Kentucky at Tennessee -- Pre Game

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Here we are, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation.  Kentucky is about to embark upon a three-game road trip that will have a huge say in what the post-season will look like for the Wildcats.

The first stop on this highway is Knoxville, Tennessee for some fun and games with the Tennessee Volunteers.  Stats and analysis to follow after the jump.

 

Player Statistics (Courtesy of BBState.com)

Kentucky
# Player Pos Yr Ht G MPG FG% FT% 3PT% True% RPG APG SPG BPG A/TO eFG% Pts40 Eff/Pos PPG
  23 Meeks,Jodie G Jr. 6'4" 16 33.1 46.1 90.2 41.9 63.9 3.4 1.8 1.6 0.1 0.6 46.1 29.3 0.31 24.2
  54 Patterson,Patrick F So. 6'9" 16 31.8 70.9 78.7 0 73.9 9.3 2.6 0.7 2.1 1.6 70.9 23.9 0.44 18.9
  21 Stevenson,Perry F Jr. 6'9" 16 25.9 57.3 78.1 40 63.4 5.9 1.6 0.7 2.4 0.9 57.3 10.9 0.25 7.1
  22 Harris,Ramon F Jr. 6'7" 11 21.9 63 57.1 27.3 66 3 1.4 0.7 0.3 0.7 63 12.8 0.18 7
  34 Liggins,DeAndre F Fr. 6'6" 16 19.6 44.2 69.4 16.7 52.8 2.9 3.6 1 0.4 1.1 44.2 12.5 0.17 6.1
  55 Harrellson,Josh C So. 6'10" 16 12.6 48.6 73.9 40 55.3 3.7 0.5 0.3 0.7 0.5 48.6 18.4 0.22 5.8
  13 Porter,Michael G Jr. 6'3" 16 22.2 33.3 85.7 27 47.5 2 2.9 0.8 0.1 1.3 33.3 6.8 0.12 3.8
  1 Miller,Darius F Fr. 6'7" 16 19.3 31.1 77.3 18.2 41.7 3.1 1.9 0.5 0.5 1.2 31.1 7.7 0.13 3.7
  15 Stewart,AJ F Sr. 6'8" 13 7.2 48.1 90 0 55.7 1.5 0.2 0.4 0.8 0.3 48.1 15.1 0.27 2.7
  10 Slone,Landon G Fr. 6'3" 9 9.2 31.6 100 30.8 48.2 1.3 1 0.3 0 4.5 31.6 9.6 0.17 2.2
  3 Galloway,Kevin F Jr. 6'7'' 12 7.3 46.2 50 0 48.4 1.3 1.4 0.3 0.2 1.5 46.2 7.3 0.18 1.3
Tennessee
# Player Pos Yr Ht G MPG FG% FT% 3PT% True% RPG APG SPG BPG A/TO eFG% Pts40 Eff/Pos PPG
  1 Smith,Tyler F Jr. 6'7" 14 30.9 48 72.7 25 56.2 6.4 3.9 0.9 0.4 1.6 48 23 0.28 17.7
  4 Chism,Wayne F Jr. 6'9" 14 23 48.4 76.3 25.6 58.8 9.1 1.5 0.7 1.1 0.8 48.4 21.6 0.34 12.4
  23 Tatum,Cameron F Fr. 6'6" 14 21.2 41 69.4 32.9 55 2.9 1.1 0.5 0.2 0.6 41 19.7 0.18 10.4
  30 Prince,J.P G Jr. 6'7" 11 23.3 51.1 64.5 7.1 54.5 3.5 2.2 1.5 0.5 1 51.1 17.7 0.24 10.3
  3 Maze,Bobby G Jr. 6'2" 14 27.7 43.4 70.6 35.5 54.1 3.2 3.9 1.6 0.1 2.2 43.4 14.3 0.21 9.9
  32 Hopson,Scotty G Fr. 6'7" 14 20.2 47.4 76.5 41.5 58.5 2.3 1.1 0.6 0.3 0.6 47.4 17 0.19 8.6
  33 Williams,Brian C So. 6'10" 14 15.4 50.8 59.1 50 54.5 6.3 0.9 0.5 0.6 0.9 50.8 14.3 0.26 5.5
  0 Woolridge,Renaldo G Fr. 6'8" 14 14.6 33.8 46.2 30.5 45.9 2.6 1 0.1 0.5 1.8 33.8 14.8 0.15 5.4
  25 Tabb,Josh G Jr. 6'4" 13 18.2 52.9 33.3 28.6 56 2 1.8 0.6 0.2 1.8 52.9 7.4 0.15 3.4
  5 Negedu,Emmanuel F Fr. 6'7" 14 8.8 38.9 82.6 0 58.7 2.6 0.4 0.4 0.4 1 38.9 10.7 0.24 2.4
  10 Hubert,Micheal G So. 6'2" 3 1.3 33.3 0 33.3 50 0.7 0.3 0 0 0.3 33.3 30 0.51 1
  22 Pearl,Steven F So. 6'5" 9 6.6 25 50 0 32.9 0.7 0.4 0.1 0 0.7 25 4.7 0.03 0.8

Team Statistics

 

Ken Pomeroy has thoughtfully redone his game plan page, which has made it much easier to adapt and more useful as well.  I will also send you over to Rock Top Talk, where Joel has already done an very similar analysis.  While you are there, check out his comments about this game.

