A look at Kentucky by the numbers

  • 03/21/2012 2:57 pm in

With an assist from KenPom, here’s a look at where the Wildcats stack up on both sides of the ball:

OFFENSE:

With the way this team has been running over teams with dunks in the tournament so far, these numbers shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Kentucky’s adjusted offensive efficiency (121.8 points per 100 possessions) ranks second in the country to Mizzou (125.5), who was bounced out of the first round of the tournament by Norfolk Sate. The Wildcats are also strong in the four factors. They rank 13th in eFG% (53.8), 20th in TO% (17.1), 19th in OR% (37.9) and 73rd in free throw rate (40.1).

It’s a multi-faceted attack. Anthony Davis has improved his offensive repertoire since these teams first met, and can no longer be considered just a threat on the interior. Terrence Jones, whose size and power can intimate, likely isn’t going to disappear in this one like he did in Bloomington. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a motor like few else in the country. Doron Lamb and Kyle Wiltjer can shoot. Marquis Teague, when under control, can break down the defense with penetration and score at the rim. Though the Wildcats have shown strength in transition, they play at a pretty average pace (65.7 possessions per game via adjusted tempo, 189th fastest in country).

DEFENSE:

Kentucky lost only two times this season because this team can get after it on defense, too. Their adjusted defensive efficiency (88.0) ranks ninth in the country. The Wildcats are tops in the nation in block% (21.0), 2-point shooting defense (39.3%) and eFG% (41.7%). (Davis’ length has helped in these categories.) Though it’s been a strength of the Hoosiers to get to line at a high rate, Kentucky has done an excellent job of keeping opponents off of it (20.0 defensive free throw rate, ninth).

If there’s one knock on the Wildcats’ D, it’s that they aren’t turning their opponents over much (17.8 DTO%, 293rd). This is quite a different look than VCU’s “HAVOC” defense, which turned opponents over at the highest rate in the country and forced the Hoosiers into a season-high 22 turnovers. But with the way the Wildcats defend the rim, they still are one of the better defensive teams in the country.

POMEROY PREDICTION:

KenPom gives the Hoosiers a better shot than the current point spread (which is nine points), but has Kentucky prevailing 76-70. The Wildcats, who are ranked No. 2 by Pomeroy, only have the sixth highest win probability percentage of the eight favored Sweet 16 teams at 70. North Carolina (83%), Ohio State (81%), Kansas (79%) Michigan State (75%) and Baylor (71%) are all higher.

Filed to:

  • Brian Kelton

    “Terrence Jones, whose size and power can intimate,” what else were you looking at while typing this article hahahaha

  • SCHoosier

    True all that. This is a much improved very scary UK team. However..the Hoosiers ain’t runnin’ scared. I think the game should be in the 3-5 point range either way…many predicting a blowout..don’t see it..but if there is a blowout..I have to admit thaa IU is likely to be the victim rather thant he victor. Defense, defense, defense…Teague turns it over..Kats kold from the 3..IU plays its game and advances.:)

  • SCHoosier

    True all that. This is a much improved very scary UK team. However..the Hoosiers ain’t runnin’ scared. I think the game should be in the 3-5 point range either way…many predicting a blowout..don’t see it..but if there is a blowout..I have to admit thaa IU is likely to be the victim rather thant he victor. Defense, defense, defense…Teague turns it over..Kats kold from the 3..IU plays its game and advances.:)

  • Kenneth234

    Sure Anthony Davis has added some perimeter shooting to his game.  However, I would rather him be taking 15-20 ft shots over playing in the paint all day long.  I watched him against Vandy continue to miss with his perimeter jumper in that pressure filled moment.  I would invite him to take the shot, but contest when he does and use the advantage of him being out of paint to rebound and push the ball the other way.  I have been advocating that are best chance to win this game is run at every opportunity, and take the good looks in transition, but be ready to pull it out and run sets to get good shots on as many trips as possible.  We have a much deeper team, and the more we wear them down, the more they will be in foul trouble and be forced to utilze a bench that rarely plays.  Of course that also means that we have to utilize many of the same tactics that we used against NMSt., and VCU  (establishing position defensively especially in the post for rebounding, and getting back in transition to force Kentucky to play against our set defense as much as possible).  As the article points out, Kentucky doesn’t force a lot of turnovers, so we certainly need to make sure that although we are forcing the pace, we are being smart with the passing as well. 

  • Hank

    does anyone remember what the point spread for the iu vs. pUKe game at IU was? Just curious.

  • Derbus

    I recall it being 6.

