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Guest post: Numbers to ponder about Kentucky’s basketball season

Click on the chart to view a larger version.
Click on the chart to view a larger version.


I had already isolated the efficiency values for the postseason, so  I did the same for games 1-10, 11-20, and 21-31 this evening.  I also isolated the schedule strength for the same groups of games, and used the schedule strength for the segment to estimate the adjusted efficiencies for each segment of the season

The results in the graphic do not do anything beyond show how we all know the season went.    The “YES” indicates players that got enough minutes to really matter, but even with some of them, the sample size of minutes and games played in any ¼ segment of the season is so small that the numbers are much more volatile.  The “YES” group are sorted on average NGE for the full season, values that are not shown in this table.

As a frame of reference, in the last 12 seasons, the teams that compete, and usually win championships have adjusted NGE values of 0.3 ppp or higher, and none of UK’s values this season ever exceeded that threshold for championship basketball.  The first 10 games came closest, and the final surge during the tournament was still well under true championship form.  However, this season, only two teams were in that rare range (Louisville and Florida) and they both stumbled in the postseason, which opened the door for teams like UK and UConn to fill a void.

Individually, Cauley-Stein, Johnson, and Randle were the most consistent players this past season.  Lee’s postseason surge was quite unexpected.  Poythress was solid most of the year, but the final 1/3 of the regular season, his game slipped considerably.

Look at the Harrison’s and Young.  These three players ended almost 60% of the team’s possessions on the year.  Randle finished 20% of all possessions.  That only left about 20% of all possessions for the other players.  If the Harrisons and Young reduced their consumed possessions by 10%, and that was then distributed to Johnson, Poythress, and Willie Cauley-Stein the team’s adjusted efficiency would rise by 0.06 ppp for the season, and that is the difference between what we got and what we hoped to get from this group.

Some food for thought about this great game.

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/guest-post-numbers-to-ponder-about-kentuckys-basketball-season/


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  1. Larry T Clemons

    Your leaving out ONE BIG FACTOR ! When Coach Cal says, ” Take it to the Basket, PERIOD, you take it to the Basket ! ” When your Coaching a Young Team and You need Your Guards to learn how to Fight Through Contact, You do that by concentrating on having Them, NOT PASS and Drive To The Basket…These numbers would have merit if we were Playing Juniors & Seniors, but when your teaching you Don’t go with the percentages, you go with Training for improvement to prepare yourself for a Championship Run…Kentucky had one of the most Historic Runs in the NCAA Tournament.” I Rest My Case ! ” But, I learn & respect your numbers and they correlate precisely to my evaluation and Coach Cal’s teaching method. What a Great Season of emotion and Jubilation…Next Year will be, ” TIME FOR NINE ! “

  2. Barry

    You might know that Larry T. Clemons always has an excuse for the Harrison Twins. You are such a joke. You figure that if you bash opinions that differ from yours that it makes yours look better. It doesn’t matter anyway because everyone here knows for the clown that you are.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      No excuses, Just plain ole Truth & Logic,from understanding How to Teach & Play the Game of Basketball. And I believe Young was part of that trio….But, I guess Your Bashing, is Harrison’s Only, this Month. Coach Cal, talked about You…and ” We heard him.” Hey, Barry, did you see Julius NBA stock is rising…maybe #2 or #3….of course, You Barry, predicted NIT…lol

    2. Al

      There’s no place for ugliness such as this. Find some happiness somewhere and quit hating on people. I hope Larry blocks you if you continue.

  3. Barry

    Oh, the next thing you know, Larry T. will claim I paid Mr. Cheeks to present this article, lol. It just shows that everyone saw that the Twins were the weak link on this team and they will be the reason it underachieves next year…unless you consider 2nd place an achievement, huh Rah Rah?

