enters the game with a 8-4; 0-1 record while the Cats return to Rupp for the first time since early December with a 11-2; 1-0 record. The Aggies losses have been to #12 UCLA by 7 at a neutral location, and at home to #49 USC by 2, #14 Arizona by 4, and #63 Tennessee by 10. Texas A&M’s most impressive win was over #31 Virginia Tech by 3 on a neutral court.
Texas A&M enters this game with an ANE of 0.134 points per possession against a strength of schedule of -0.235 ppp (#252). The Cats enter this game with an ANE of 0.315 ppp against a strength of schedule of 0.0438 ppp (#55).
The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 14 points, 81-67 at apace of 71 possessions. This would produce game efficiencies of 1.136 ppp and 0.940 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game in Kentucky’s favor by 15 points, 82-67 at a pace of 71 possessions.
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