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Numbers favor Kentucky by 7 at Florida.

Immanuel Quickley (Vicky Graff Photo)

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

Kentucky will play its fifth SEC road game out of its first 7 conference games of the season today. After this trip to Gainesville to face the Gators, the Cats will have 10 SEC games remaining in the regular season, and 6 of those 10 games will occur at Rupp.

The Cats continue their current 2 game road trip after delivering a poleaxing at Vanderbilt on Tuesday. The 35-point road win is the most efficient game by the Cats this season, and over their last 5 games, this team has played four of its 7 most efficient games of the season.

This is prima facia evidence that this team has been taking its game to a new high level over the last 5 games. The Cats have started the SEC with an impressive 6-1 record despite the majority of the games having been on the road.

Today’s game will be Florida’s fifth SEC home game in their first eight games, and the Gators’ SEC record is 4-3, and 12-8 overall. The Gators’ most impressive win this season occurred on Wednesday when they defeated #41 Mississippi in Gainesville by 4 points in overtime. Florida’s most confusing loss occurred by 2 points to #112 South Carolina in Gainesville.

While Kentucky has been on fire their last five games, the Gators have been playing slightly below their season long average efficiency their last five games.

The Gators’ schedule has a SOS value of 0.0814 ppp (#21). The Florida ANE for the season stands at 0.195 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.184 ppp.

The Cats’ schedule has a SOS value of 0.0577 ppp (#41). The Cats’ ANE for the season stands at 0.258 ppp, their season ANE since game 8 has been 0.358 ppp, and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.438 ppp.
The ANE analysis based on Kentucky’s ANE since game 7 indicates a Kentucky margin of 7 points, 74-67, in a game played at a pace of 67 possessions. As a matter of record, the traditional ANE analysis indicates a 2-point Kentucky advantage (78-69), and a “last 5” analysis indicates a UK win by 13 points, 73-60.

Pomeroy has this game as 2 points in Kentucky’s favor, 64-62, at a pace of 64 possessions. Vegas has opened with the Cats a 2 ½ point favorite over the Gators.

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:


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    It’s premature, I know, but I hope UK gets to play Duke again this year. At this moment, I’m watching Zion Williamson almost single handedly dismantle Saint Johns. Williamson is the most incredible college athlete I’ve ever seen in my lifetime of watching college basketball. It would be interesting to see if the UK coaching staff can find a way to slow him down a bit. I don’t think he can be stopped at the collegiate level, but perhaps there is a way to contain him a bit. I hope UK gets another chance to do it.


    1. He is a load, no doubt about it. Maybe Duke gets beat early down the road in March madness. The “head devil” got himself a good one in that guy.

      1. I would still take Anthony Davis at the rim against him. Duke can be beaten.

  2. Zion is the best I have seen as a freshman. They were talking about PJ being a man among boys, but Zion is the real man among boys. Can you imagine him being on our team? He can do it all whenever he wants to. I am watching UNC/UL. UL appears to be playing about as well as anyone in the country also. Mack is going to give Cal some serious challenge in year’s ahead.

    1. HUH? The “Cheaters” beat em pretty bad. This was one time I was pulling for the red birds. I wonder how many on Carolina’s team were actually eligible?

  3. We are getting a huge helping of home cooking, but that was to be expected…2 quick ones on Herro and only 4 total against Florida in 25 minutes. Hagans has to look to score because they are playing him to pass. Mike White has definitely coached his team up for this game. Cal is just yelling at everyone. Herro is the only Cat who came to play.

    1. Wrong, it was a great UK win and a 22 point swing coming from 11 down to win by 11. On the road by the way. I would say Calipari won the coaching battle when it counted. Sometimes I wonder about you guys. There is a time to complain guys.

      1. Just for the record, that post was made at the 15 minute mark of the second half and was right on. PJ was the one who got into everyone’s face and got them focused and then came the comeback. It was a fantastic win, but Cal admitted that he didn’t have his team ready to play this game.

  4. Analysis:

    UK scored its 65 points on 63 possessions (1.032 ppp) for the game, and FLORIDA scored its 54 points on 63 possessions (0.857 ppp).

    Kentucky won the battle of the boards 46-34, and Kentucky won the battle of the offensive boards with a rebounding edge 14-12. Kentucky won the second chance point battle 10-8. FLORIDA had an offensive efficiency of 0.730 ppp on its 63 first chance possessions and 0.667 ppp for its 12 second chance possessions. UK had 0.873 ppp on its 63 first chance possessions and 0.714 ppp on its 14 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 38.9% of its misses as offensive rebounds while FLORIDA was able to convert 27.3% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK hit well from the free throw line in this game, making 13-16 (81.3%]. FLORIDA made 5-10 [50.0%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 23-56 overall [41.1%] and 6-21 from long range [28.6%]. For FLORIDA, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 17-44 [38.6%] and from long range, FLORIDA hit 5-18 [27.8%].