    1. Larry T Clemons

      You can’t handle the Truth and You are upset with Our wonderful Season of National Runner-Up, but more so, The Way It was Achieve…” Historically “…This Young Team did what no other Coach or Team was able to do…..” It TURNED KY Haters Into Fans “,(excluding, You Barry)…If Coach Cal TELLS YOU to Drive the Ball, You Drive The Ball, even if Barry says to pass it….These 6′ 5″ Guards, are used to 5′ 8″ to 6′ 2″ skinny High School Defenders…When you attempt to teach,(Pay attention Barry) TEACH someone to Play through GAME TIME contact, against Men (Patric Young) You better have had some Coaching, it doesn’t happen over night just because You Want It To…Barry, obviously you know nothing about The Game of Basketball or Coaching Basketball. ” You only live in Your little angry, hate filled world of selfish wants. And Yes Barry, what the Kentucky Wildcats did the Season, was a monumental achievement on Many Levels, beyond Your Comprehension. But, that’s so obvious…

  4. Barry

    Larry T. all of your ranting and raving doesn’t change the truth. Everybody knows you are not a fan, but a delusional fanatic who thinks he has a God given duty to bash anything critical, no matter how true, about KY basketball. I may have to look into getting a restraining order against you. Your extremist behavior could be the inspiration for a future Criminal Minds episode. You are indeed a very sick mind, please get some help.

  5. Catmandoo

    Wow! With all of the hating and the bashing between you two, nobody is talking about the article. Our team did have a stronger frontcourt than backcourt. It makes you wonder why the offense didn’t go through them more. If that was Coach’s call, maybe he’ll look at how the numbers turned out and rethink the offense for next year. That team will clearly be more dominant up front. It would be a shame not to take advantage of it.

    1. TheProfessor


      Thanks for bringing the discussion back to the substance of the article. That was the point I made, but has been completely overlooked in the comments section.

      Coaching has as the ultimate task to find how a group should play to maximize the team results. That could have been achieved by running a higher percentage of the possessions (not all of the possessions) through the players that have the highest offensive efficiency, and running fewer possessions through the players who have the lower offensive efficiency. This season more of the possessions should have ended in the hands of Willie, Dakari, Marcus, and Alex, and fewer in the hands of Andrew, Aaron, and James. A shift of 7 possessions per game from the latter to the former group would have increase average scoring 4 points per game (0.06 points per possession) which is the marginal improvement this team needed through most of the entire season, including the post season.

      1. Larry T Clemons

        And that is The Difference in doing what’s BEST FOR THE Players, and not whats best for the Fans….I’ll take Coach Cal’s way. And Professor, you’ll see the teachings of this Season, play out with the Maturation of Our Back Court, next Season…” As We All Saw in the Tournament.” And, with that outcome, we all Win…Statistics, Personal, Team, School and BBN. That is what THE KENTUCKY WAY is metamorphism into…This is a very unique Program, Sailing Uncharted Waters and now about to Become The Dynasty we all have Dreamed Of, since We saw it done by The Wizard Of Westwood, (UCLA’s Coach John Wooden) ! Again Professor, How was my original comment, ” Not About Your Story “…well before Barry Bashing started ?

      2. Larry T Clemons

        Professor, you said, ” Thanks for bringing the discussion back to the substance of the article “…I ask you Professor, how was my first comment, ” The first comment of the Story,” NOT ABOUT THE STORY and specifically about the Computer Statistics ? Also, please read Larry Pup’s comment, about missed pass down low, a steal or a missed shot after a possible successful pass…All these have merit…But as I said, ” A Computer does not take into consideration, the Human Element or REASONING… Only 0’s & 1’s….Binary Code, (Cat/Barry).

    2. Larry T Clemons

      I believe my comments where completely about the article….Even my retort to the basher, was still focused on the logic of my statements based on the Story ! ” I would think, I do have a right to defend myself, don’t You ? “

  6. Catmandoo

    Mercy, Larry will you give it a rest. You have been just a bad as Barry with the hating and the bashing. Your last reply was not about the article except in pointing out how you thought it was wrong. The article wasn’t making an argument about anything. It merely shows the results of last year’s team and the numbers point out that if Young and the Harrisons had shot less and passed more, the team could have won some of those close games it lost. This site is not about proving who is right and who is wrong or who is an authority on basketball and who is not. It’s a forum to exchange views and opinions and they are bound to differ greatly. Lighten up on bashing everyone who doesn’t agree with you and maybe this can be more enjoyable for all of us.

