Kentucky vs. Cleveland St. -- Cancun Challenge

The Kentucky Wildcats will be taking on the Cleveland St. Vikings this afternoon at 4:30 PM.  Those of us fortunate enough to work from home will be watching, but for many 'Cat fans out there, it will be tough to get home in time even to see the second half.  Never fear, though -- A Sea of Blue will be running an open thread, as always, and we'll try to remember to post the scores and stats often for those who are stuck at work.

The Vikings are an interesting team who made the NCAA tournament last year, upsetting Wake Forest in the first round before falling to Arizona in the second.  Fortunately for Kentucky, a lot of that powerful team has moved on, and the Vikings bring in a bunch of new players to go with the two starters and two reserves who are returning.

More after the jump.

Four Factors Analysis (Data from Kenpom.com)


Kentucky Cleveland St.
Category Offense Defense Offense Defense D-I Avg
Adj. Efficiency: 94.7 [218] 96.1 [139] 92.8 [238] 100.1 [177] 99.1
Adj. Tempo: 76.1 [34] 69.5 66.1 [257] 69.5
Four Factors
Effective FG%: 58.2 [18] 46.6 [126] 48.8 [161] 48.4 [170] 48.5
Turnover %: 26.8 [312] 20.3 [203] 18.7 [94] 25.1 [54] 21.3
Off. Reb. %: 48.1 [3] 32.2 [145] 37.4 [78] 37.9 [264] 33.3
FTA/FGA: 47.2 [59] 29.8 [82] 43.8 [95] 44.7 [247] 38.2
Miscellaneous Components
3P%: 36.8 [107] 39.0 [265] 38.2 [85] 39.0 [264] 33.8
2P%: 59.5 [8] 37.8 [22] 44.7 [224] 44.9 [125] 47.5
FT%: 66.1 [220] 71.6 [240] 74.3 [68] 66.2 [128] 68.0
Block%: 5.5 [65] 25.9 [4] 10.5 [232] 2.5 [329] 9.1
Steal%: 12.2 [280] 9.5 [175] 6.9 [54] 10.3 [145] 9.8
Style Components
3PA/FGA: 29.4 [228] 42.3 [326] 32.5 [164] 25.8 [41] 32.4
A/FGM: 50.0 [199] 56.8 [227] 50.0 [199] 53.6 [175] 53.1
Defensive Fingerprint: Some Zone Mostly Man
Point Distribution (% of total points)
3-Pointers: 22.0 [245] 43.3 [9] 28.6 [123] 23.9 [217] 26.7
2-Pointers: 56.9 [96] 38.0 [335] 46.4 [274] 52.7 [162] 52.2
Free Throws: 21.1 [153] 18.7 [239] 25.0 [74] 23.4 [110] 21.1
Strength of Schedule
Components: 98.8 [181] 120.6 [339] 98.8 [179] 115.1 [326] 99.1
Overall: 0.0915 [332] .5000 0.1478 [310] .5000
Non-conference: 0.0915 [332] .5000 0.1478 [310] .5000
Personnel
Bench Minutes: 0.0% [0] 0.0% 0.0% [0] 0.0%
Experience: 0.00 yrs [0] 0.00 0.00 yrs [0] 0.00
Effective Height: +0.0 [0] 0.0 +0.0 [0] 0.0
Average Height: 0.0" [0] 0.0" 0.0" [0] 0.0"

A couple of interesting things pop out to me.  First, the Vikings 3-point defense is really good.  Only 23% of the points scored on them come from three-point range.  Compare that to 43% for UK, which speaks really well of UK's 2-point defense, but pretty badly about the defense on the perimeter.

 


Cleveland St. Vikings Basketball Roster

# Pos. Comments
W H College
Nigel Ajere 45 F - 220 6-6 sophomore
Kevin Anderson 4 C - 200 6-10 junior
D`Aundray Brown 32 G Starter 180 6-4 junior
Norris Cole 30 G Starter
165 6-1 junior
Jared Cunningham 23 F Starter
225 6-9 junior
Trevon Harmon 3 G Starter 170 6-0 sophomore
Lance James 2 G - 205 5-11 junior
Tim Kamczyc 33 F - 195 6-6 freshman
Joe Latas 51 C - 280 6-11 sophomore
Josh McCoy 22 G - 175 6-4 sophomore
Jeremy Montgomery 5 G - 190 6-2 sophomore
Aaron Pogue 44 F Starter 275 6-9 sophomore
Anthony Wells 1 G - 190 6-1 freshman
Charlie Woods 20 F - 190 6-7 freshman