  • Johnbill1967

     UK -6 first game

  • DarkSouth

    Off topic, but I’m shocked that Hulls is the #1 isolation player left in the tournament (per Luke Winn’s SI power ranks, by way of Alex’s twitter post).  And not just that he’s #1, but both by a large margin and the only guy with more than a point-per-possession. 

  • Chris

    Hank,

    UK was a 5.5pt favorite in Bloomington.  They didn’t cover.  😉

    http://www.teamrankings.com/ncaa-basketball/team/indiana-hoosiers/ats-results 

  • smanc

    Here is a write-up from before the December match-up… take a look at the predicted final score. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/976562-kentucky-vs-indiana-tv-schedule-live-stream-spread-info-and-more

  • smanc

    Here is a write-up from before the December match-up… take a look at the predicted final score. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/976562-kentucky-vs-indiana-tv-schedule-live-stream-spread-info-and-more

  • DarkSouth

    Also off topic, I’m shocked by Michigan’s ’12-’13 season collapsing already.  UM fans gonna be drowning their sorrows tonight. 

  • jermhoosierfan

    And Burke is thinking about going pro.  What is going on at Michigan?  You have to figure that Sullinger is going to the NBA along with Green graduating.  I have seen that ESPN already has Cody as a mid lottery pick over his brother which I don’t think he leaves for another year or 2.  From what I read, his parents value education.  We should be very well favored to be in the top 2 or 3 for the Big Ten next year.

  • why is michigan’s 12-’13 season collapsing?  What did I miss?

  • SCHoosier

    Losing Burke would hurt..don’t think that’s gonna happen though..he needs anotehr year..other three guys easily replaced..one starter (sometimes) but no studs. The got one good guy who was injured returning (Horford) and some very good recruits.

  • Kenneth234

    Horford?  It seems like that guy has been at Michigan for 12 years.  WTF?

  • Kenneth234

    Horford?  It seems like that guy has been at Michigan for 12 years.  WTF?

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Hey I was down in Nashville last Friday night and The Michigan fans were horrible , obnoxious and showed no class at all . i saw multiple disturbances that they were involved with . Reminded me of the Kentucky fans (seriously).

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Pretty sure pUKe by 9

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Here’s what I know …. INDIANA has beaten ” 4 ” of  the remaining ” 16 ” teams left ! I don’t think anyone else has . 

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    There’s no reason that we can’t win this . It would be one of my alltime favorite sports days of my life to beat them 2x’s this year . It was before my time , but we owe them one for beating our undefeated injured 1975 team ! That would of been straight undefeated years ! Pay back time !

  • HoosierPat

    Shot fakes!!! Get Davis and Jones in foul trouble. I’m not counting on another Terrance Jones hissy fit, so we need to go at him early. Get to the line and hit the free ones and I think we have a good chance to win.

  • catronhoosier

    Why is nobody giving us a chance?  We beat them once and we have proven we are a good team.  The best team UK has played since they lost to us is either Florida or Vandy, neither of those teams are anything special.  Have they looked very good the last couple games, yes.  But once again who have they played?  Iowa State and Western Kentucky, couple of world beaters there.  And they let Iowa State play with them for awhile. 

    I don’t get all this talk that we have to play a “perfect” game to beat them.  They are not one of the greatest teams to ever play the game.  Even if we lose they WILL NOT win the NCAA tourney. 

    All that being said they are a very very good team.  If I had to bet on a straight up winner of this game I would have to put my money on UK.  I promise we will be ready to play and will give the Cats a big run for their money and a good cahnce we walk away with a Win

  • catronhoosier

    Why is nobody giving us a chance?  We beat them once and we have proven we are a good team.  The best team UK has played since they lost to us is either Florida or Vandy, neither of those teams are anything special.  Have they looked very good the last couple games, yes.  But once again who have they played?  Iowa State and Western Kentucky, couple of world beaters there.  And they let Iowa State play with them for awhile. 

    I don’t get all this talk that we have to play a “perfect” game to beat them.  They are not one of the greatest teams to ever play the game.  Even if we lose they WILL NOT win the NCAA tourney. 

    All that being said they are a very very good team.  If I had to bet on a straight up winner of this game I would have to put my money on UK.  I promise we will be ready to play and will give the Cats a big run for their money and a good cahnce we walk away with a Win

  • DarkSouth

    3 transfers, including a starter in Smotrycz (sp?) and Burke looking to go pro. I don’t think they have a point guard on the roster if this all shakes out.

    Think a lot of UM fans thought the same as IU fans, “we’re a Final Four team next year.”

    Combine that with their first round flame out and there can’t be many happy people up there.

  • IUJeff

    Agreed. Since Vic does not yet have a reliable jump shot, he must attack the rim to soften up the middle as he has done in the past. 

    Two handed strong jam attempts will draw fouls on UK. 