For this table, where Kentucky has an advantage, it is highlighted in gray, and for Tennessee, Orange.


Kentucky Tennessee
Category Offense Defense Offense Defense D-I Avg
Adj. Efficiency: 109.6 [50] 88.9 [26] 115.7 [16] 93.7 [59] 100.2
Adj. Tempo: 70.6 [63] 74.4 [10] 67.4
Four Factors
Effective FG%: 55.7 [13] 42.5 [11] 50.8 [109] 50.2 [226] 48.7
Turnover %: 24.3 [311] 20.9 [174] 19.5 [99] 20.3 [204] 21
Off. Reb. %: 34.8 [119] 29.5 [53] 38.5 [38] 26.5 [10] 33.3
FTA/FGA: 40.6 [69] 34.2 [136] 40.5 [72] 40.3 [241] 36.2
Miscellaneous Components
3P%: 33.7 [183] 33.7 [160] 30.8 [278] 35.2 [230] 34
2P%: 57.9 [4] 38.5 [3] 53.2 [28] 48.8 [198] 47.6
FT%: 78.7 [6] 71.3 [268] 69.4 [144] 66.4 [89] 68.6
Block%: 6.8 [57] 19.0 [3] 7.0 [67] 10.6 [88] 8.9
Steal%: 10.8 [239] 9.4 [212] 7.9 [28] 9.4 [207] 10
Style Components
3PA/FGA: 30.6 [229] 33.2 [189] 34.3 [131] 36.0 [273] 33.1
A/FGM: 63.8 [21] 45.4 [17] 59.4 [66] 58.1 [258] 54.5
Point Distribution (% of total points)
3-Pointers: 21.6 [295] 30.7 [74] 24.4 [245] 29.9 [93] 27.6
2-Pointers: 56.1 [80] 47.1 [305] 53.9 [132] 49.0 [268] 52.1
Free Throws: 22.3 [78] 22.3 [89] 21.7 [108] 21.0 [140] 20.3
Strength of Schedule
Components: 100.0 [204] 100.6 [179] 106.2 [7] 95.8 [10] 100.2
Overall: 0.4853 [195] 0.7640 [4] 0.5
Non-conference: 0.4690 [213] 0.7695 [21] 0.5
Personnel
Bench Minutes: 33.0% [130] 41.0% [17] 31.40%
Experience: 1.26 yrs [287] 1.23 yrs [295] 1.65
Effective Height: +1.6 [74] +1.4 [88] 0
Average Height: 78.6" [3] 78.4" [6] 76.5"






 

Analysis

Kentucky and Tennessee are two very similar teams in a lot of ways.  Both play pressure man-to-man, both have excellent athletes, both have some serious talent and both are comfortable at a fairly high pace.  Tennessee, in fact, plays the game very similar to the way Louisville does, and although they are arguably not as talented as the Cardinals, they are in the same zip code.

Where these teams are different is in offensive and defensive execution.  Although both teams have an offense that is capable of putting a lot of points on the board and shooting a good percentage, Kentucky is holding its opponents to a much lower number of points scored.  This is largely due to the difference in level of competition, as Tennessee has played much tougher teams as you can see by the Strength of Schedule numbers.  But it is also due to an overall better level of defensive execution by the Wildcats, who are among the better teams in the nation defensively.

You will notice that Tennessee is more efficient offensively, but the biggest reason for this is that they get a tremendous percentage of offensive rebounds.  Shooting-wise, they are significantly lower than Kentucky, but because they are on of the best offensive rebounding teams in the nation, they wind up with a greater overall efficiency.  The biggest reason for this is probably their early offense and the fact that they run the floor really well, which allows a lot of rebounds to occur before the opponent's defense gets set.

Tennessee also likes to play at a higher tempo than Kentucky, but in reality, that tempo is largely forced by their press.  If the press is efficient, it will force UK into a higher tempo than they want.  If it is not efficient, it will force Tennessee into a half-court game, and Tennessee does not defend well in the half-court.

Another big advantage UK has is free throw shooting.  Tennessee is not a good free throw shooting team, but if they have a hot night, like Louisville did against us, the 'Cats will be in for trouble.

Athletically, Tennessee has an advantage, particularly on the bench.  Tennessee, like Louisville, is a much deeper team than Kentucky.  Kentucky is bigger all around, though, and that length will help.  We won't get out-athleted too bad by the Volunteers, but they are more athletic to a degree.

It's also interesting to note that despite Tennessee's pressure, they have not been all that successful at turning opponents over.  In fact, Kentucky has been nearly as successful, although we should always remember to view this stat through the lens of the level of competition.

Personnel-wise, we match up reasonably well with Tennessee.  As usual, I worry about Bobby Maze defeating Michael Porter off the dribble, but Porter has so far been reasonably adept at minimizing his quickness disadvantage.  I figure that Chism and Patterson are pretty much a wash, with the slight advantage to Patterson being negated by the home court.  Tyler Smith is a mismatch for us, so we'll just have to see if Stevenson can handle him.  Cameron Tatum has been hot lately for the Vols, but tends to be streaky from the perimeter.  J.P. Prince is a great, long athlete, but he does struggle from the outside.

One thing about this Volunteer team is that they make a lot of bad decisions.  This has come back to haunt them on numerous occasions, and when combined with their lack of ability to sustain their half-court defense, it could give UK an edge if they are true to form.

I

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