    The Cats committed 12 turnovers, one for every 5.2 possessions. The Cats forced 9 FLORIDA turnovers, one for every 7.0 possessions.

    Next Game On Schedule: Tuesday evening against South Carolina at Rupp for the twenty second regular season game and the 9th game of the 2019 SEC season.

  5. Pup… time to complain? Did you see the 1st half and beginning of the 2nd? Yes it was a great win but no reason to be down 11 to these guys. White had his team better prepared than Cal. Reid should have owned the post but has had 2 of last 3 sub par performances. I know….I am being a little negative but can’t help it.
    I hope we don’t have to play Duke again. They would beat us badly but not as bad as before.

    1. It’s a forty min game Mike. I hope UK does play Duke again. You are counting the Cats out even before that game is even played. Williamson is good, very good, but things happen in a game, and the Cats are coming on right now as a team. Florida is always tough on the road, White had his team prepared, yes, but guess what, he lost by 11. As for Reid, I didn’t see any lack of effort. He did his job.

  6. Reid always seems to give good effort but has vertical limitations and also has too many shots blocked. He hasn’t had good scoring results 2 of last 3 and that a big part of his job. The west coast is going to be weaker than SEC but he was averaging I think about 22 ppg. out there and way under here.

  7. ]b\Goal Now: Beat Tennessee, win SEC:[/b]

    I don’t think Kentucky is currently scheduled to play Duke, but Tennessee lies in the Cats’ path between 18-3 and #9. In all likelihood, Duke will be on that path at some point, but for the next 6 weeks, it is all about finishing the regular season as SEC Champions, and winning the SEC Tournament championship again. Take care of that business first and foremost to secure one of the #1 seeds. That is the most important immediate goal.

    This team continues to play as well or better than anyone in the country, including Duke.

    [b]Games Are 40 Minutes and all 40 minutes are important:]/b]

    I have long observed ball games as a full 40 minute event, and in the overwhelming number of those games, the strongest team wins. That does not mean that within the game the weaker team does not win some segments of the game. That is not how games play out. Sometimes, the loser wins early segments and can maintain a lead for a significant portion of the game before falling to the inevitable superiority of the stronger team. Other times, the loser wins latter segments to close a huge gap to a more manageable ending margin. Regardless of how the segments occur, the stronger team wins the overwhelming majority of all games played.

    [b]Upsets Are Part of Life:[/b]

    Upsets occur when the stronger team loses to the weaker team. This happens in about 1 of 4 games played. That has been the upset rate this season, as it has been the upset rate in every season I have tracked since about 2010. Upsets occur when the stronger team’s game effort is lower than its normal and the weaker team’s effort is stronger than its normal. That is the nature of human activity because humans do not perform at our average level in every endeavor. Upsets are disappointing to the loser and give hope and comfort to the winner and to all whose future goals depend upon the loss of the superior team, which is nearly everyone in the universe.

    Yesterday, when Kentucky defeated Florida, it was as these teams’ overall performance on the season would indicate, and no upset. The stronger team won and the weaker team lost.

    [b]It is a Team Sport, not individual sport:[/b]

    I also have come to the conclusion over my time as a fan and watcher of games that overall team performance rather than individual game statistics are the better gauge of how a team is playing. Therefore, the game to game ups and downs that individual players experience on their way to a team success is not very significant to the team. What is significant to the team is the team’s success, to which each team member contributes in a wide variety of ways beyond scoring or rebounds, etc.

    [b]Why Is UK Going To Get #9 this year?:[/b]

    In the last 6 games, this team’s measure of success has been extremely high with game adjusted net efficiencies of 0.443, 0.402, 0.411, 0.291, 0.661, and 0.429 ppp at Georgia, at Auburn, against Mississippi St., against Kansas, at Vanderbilt, and at Florida respectively.

    This is a 6 game average of 0.440 ppp, which may be the strongest sequence of 6 consecutive games I have ever witnessed as a big blue fan, and there is little doubt it is the strongest sequence of 6 consecutive games I have seen since I began tracking these things in the 1990s. This is why I say this team is playing as well or better than any team in the country. Actually, this team may be playing better than any team in any year ever right now.

    Enjoy the ride. It is leading to #9 in my opinion.

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