    1. Anonymous

      WRONG CAT…I pointed out Why The Numbers, fell into place as stated by Professor, (his Numbers are never wrong)…Accurate reasons for the Numbers, was never an argument ! Actually it was just honest, truthful knowledge, of WHY those numbers were what they were ! I’m sorry if observation, based on additional input, from the Human Element, (now keep up), give credence to the COMPUTER STATISTICS…We don’t have Robots out there, Yet….Coach & Player Interaction, Game Plan and Game Time situations, should be valued as a component of those Final Numbers. How many Games, did we see Coach, try to come back or get a rally, by just telling James Young to take it down the Throat, One on One, (I saw 4 to 6 ) at least. ” If your not ” factoring these Human Components into your discussion or critic, then you only work with, 60% or 70% of the total Formula, to come up with a Assessment ! And that end result, would be inaccurate and not paint the total picture…THE COMPUTER, never portrays, evaluates or discerns, ” Reasoning.” I guess I just hoped Richard would Merit that Truth/Logic or, if I must, Obvious Important Element, THE HUMAN ELEMENT….Both are Right & Neither is wrong….Yes Spock, was my Idol and my words, are ” only logical.” How can you be angry with that ? I just wish Richard would have responded to my FIRST Comment, before Barry bashed it…” I would have love to see His, analytical retort. ” The Man is a Genius.” Thanks anyway Cat…

      1. Larry T Clemons

        Aove is me Cat, sorry forgot to fill in Name…Please, no hard feelings just different understanding of the Game, with my reasoning. Can’t do much better than that…I never do a ” Drive By ” verbal assault. That would be dishonorable and weak.

  7. Larry Pup

    Post on Larry T. Go back to the top boys and see which guy started this shooting match in this latest discussion. Larry T was first, who was second? I happen to like the Harrison’s and what they accomplished this year for UK as freshmen, Cheeks numbers or not, I especially like that they are coming back to UK for round two. Could UK have won a few more games this year by trying to pass more to our post players, maybe. IMO, It was real hard to get the ball inside this year due to the way the games were called early, and the defense the other teams deployed against our Bigs, and no fouls called. Kind of hard to get the ball into a post player with two and three defenders hanging all overJR, WCS, DJ, etc. Many times the UK Bigs were not open or did not present themselves at the post adequately for a pass. As a result, like LTC said, Coach told them to drive the ball and let the Bigs finish a miss at the rim. Not bad strategy for a Runner Up to the National Champions. So you go ahead Larry T and stick up for the team and for what you believe. If Mr. Vaught wants law and order he will say so or block any of us from posting here.

  8. Catmandoo

    Wait a minute. Your saying you actually post under 2 names? Talk about being a narcissist, I’d say you have the market cornered there. You really do need to get a life. There’s more going on in this world than you trying to prove that you know more than anyone else about basketball. Now that I see how you flood this site with your self proclaimed insight, (no the Anonymous guy backs you up on that), it’s clear that this is just a site where you come to satisfy your obsession with yourself. Now, I’ve got to explain to my son what you do and keep him off this site from now on. You really do have some issues that need some form of professional help. Mr. Vaught needs to do a better job of monitoring what goes on here.

    1. Larry Pup

      Catmandoo…seems to me you are picking on the wrong guy. Go back to the top and read what was initially said and who said what in the first two posts. LTC is a true, devoted UK fan on VV’s. You keep attacking him, and you will stir up a hornets nest on this site friend. Who are you to tell Larry Vaught how to run his site? You need to direct your comments to old Barry. He started this not Clemons.

