Numbers favor Kentucky by 18 over Vanderbilt

By RICHARD CHEEKS

The regular season is nearly over, with one home game for Senior Night against Vanderbilt tonight and a trip to Texas A&M on Saturday for their senior day celebration. The Big Blue Nation will say “thank you” to three seniors who have left their marks on the Wildcat basketball program. Two of the three are Kentucky boys, Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis, and the third, Mychal Mulder, is a JUCO transfer who is completing his second season as a Cat.

Senior night (day) games are important for the fans, and the players. Coach Calipari has won all seven of his senior night games. Gillispie was 1-1 in this game, and Tubby Smith earned a 9-1 record on his teams’ senior night games. And so the history has gone for this program through the many decades of basketball.

On Saturday, the Cats handled their rematch against Florida, avenged the loss the Cats sustained on their trip to Gainesville, and all but secured another SEC Championship, including the #1 seed for the upcoming SEC Tournament. A win on Tuesday on Senior Night will secure both on an official basis. Tuesday’s opponent is Vanderbilt, in a rematch of the Cats’ win in Nashville over the Commodores by 6 points, 87-81, on January 10. Since their first meeting, the Cats have won 10 of their 13 games, including wins in their last 6 outings. The Commodores have won 8 of their 13 games since the first meeting with the Cats, and Vanderbilt has won 7 of their last 9 and are on a 4 game winning streak.

VANDERBILT enters this game with a 16-13; 9-7 record, and many of the NCAA Seeding gurus have Vanderbilt on the bubble. A win over the Cats on Tuesday may be sufficient to put the Commodores into the big dance. Vanderbilt has claimed victories over #28 South Carolina by 9, at #55 Tennessee by 11, and at #41 Arkansas by 13. However, the Commodores have stumbled as well, losing at #155 Missouri by 20, and to #80 Bucknell by 3.

VANDERBILT enters this game with an ANE of 0.149 points per possession against strength of schedule of 0.1012 ppp (#21). The Cats enter this game with an ANE of 0.295 ppp against strength of schedule of 0.0949 ppp (#27). The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 18 points, 82-64, at apace of 71 possessions. This would produce game efficiencies of 1.158 ppp and 0.904 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game in Kentucky’s favor by 13 points 83-70 at a pace of 71 possessions.

Use the following link to see how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board:
http://bigbluefans4uk.com/2016-17DataandWritings/247_PREDICTIONS/30_Predictions.png

 

You can participate in the score prediction contest at 247Sports at the following link:
http://kentucky.247sports.com/Board/296/Contents/Vanderbilt-Prediction-Thread-51481057

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  1. Offensively this team looks like $hit at halftime. We start the game off with apparently no clue of what we want to do and no confidence to go along with that. Is SKJ really that bad? wouldn’t you think he would gotten better during the year from the practices etc.?

  2. I’m going to bed! If Cal thinks this team is getting better, he needs to get better glasses. I believe they have overlooked Vandy because they believed what people were saying about their improvement. This team forgets the basics to easily. Silly turnover, silly passes, dribbling into double teams, leaving their feet with no shot and no where to pass. Basketball IQ of this team as a whole is terrible. This is not a top 10 team and probably not a top 20.

  3. Analysis:
    UK scored its 73 points on 68 possessions (1.074 ppp) for the game, and VANDERBILT scored its 67 points on 70 possessions (0.957 ppp).
    Kentucky won the battle of the boards 33-28, and the Cats won the battle of the offensive glass 8-4. Kentucky used its 8 second chance possessions to score 6 second chance points, and VANDERBILT used its 4 second chance possessions to score 5 second chance points. VANDERBILT had an offensive efficiency of 0.886 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 1.250 ppp for its 4 second chance possessions. UK had 0.985 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 0.750 ppp on its 8 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 25.0% of its misses as offensive rebounds while VANDERBILT was able to convert 13.8% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
    UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 20-26 [76.9%]. VANDERBILT made 12-16 [75.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 24-55 overall [43.6%] and 5-17 from long range [29.4%]. For VANDERBILT, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 11-21 [52.4%] and from long range, VANDERBILT hit 11-28 [39.3%].
    The Cats committed 11 turnovers, one for every 6.2 possessions. The Cats forced 18 VANDERBILT turnovers, one for every 3.9 possessions.
    Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon, March 4, 2017 at 12:00 pm at College Station in the 31st and final regular season game and 18th SEC of the 2016-17 season.

  4. Great comeback win. UK is the No. 1 seed in the SEC tourney. GO Cats!!!!

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