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Numbers indicate 7-point win over Ole Miss

Keldon Johnson and Nick Richards (Vicky Graff Photo)

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

On Saturday afternoon, the Cats should have learned a lesson that one would hope no UK team would have to learn after the Calendar had turned to March. With our without Reid Travis, this team was not prepared to compete when it entered TBA to face an angry group of Volunteers. The big question is why any UK team would not be prepared for the battle that the whole world knew was coming from Tennessee.

As a result of this loss, the Cats are almost certain to go into the SEC Tournament as the #3 seed, having to play on Friday night for an opportunity to play either Tennessee or LSU on Saturday afternoon. A tough row to hoe, and should the Cats manage to advance to the championship game on Sunday afternoon, they will probably have to face the other of the top two teams, LSU or Tennessee.

There is no way for the Cats to drop to the #4 seed, and to advance to a #2 seed, Tennessee must lose to Auburn while the Cats must beat Ole Miss and Florida. For all intents and purposes, the SEC race ended for the Cats on Saturday afternoon.

Since the first meeting against Tennessee at Rupp Arena, this has not been the same UK team that had been steadily climbing up the charts. Since that first Tennessee game, this team has been in decline, and noticeably so. That is not the trend a team wants to establish in the early days of March.

Now, this team must stay on the road and find a way to beat a good, and pesky Ole Miss team that did compete with those same Volunteers a week ago in Oxford, before losing to the Vols by 2 points following a disputed charging call in the final seconds of the game. If the Cats are not prepared to battle on Tuesday night, they will start March with back to back losses.

#43 Mississippi’s three most recent games were decided by 1 or 2 points. The Rebels beat Georgia by 1 point and lost to Tennessee by 2 and at Arkansas by 1 point. MISSISSIPPI brings a 19-10, 9-7 SEC record into this game against the Cats. The Rebels schedule has a SOS value of 0.0797 ppp (#50). The MISSISSIPPI ANE for the season stands at 0.179 ppp and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.169 ppp.

The Cats’ schedule has a SOS value of 0.1006 ppp (#22). The Cats’ ANE for the season stands at 0..293 ppp, their season ANE since game 7 has been 0.338 ppp, and their ANE over the last 5 games is 0.278 ppp.

The ANE analysis based on Kentucky’s ANE since game 7 indicates a Kentucky margin of 7 point, 75-68, in a game played at a pace of 69 possessions. As a matter of record, the traditional ANE analysis indicates a 4 1/2 point Kentucky advantage and a “last 5” analysis indicates a UK advantage of 4 point. Pomeroy has this game as a 4 point Kentucky win, 72-68, at a pace of 66 possessions.

Use the following link to see how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board:
http://bigbluefans4uk.com/2018-19DataandWritings/247_PREDICTIONS/30.htm

You can participate in the score prediction contest at 247Sports at the following link:
https://247sports.com/college/kentucky/Board/296/Contents/Mississippi-Prediction-Thread-129650157/

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  1. Don’t count on that with this team. OM’s guards will give us fits. I fear another loss and even Florida at Lexington is not a sure thing anymore.

    1. 80 -76 big UK win. That’s all that counts in the end. Bring on those “Reptiles!”

  2. My car has a regular drive and a sports drive. The sports drive is much more responsive and quicker since it is revving at higher ranges…have noted that Hagans plays much better when in sports drive, especially when the ball is inbounded and he races up the court. If you see him at half speed, walking it up, it’s usually a sign he’s going to perform poorly. He is so much better when running at top speed off of steals and outlet rebound passes because he doesn’t overthink the situation and instinctively makes the right decision the majority of times. Same thing with Richards. If he is running WCS style, and beating his man down the court almost every time, he usually has a good performance. You know he has his head into the game and appears to be with it. Run hard “every play” guys and lets kick some ass tonight-go Cats!

  3. I think this team is very fragile and not really sure of themselves. I wonder of Cal is being overly protective with Travis and willing to absorb another loss to protect him.

  4. The most important thing to Calipari is protecting a player’s NBA status.

  5. Analysis:

    UK scored its 80 points on 68 possessions (1.176 ppp) for the game, and MISSISSIPPI scored its 76 points on 68 possessions (1.118 ppp).

    Ole Miss won the battle of the boards 37-30, and Ole Miss won the battle of the offensive boards with a rebounding edge 10-4. Ole Miss won the second chance point battle 13-4. MISSISSIPPI had an offensive efficiency of 0.927 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.300 ppp for its 10 second chance possessions. UK had 1.118 ppp on its 68 first chance possessions and 1.000 ppp on its 4 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 12.9% of its misses as offensive rebounds while MISSISSIPPI was able to convert 27.8% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK made 14-20 (70.0%) from the free throw line in this game. MISSISSIPPI made 20-22 [90.9%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 31-56 overall [55.4%] and 4-9 from long range [44.4%]. For MISSISSIPPI, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 16-34 [47.1%] and from long range, MISSISSIPPI hit 8-25 [32.0%].

    The Cats committed 7 turnovers, one for every 9.7 possessions. The Cats forced 9 MISSISSIPPI turnovers, one for every 7.6 possessions.

    Next Game On Schedule: Saturday afternoon against Florida at Rupp for the final game of the 2018-19 regular season game and the 18th and final game of the 2019 SEC season.

  6. As usual, excellent post and insightful information by the Professor. Tip of the hat and well deserved.

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