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Numbers favor Kentucky by 13 points over UCLA

gabriel-blockBy RICHARD CHEEKS

This past weekend, it seemed clear that the Cats’ schedule would begin to present progressively higher hurdles in its path through the non-conference portion of their 2016-17 schedule. While Arizona State was not likely to challenge these Cats in the sense of a single digit game, still in doubt late in the second half, no one expected the Cats to demonstrate complete superiority over the Sun Devils. But that is precisely what these Cats did on Monday night in the Bahamas, with a 115-69 poleaxing of Bobby Hurley’s PAC12 team.

The Cats made certain that the game would never be in doubt as the Cats led 14-8 and 26-12 at the first two media timeouts. Yes, dear friends, that game ended with a 46 point final margin, and Coach Calipari cleared his bench with “It’s Calipari Time” with 4:16 remaining in the game.

Well, as discussed in the last pre-game analysis, the level of competition will take another giant step up, this time to #16 UCLA in a game in Rupp Arena. Two years ago, the 2014-15 Cats completely dominated the Bruins on a neutral court, 83-44. Last year, the Cats paid a visit to historic Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, and the Bruins used their hosting opportunity to deliver a measure of payback to the Cats, handing the Cats a 10-point loss, 77-87. On Saturday afternoon, the Cats will host the Steve Alford’s Bruins for their third encounter in three seasons in what should be the rubber match in the series.

UCLA has played eight games without a defeat. Their average level of opposition has been #178. The Bruins’ most impressive wins of this young season have been over #72 Nebraska by 11 points and #34 Texas A&M by 7 points on a neutral court. UCLA enters this game with an ANE of 0.272 points per possession against a strength of schedule of -0.0364 ppp. The Cats enter this game with an ANE of 0.350 ppp against a strength of schedule of -0.0431 ppp.

The ANE analysis indicates a UK win by 13 points, 89-76 at a pace of 78 possessions. This would produce game efficiencies of 1.143 ppp and 0.976 ppp. Pomeroy sees this game in UK’s favor by 10 points, 90-80 at a pace of 79 possessions.

Use the following link to see how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board:

You can participate in the score prediction contest at 247Sports at the following link:

1 comment

  1. Analysis:
    UK scored its 92 points in a total of 83 possessions (1.108 ppp) for the game, and UCLA scored its 97 points on a total of 83 possessions (1.169 ppp).
    UCLA won the battle of the boards 48-43, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive glass 19-11. Kentucky used its 19 second chance possessions to score 19 second chance points, and UCLA used its 11 second chance possessions to score 13 second chance points. UCLA had an offensive efficiency of 1.012 ppp on its 83 first chance possessions and 1.182 ppp for its 11 second chance possessions. UK had 0.880 ppp on its 83 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 19 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 33.9%of its misses as offensive rebounds while UCLA was able to convert 31.4% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.
    UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 18-27 [66.7%]. UCLA made 17-21 [81.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 33-80 overall [41.3%] and 8-24 from long range [33.3%]. For UCLA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 25-43 [58.1%] and from long range, UCLA hit 10-23 [43.5%].
    The Cats committed 9 turnovers, one for every 9.2 possessions. The Cats forced 18 UCLA turnovers, one for every 4.6 possessions.
    Next Game On Schedule: Wednesday evening at Rupp Arena against Valparaiso in the ninth regular season game of the 2016-17 season.

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