Cleveland State Stats


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Norris Cole 4 29.0 6.5 11.5 56.5 1.8 3.0 58.3 6.3 7.0 89.3 0.8 1.5 2.3 2.8 2.8 2.5 0.0 2.0 21.0
Trevon Harmon 4 27.3 3.3 8.3 39.4 1.5 5.0 30.0 2.3 3.5 64.3 0.5 1.3 1.8 2.0 1.3 2.3 0.0 2.8 10.3
Jared Cunningham 4 17.5 3.5 7.3 48.3 1.0 2.8 36.4 2.0 2.8 72.7 1.3 3.0 4.3 0.5 0.8 0.0 0.5 2.5 10.0
D`Aundray Brown 4 30.3 3.8 6.3 60.0 1.0 1.3 80.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5 2.5 4.0 1.0 1.8 2.3 0.3 2.3 8.5
Aaron Pogue 4 25.8 2.8 5.8 47.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.5 4.8 52.6 2.8 3.8 6.5 1.8 2.5 1.3 0.3 3.5 8.0
Jeremy Montgomery 4 21.0 2.5 5.8 43.5 0.8 2.8 27.3 1.8 2.0 87.5 0.0 1.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 1.5 0.0 2.0 7.5
Tim Kamczyc 4 20.0 1.5 3.5 42.9 0.0 0.5 0.0 2.0 2.5 80.0 0.8 3.0 3.8 0.8 1.3 0.0 0.0 2.8 5.0
Nigel Ajere 3 12.3 1.0 3.7 27.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.7 2.7 100.0 1.3 2.3 3.7 1.0 2.0 0.3 0.0 3.0 4.7
Lance James 4 10.3 1.0 3.3 30.8 0.0 0.8 0.0 1.0 1.8 57.1 0.8 0.5 1.3 1.3 1.3 0.8 0.0 1.8 3.0
Kevin Anderson 2 3.5 0.5 0.5 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 2.0 100.0 1.5 0.5 2.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.5 3.0
Josh McCoy 2 9.5 0.5 2.0 25.0 0.5 1.5 33.3 0.5 1.0 50.0 0.5 1.5 2.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5 2.0
Charlie Woods 2 4.5 0.5 1.5 33.3 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0
Joe Latas 2 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0


Statistical Leaders

Stat Player
Scoring UK: John Wall (20.3)
CSU: Norris Cole (21.0)
Rebounding UK: Patrick Patterson (12.3)
CSU: Aaron Pogue (6.5)
Assists UK: John Wall (7.3)
CSU: Norris Cole (2.8)
3-point FG Percentage UK: Eric Bledsoe (50.0%)
CSU: D'Aundrey Brown (80.0%)
Blocks UK: DeMarcus Cousins (2.8)
CSU: Jared Cunningham (0.5)
Steals UK: John Wall (2.7)
CSU: Norris Cole (2.5)

 

Analysis:

Cleveland State is a very good team playing in a good league, the Horizon League (same as Butler).  Last year, they upset Syracuse, Wake Forest and Butler.  The Vikings return only two starters and for players overall, though, so they are not the same team as they were last year.

Cleveland state is by far the best team UK has faced so far, and they dispatched UK foe Sam Houston with less difficulty than did the Wildcats.  Kentucky cannot take this team for granted, as it is fully capable of pulling an upset in this game.

Pay particular attention to the 3-point shooting of the Vikings, as you will note their leading scorer, Norris Cole, shoots 58% from the arc.  In fact, all of Cleveland State's players are capable of making the three, although they really don't put up all that many.

The Vikings play a 9-man rotation, so they are plenty deep and more talented than UK fans may realize.  No, there are no Rivals 5* players on Cleveland State's team, but they are nonetheless well-coached and very good.

As you will note from the four factors analysis above, Cleveland State gives up a lot of offensive rebounds, and if they do that this afternoon against Kentucky, look for Patrick Patterson, DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton to have a field day.  Claipari is even talking about playing those three guys at the same time (could it be because the Vikings are a poor rebounding team?), so if Cleveland State does not get on the glass, UK will get a ton of easy put-backs.

The Vikings are mostly a man team, and it will be interesting to see how aggressive that man defense comes out.  If they come out very tight, look for John Wall and Eric Bledsoe to get to the rim early and often.  If they sag, we'll have to see if UK can continue the good perimeter shooting they have shown so far.

The bottom line -- If UK can continue to dominate the boards and hold teams under 40% from two, and build on their 3-point defense from the Rider game, things should go well in this game.  But take away any of those three elements, and the Wildcats could quickly find themselves in a game with the Vikings.

Projected score:  UK 88, Cleveland State, 68

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