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Numbers favor Cats by 9 over Alabama

Vicky Graff Photo

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

At halftime on Tuesday night, the Cats trailed by six points, and the Georgia players celebrated their “victory” a bit aggressively, and inappropriately, as they left the floor. The second half told an entirely different story as the Cats dominated 47-32 to seal an all-important SEC road win in the Cats’ first true road game of the season.

Some observers have said that the second half in Athens was perhaps the best half of basketball that this team has played this season. I am not sure if that is indeed the case, but there is no denying that it is among the strongest halves of basketball, if not the best so far this season.

Now the Cats return to Rupp to face Alabama before venturing out for a two-game road swing through South Carolina and Arkansas. The first week of SEC action has produced four teams with a 2-0 start, Auburn, Kentucky, Florida and LSU. Another four teams split their first two SEC games, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Alabama. The rest of the SEC members are still looking for their first 2020 conference win.

Alabama enters this game with an 8-6 record, 1-1 in the SEC. After a 2-4 start, Alabama has won 6 of its last 8 games. The Tide’s most impressive wins thus far this season have been over #74 Mississippi State by 21 earlier this week with a game ANE of 0.37 ppp. Alabama has lost three times this season with a negative game ANE to #142 Penn by 1, to #82 Rhode Island by 14, and to #70 Iowa State by 15. Despite these negative performances, Alabama’s current ANE is an impressive 0.142 ppp against a schedule strength of 0.065 ppp and a tempo of 78.1 possessions per game.

The Cats bring an ANE of 0.201 ppp into this game having played a schedule strength of 0.000 ppp at a tempo of 69.1 possessions per game.

Based on this data for these teams, an ANE analysis indicates this game will have a tempo of 74 possessions with the Cats winning by 9 points, 79-70.

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  1. Analysis:

    UK scored its 76 points on 75 possessions (1.013 ppp) for the game, and ALABAMA scored its 67 points on 73 possessions (0.918 ppp).

    Kentucky and Alabama battled to a 44-44 split on rebounds, but Alabama won the battle of the offensive glass 16-10. Kentucky and Alabama each scored 17 points on their second chance possessions. ALABAMA had an offensive efficiency of 0.685 ppp on its 73 first chance possessions and 1.063 ppp for its 16 second chance possessions. UK had 0.787 ppp on its 75 first chance possessions and 1.700 ppp on its 10 second chance possessions. With respect to the offensive rebounding, UK grabbed 26.3%of its misses as offensive rebounds while ALABAMA was able to convert 32.0% of its misses into bonus possessions with offensive rebounds.

    UK hit poorly from the free throw line in this game, making 11-17 [64.7%]. ALABAMA made 7-12 [56.3%] for the game. Field goal shooting for UK was 28-63 overall [44.4%] and 9-15 from long range [60.0%]. For Alabama, their field goal shooting from inside the arc was 24-55 [43.6%] and from long range, ALABAMA hit 4-21 [19.0%].

    The Cats committed 14 turnovers, one for every 5.4 possessions. The Cats forced 8 ALABAMA turnovers, one for every 9.1 possessions.

    Next Game On Schedule: Wednesday night at South Carolina in the Cats’ sixteenth regular season game, and the 4th game of the 2020 SEC season.

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