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Cats need to ace Marshall quiz to prepare for final exam at Louisville

By RICHARD CHEEKS

The Cats passed their Lipscomb quiz last Saturday, probably earned a grade of C+ or B-, and this Saturday they get their last quiz of the month, the Marshall quiz, before their December, non-conference Final Exam on December 29, at Louisville. The Marshall quiz will be more difficult than the Lipscomb quiz, and more difficult than any of the non-BCS quizzes of this non-conference season. However, make no mistake, the Louisville Final Exam will be the most difficult non-conference test the Cats are likely to face all season, including the big dance because the Cats will have to do it on the Cards’ home instead of Rupp or even a neutral location.

 Marshall has opened the season with seven wins in twelve starts, and one of the seven wins came at the expense of non-D1 opponent District of Columbia by 22 points. All six of Marshall’s D1 wins have been at home, and their most impressive win to date was over #155 Nevada by 7 points. Marshall has not won on the road so far this season, losing at #97 Villanova by 12, and at #309 Hofstra by 3 in 2OT. Marshall has also lost to #16 Cincinnati at a “semi-home” venue by 16.

Marshall has averaged about 71 to 72 possessions per game, producing 74.1 ppg (1.03 ppp) and allowing 71.4 ppg (1.00 ppp) against an early schedule that Pomeroy rates as the 300th toughest (0.3876). Marshall has turned the ball over on 20.8% of its possessions while forcing turnovers on 17.5% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, Marshall has secured an offensive rebounding rate of 40.2%, about 7% above the 33% NCAA average, and a defensive rebounding rate of 67.1%, which is the same as the national average.

In contrast, the Cats have averaged about 70 to 71 possessions per game, producing 78.1 ppg (1.10 ppp) and allowing 61.8 ppg (0.88 ppp) against a schedule strength of 0..5225 (164th). The Cats have committed turnovers on 17.8% of its possessions and forced turnovers on 21.7% of opponent possessions. On the Boards, the Cats’ rebounding rates have been 33.7% and 69.8% on the offensive and defensive ends.

Based on this distribution, the analysis tips in favor of the Cats by 23 points, 83-60, in a game played at a pace of 73 possessions for the Cats and 73 possessions for Marshall. Pomeroy figures the Game in Kentucky’s favor by 26 points, 87-61 at a pace of 71 possessions. From my perspective, a margin on Saturday of less than 14 points would not bode well for the Cats final exam preparations, and a win by 35 or more would suggest that the team is benefiting from the first full week of Camp Calipari.

 

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3 comments

  1. Jim Boyers

    I think the title of this article should have been “Cats WILL ace Marshall quiz to prepare for final exam at Louisville”.

    I think this group will have improved, by leaps and bounds, over the team we have seen, to this point. I expect to bear witness to the start of the emergence of the team we expected to see this season. I don’t think they will cover your hoped for 35 point spread, but I think they will easily cover the 23 point regular spread.

  2. TheProfessor

    A 23 point victory is only doing what they should do based on how both teams have played so far this season. That level of achievement will earn a C grade from this professor. To get the A they need, they will have to win much more impressively than their “average” performance levels to date.

  3. TheProfessor

    Analysis:

    UK scored its 82 points in 73 possessions [1.12 ppp] for the game, and MARSHALL scored its 54 points on 74 possessions [0.73 ppp].

    Kentucky won the boards, with a rebounding edge 48-43, and Kentucky won the offensive glass with a 17-16 offensive rebounding advantage. MARSHALL converted its 8 second chance possessions into 8 second chance points while Kentucky converted their 17 second chance possessions to score 19 second chance points. MARSHALL had an offensive efficiency of 0.622 ppp on its 74 first chance possessions and 0.500 ppp for its 16 second chance possessions. UK had 0.863 ppp on its 73 first chance possessions and 1.118 ppp on its 17 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 38.6% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MARSHALL was able to convert 34.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 21-27 [77.8%]. MARSHALL made 14-26 [53.8%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 29-67 overall [42.0%] and 3-17 from long range [17.6%]. For MARSHALL, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was a weak 14-46[30.4%] and from long range, MARSHALL hit 4-15 [26.7%].

    The Cats who committed 9 turnovers, one for every 8.1 possessions. The Cats forced 17 MARSHALL turnovers, one for every 4.4 possessions.

    Prior to the game, the NGE analysis predicted a 23 point UK win, 83-60 at a pace of 71 possessions for UK and 71 possessions for Marshall. The final score was 82 (83) to 54 (60) at a pace of 73 possessions for the Cats and 74 possessions for MARSHALL. The UK offensive efficiency for the game was 1.123 ppp (1.169 ppp) and the UK defensive efficiency was 0.730 ppp (0.845 ppp).

    Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon at Louisville, Cats vs. Cards.

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