    What a chance for Crean to shine as a great X’s and O’s coach. 

  • IUJeff

    A sweep is so much better than a split the the cats. We need to start to catch up with them in the head to head match up score. 

  • IUJeff

    Not to mention the addition of an entitled, enabled 6′ 11″ kid next year. Won’t mention any names… 

    MU will have chemistry issues. Bet on it. 

  • IUJeff

    Not to mention the addition of an entitled, enabled 6′ 11″ kid next year. Won’t mention any names… 

    MU will have chemistry issues. Bet on it. 

  • HoosierPat

    If they are a disciplined team, they won’t bite on Vic’s fake, but if they do bite, it would create some good opportunities for him to get to the rim and get to the line.

  • HoosierFromCt

    Regarding the news about Trey Burk strongly considering leaving for the NBA, is it wrong for me to WANT him to come back to UM? Kinda of looking forward to Yogi vs Burke battles. And he really makes the Big 10 look pretty. Oh well, if he decides to go pro, you can’t blame him. 

  • jayrig5

    Any matchup of Zeller and Davis that occurs away from the rim favors Zeller, easily.  On both ends of the floor.

  • jayrig5

    Any matchup of Zeller and Davis that occurs away from the rim favors Zeller, easily.  On both ends of the floor.

  • jayrig5

    Hulls is such a ridiculously effective and efficient shooter, and he’s added a lot to his game in terms of getting off shots off the dribble.  It’s what makes him an elite offensive player (which sounds ridiculous to say after the VCU game, but it’s been true far more often than not this season.)  

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Also off topic, is there any truth to the rumor that Illinois had to plan a potential visit by Shaka Smart around his demand that any flight from Virginia not actually cross into Indiana airspace? 

    Seriously buddy, wait for a better opportunity not so close to Crean country.

  • jayrig5

    IU’s offense has been underrated this entire season.  Consistently a top-5/top-10 offense.  IU has to close out shooters (Lamb/Miller, especially).  If UK hits more 3’s than IU does, I have a hard time seeing IU winning.  However, IU’s formula for winning (making 3’s, getting to the foul line, getting UK’s short rotation in foul trouble) seems very doable, and they’ve done it all year, against tougher competition than UK has faced.  If the game is fairly called, IU certainly has a chance.

    Also, this is off-topic, but IU starts three super-long, supremely athletic players in Zeller, Oladipo, and Sheehey, yet not once have I heard an analyst reference how athletic IU is as a team.  The only reason people think a team like Baylor, for example, is good is because they have length/athleticism. IU has that plus great shooting/skilled offensive players/willing defenders.  

  • Kawaters

    I think the Hoosiers may play some zone during this game to reduce dribble penetration, esp when Jordy is on the floor. I am concerned about his ability to keep Lamb or Teague from getting into the lane and / or to the rim. When Abell is on the floor for Hulls I think we can play more man-to-man, but I think CTC may throw some zone at UK to disrupt them and mix things up.

  • Kawaters

    I think the Hoosiers may play some zone during this game to reduce dribble penetration, esp when Jordy is on the floor. I am concerned about his ability to keep Lamb or Teague from getting into the lane and / or to the rim. When Abell is on the floor for Hulls I think we can play more man-to-man, but I think CTC may throw some zone at UK to disrupt them and mix things up.

  • Kenneth234

    I agree with the keys for IU winning.  However, I firmly believe that IU’s best and most likely aspect that they will utilize effectively is tempo.  It may surprise some, others not so much, but the key to this game is establishing a very quick tempo in order to get good looks before UK gets their half court defense set up.  When i say that, i do not mean just chucking up quick shots unless they are really good shots.  We always have the option of getting into a set to work for a good shot, which I think we can do against this highly touted defensive team.  Most important is we need to keep floor balance to ensure that we do not allow Uk to get out on too many breaks.  We need to force them to play half court offense as much as possible.  Preferably forcing perimeter shots rather than drives to the rim. 

  • jayrig5

    True. I’ve shaken my head multiple times at “experts” and “analysts” who have actually said that IU should try to slow everything down and keep the game in the 50’s.  That just screams “I don’t actually know anything about IU”.

  • A_Schick

    *cough* Charles Barkley *cough* He said at the half of the NMSt game that he was surprised we would choose to run it so much. Uhhhhhhh Chuck? 

  • A_Schick

    *cough* Charles Barkley *cough* He said at the half of the NMSt game that he was surprised we would choose to run it so much. Uhhhhhhh Chuck? 

  • MisterSlippery

     I’m really concerned about Lamb from 3.

  • C8oster

    The bigger concern here is if IU isn’t hitting 3’s…..