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Guest Post: Cats Continue To Move Up Their Learning Curve Texas Arlington Up Next


To my Big Blue brothers and sisters, smile, relax, and enjoy the ride that the Cats are going to deliver to you for the 2013-14 season. This ride has only just begun, and yes I realize that the young Cats did not beat Michigan State in their third college game, and third game in four days, but that was predictable, and was simply part of Maestro Calipari’s grand plan to bring this group along, and show them the learning curve that they must climb. And they are climbing it.

November 18, 10 days into this new season, the Cats have the second highest adjusted NGE in the land. The projections for the rest of the season indicate that the Cats are not likely to be an underdog in a single game left on the regular schedule (Pomeroy has the Cats underdogs to Florida by 2 points in the last game, but that will change). The Cats’ focus for the next 3 weeks is to continue to climb that slope ahead of them, focusing only on their mission, without regard to the circumstances at Chapel Hill, Louisville, East Lansing, Durham, or Lawrence. Each of those situations will take care of themselves in due course. The Cats’ only focus now must be climbing that learning curve.

One last time, these Cats are doing exactly as they should, and are probably further up that slope today than anyone should have reasonably expected. One day, the rest of the basketball world will wake up to this reality, and when it happens, the Big Blue Nation will hear the whispered, collective “Oh S&#!, Calipari has his team playing”

image001These games are not about the opponent that shows up, which for Tuesday, will be Texas Arlington. Texas Arlington has also played four games, and one of those games was against a non-D1 opponent. In their 3 games against D1 opposition, Arlington is 1-2. They have played at an average pace of 77 possessions, which this UK team will like very much, scoring 82.7 ppg (1.071 ppp) while giving up 91.3 ppg (1.176 ppp) against an early schedule strength of 0.5322 (#168). On Friday night, Arlington fell to future UK opponent Cleveland State by 10 at home, and in their opener, the previous Friday, Arlington fell to another future UK opponent, Boise State by 29 on the road. Arlington’s only win came at the expense of Samford by 13 at home.

Through their first four games, the Cats also bring a 3-1 record into Tuesday’s encountered with themselves when Arlington makes an appearance in Rupp Arena. The Cats’ early season schedule strength is 0.4491 (#214). A side-by-side statistical comparison shows:




Based on these team profiles, the NGE analysis projects a Kentucky win by 37 points, 99-62. Pomeroy has this game with a 27 point margin, 97-70.



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  1. King Ghidora

    It’s amazing to see these numbers knowing that this team is a long way from peaking. They are still learning the college game and will be for a good while. When they really get rolling it will be something else.

  2. TheProfessor


    I must have sent Larry the wrong graphic for the article. Use the link above to see the statistical comparison of these two teams I referenced in the article.

    However, the individual efficiency data that Larry did post is very interesting. Even though it is very early in the season, the information is rather telling to me.

    1. James Young’s early season struggles show up here big time. I am confident that he will correct the issues he is struggling with, but of all the players, he must pose the greatest concern right now.
    2. Jarrod Polson has been a solid contributor, and was key on last year’s team. However, there is a reason he is not made the regular 8 or 9 player rotation as of now.
    3. Hawkins’ limited playing time has been justified by his accomplishments while he is on the court.
    4. Marcus Lee probably needs more playing time, not less.
    5. Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress are both playing big, much bigger than they ever played last season. That is great to see.

    Anyone interested in tracking the individual efficiencies through the season can do so at the BigBlueFans4UK.com website. I update it after each game.

  3. Little Baron

    If a Picture is worth a 1,000 words…
    The …
    The Professor’s charts are worth 10,000 words.

    Just a little effort to understand the data reveals that THIS team is now and will continue to surpass the incredible 2012 two-loss team! That is amazing!

  4. TheProfessor


    UK scored its 105 points in a total of 75 possessions (1.400 ppp) for the game, and Texas Arlington scored its 76 points on a total of 74 possessions (1.027 ppp). Kentucky won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 46-35, and the Cats won the battle of the offensive glass 20-15. Kentucky used its 20 second chance possessions to score 28 second chance points, and Texas Arlington converted their 15 offensive rebounds into 15 second chance points. Texas Arlington had an offensive efficiency of 0.824 ppp on its 74 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp for its 15 second chance possessions. UK had 1.027 ppp on its 75 first chance possessions and 1.400 ppp on its 20 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed a strong 51.3% of its misses as offensive rebounds while Texas Arlington was able to convert an above NCAA D1 average 36.6% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK hit reasonably well from the free throw line in this game, making 27-39 [69.2%]. Texas Arlington made 16-22 [72.7%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 35-69 overall [50.7%] and 8-19 from long range [42.1%]. For Texas Arlington, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a reasonable 18-44 [40.9%] and from long range, Texas Arlington hit 8-19 [42.1%].

    The Cats committed 8 turnovers, one for every 9.4 possessions. The Cats forced 16 Texas Arlington turnovers, one for every 4.6 possessions.

    Next Game On Schedule: Monday night at Rupp Arena against Cleveland State.

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