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Monmouth will be Kentucky’s last cupcake

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

Tonight, Kentucky will face Monmouth in their seventh game of the season, which will be their last game for the month of the cupcakes. Yes, I do recall that the season began in very early November against Duke, but since Duke, the UK opponents have been:

#147 Southern Illinois, 0.030 ppp
#269 North Dakota, -0.107 ppp
#292 VMI, -0.136 ppp
#155 Winthrop, 0.022 ppp
#274 Tennessee State, -0.116 ppp

And, next up #313 Monmouth with an ANE of -0.174 ppp. Kentucky’s cumulative performance through these first 6 games produces an ANE of 0.085 points per possession, sufficient for a #94 ranking.

During the month of December, the level of competition rises significantly with #53 North Carolina Greensboro, #68 Seton Hall, #130 Utah, #9 North Carolina, and #45 Louisville. Four of the five December opponents have better ANE values at this point of the season than UK. Therefore, Monmouth represents the last cupcake of the 2018-19 season.

Monmouth enters Rupp without a win in their first seven games this season. As noted above, Monmouth’s ANE is -0.174 ppp, playing at a pace ofThis produces an early season ANE of -0.158 ppp at an average pace of almost 71 possessions per game. In contrast, the #94 Cats bring an ANE of 0.084 ppp at an average pace of 73 to 74 possessions per game.

The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 24 points, 90-66, in a game played at a pace of 74 possessions. Pomeroy projects a 23 point Kentucky win over Monmouth, 85-62, at a pace of about 71 possessions. Vegas has opened with the Cats favored by 24 points. For the reasons identified above, the primary focus on this game against Tennessee State is whether the final margin is 20 or less, or 30 or more at the final buzzer.

See how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board at:

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


  1. A taste of trivial pursuit, did you know that during the Calipari Era, UK has only played two teams with lower ANE values. Monmouth is at -0.174 ppp, and the other two opponents were at -0.184 and -0.189 ppp.

    The is the 3rd weakest opponent of the Calipari Era.

  2. Analysis:

    UK scored its 90 points on 68 possessions (1.323 ppp) for the game, and MONMOUTH scored its 44 points on 70 possessions (0.629 ppp).

    Kentucky won the battle of the boards, with a rebounding edge 40-25, and MONMOUTH won the battle of the offensive glass 13-9. MONMOUTH used its 13 second chance possessions to score 14 second chance points, and Kentucky used its 9 second chance possessions to 11 second chance points. MONMOUTH had an offensive efficiency of 0.429 ppp on its 70 first chance possessions and 1.077 ppp for its 13 second chance possessions. UK had 1.162 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.222 ppp on its 9 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 42.9%of its misses as offensive rebounds while MONMOUTH was able to convert 29.5% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 20-23 [87.0%]. MONMOUTH made 10-16 [62.5%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 30-53 overall [56.6%] and 10-24 from long range [41.7%]. For MONMOUTH, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 14-42 [33.3%] and from long range, MONMOUTH hit 2-16 [12.5%].

    The Cats committed 14 turnovers, one for every 4.9 possessions. The Cats forced 16 MONMOUTH turnovers, one for every 4.4 possessions.

    Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon, again at Rupp Arena, the Cats will take on North Carolina Greensboro in the eighth regular season game of the 2018-19 season.

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