      1. Larry T Clemons

        LP… ” CAT DADDY is BABY BARRY “…Same tone and even same sentences, This is nuts ! ” But, I admit I’m laughing from ear to ear and SMDH…LOL Take Care Brother .

  9. Larry Pup

    As I have said before, numbers and stats tell what happened in a game or series of games in a season, but as LTC says, they didn’t play the game. Players and coaches do that on the floor in real time, against other live players and strategies. For you experts, it looks real easy to criticize and second guess what these young guards at UK should and should not have done early on this year based on a bunch of numbers on a stat sheet. There was a ton of youth on the floor at every position in every game. I saw every game they won, and every game they lost, and I’m saying just passing the ball into a big does not necessarily mean the pass is caught or the player scores. The pass just may be intercepted or the shot blocked or missed. I will admit that the numbers seem to indicate that front court players should have shot the ball more maybe, but you have to find a passing lane open and a player open in a flash. That is not easy for young guards under intense pressure the first year in the college game. Andrew did start passing more toward the end of the season at Coach’s direction as UK found success. But there is a learning process, and players have to improve, and fans need to be patient, and thankful for what was accomplished. I might add that one here on VV’s needs to quit his trashing of the Harrison’s and support them since there are no prophets today who can predict the future, and since most all of us have been crying for more experienced players to return for a second or even third year, the Harrison’s returning is good news not a dooms day scenario as one would have us believe. They will be better, and perhaps Coach does change the strategy somewhat next season. GO CATS!!!

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Masterful, Larry Pup ! You cancel the computer hypothesis in TWO SENTENCES…( ” I saw every game they won, and every game they lost, and I’m saying just passing the ball into a big does not necessarily mean the pass is caught or the player scores. The pass just may be intercepted or the shot blocked or missed ” ). I am humbled, LP, ” with the Least, (Words) You showed the flaw and weakness in the Statistics…” Which as I stated, are only 60 % or 70% of the Formulation.” Nice Work LP !

  10. Larry T Clemons

    Now your being paranoid, (Your Sounded like Barry) Accusatory…I said, I wrote my response to You without filling out the TOP PART INFO AREA, (which I explained and you failed to understand)… ” If You hit post without filling out the info,” (HELLO).. Larry V. screens the comments before posting…I done this twice….Comprehension seems to be difficult for You, so I cannot expect You to address my post or The Substance of my Post, (sorta, Like Barry). I tell you what, since you didn’t respond to REASONING VS COMPUTER ONLY…Your Not worth me attempting to explain LOGIC ! You use the same words as Barry, Hmmmm, can’t be two Barry’s, that would sinful. I still will be waiting for an Intelligent response to the Basketball Premise, discussed in this Story and my retort…” Not just a ” Drive By Verbal ” strictly to BASH…” See Ya, Wouldn’t want To Be YA ! ” Will be waiting for that Basketball retort, Base on Computer Input & Human,(Player/ Coach) Input…Or just waste another 8 or 9 lines of type for Paranoid Dribble…” And, we ain’t talking Dribble Drive, Barry, I mean CAT DADDY…

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Pup, above comment meant for Cat/Barry… LP & King how bout the Human Element / Computer Statistics, Question…? Peace..

  11. Larry Pup

    See what you started Professor. Just kidding.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      And Your TWO SENTENCES ended it…Beautiful !

  12. Catmandoo

    It’s all to obvious that whoever this Clemons guy is, he is also Anonymous, Larry Pup, The Professor, King Ghordia, and who knows how many other names this sick SOB uses. Since it’s just you and your multiple identities, I will leave you to “play with yourself”. That’s about the only thing that you’re good at.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Doesn’t take a Therapist to see that You are Barry…” Just glad we exposed you Quickly…” It took less than 24 Hours.” lol

  13. Larry T Clemons

    ” Cat Man Can’t DO “

    1. Larry Pup

      Glad you exposed him Larry T. What a piece of work. As best I can I will ignore both posters. You keep em coming Larry T. You are a great UK fan.

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