UK Basketball: A Statistical Look at the SEC

Ten games into the season, and the Kentucky Wildcats are sporting a pristine 10-0 record, with two wins against top-15 competition.  OK, so you already knew that, but do you know how UK stands within the conference in the many statistical categories?  If not, prepare yourself for an onslaught of SEC stats, standings, as well as enough conference information to make one forget about Bob Knight and his "unamusing" musings.

After the jump comes ... the rest of the story.

Conference Standings

East                                                        West

1. Kentucky - 10-0                               1. Mississippi - 9-1

t2. Tennessee - 8-1                              2. Mississippi State - 8-2

t2. Florida - 8-1                                    3. LSU - 7-2

4. South Carolina - 7-2                          4. Alabama - 7-3

5. Vanderbilt - 6-3                                t5. Arkansas - 5-5

6. Georgia - 4-4                                   t5. Auburn - 5-5

Scoring Offense -- 1. Tennessee (84.1)  2. Mississippi (83.1)  3. Kentucky (80.3)  4. Arkansas (80.2)  5. South Carolina (78.1)  6. Mississippi State (76.2)  7. Florida (75.4)  8. Vanderbilt (74.4)  9. Auburn (72.2) 10. Alabama (70.7)  11. LSU (66.1)  12. Georgia (63.5).

Arkansas is averaging over 80 points per game, but is still only 5-5?

Scoring Defense -- 1. Mississippi State (59.5)  2. Tennessee (60.2)  3. Florida (60.9)  4. LSU (62.1)  5. Alabama (63.2)  6. Georgia (63.6)  7. Kentucky (65.5)  8. Auburn (67.7)  9. South Carolina (68.2)  t10. Mississippi (68.3)  t10. Vanderbilt (68.3)  12. Arkansas (72.6).

Tennessee and Florida, both weak defensively last season, have so far shown a tremendous defensive turnaround.  John Pelphrey, on the other hand, needs to instill some of the defensive tenacity at Arkansas he employed while playing for the 'Cats. 

Scoring Margin -- 1. Tennessee (+23.9)  2. Mississippi State (+16.7)  t3. Mississippi (+14.8)  t3. Kentucky (+14.8)  5. Florida (+14.6)  6. South Carolina (+9.9)  7. Arkansas (+7.6)  8. Alabama (+7.5)  9. Vanderbilt (+6.1)  10. Auburn (+4.5)  11. LSU (+4.0)  12. Georgia (-.1).

It looks as if Bruce Pearl has finally reigned in his talented UT squad ... as of now, that is. 

Field Goal % -- 1. Tennessee (50.4)  2. Kentucky (49.7)  3. Arkansas (49.0)  4. Mississippi State (47.5)  t5. Florida (46.3)  t5. Mississippi (46.3)  7. Vanderbilt (46.1)  8. Alabama (45.4)  9. South Carolina (43.9)  10. LSU (43.4)  11. Georgia (42.9)  12. Auburn (42.7).

South Carolina must shoot the ball better if they wish to atone for last year's NCAA Tournament slight.  Arkansas, shooting 49% and standing at 5-5?  I sense a trend developing. 

Field Goal % Defense -- 1. Mississippi State (36.8)  2. Tennessee (37.8)  3. Kentucky (38.6)  4. Arkansas (40.1)  5. Florida (40.3)  6. LSU (41.5)  7. Mississippi (41.6)  8. Auburn (41.8)  9. Georgia (42.0)  10. Vanderbilt (42.1)  11. Alabama (42.2)  12. South Carolina (42.3).

Tennessee once again surprises.  What once was holding UT back from fulfilling their promise, may now become the strength of their team ... if they can keep up D-heat. 

Three-Point % -- 1. Mississippi State (41.9)  2. Tennessee (40.6)  3. Arkansas (39.3)  4. Kentucky (38.0)  5. Mississippi (36.2)  6. Alabama (34.8)  7. Florida (33.0)  8. Georgia (32.3)  9. South Carolina (32.1)  10. Vanderbilt (31.9)  11. LSU (30.5)  12. Auburn (30.4).

Shooters, shooters, needed in middle Tennessee, Louisiana, and Alabama.

Three-Point % Defense -- 1. Florida (21.5)  2. Tennessee (27.5)  3. Mississippi (31.3)  4. Auburn (34.0)  5. Alabama (34.1)  6. South Carolina (34.8)  7. Mississippi State (35.1)  8. Vanderbilt (35.2)  9. LSU (35.4)  10. Kentucky (36.1)  11. Georgia (36.4)  12. Arkansas (38.4).

Allowing 38.4% shooting from beyond the three-point line isn't defense, it's indifferent defense, and also the reason Arkansas may have a new head coach next year.  UT and Florida continue to impress.

Free Throw % -- 1. Mississippi State (70.7)  2. Georgia (70.6)  3. Florida (70.1)  4. Tennessee (69.6)  5. Alabama (69.2)  6. Vanderbilt (67.4)  7. LSU (67.4)  8. South Carolina (67.0)  9. Mississippi (66.9)  10. Kentucky (66.0)  11. Arkansas (64.6)  12. Auburn (62.1).

The relative weak conference free throw shooting may render UK's poor average inconsequential.

Rebound Average -- 1. Kentucky (42.1)  2. Mississippi State (40.6)  3. Mississippi (39.6)  4. LSU (39.4)  5. South Carolina (38.0)  6. Florida (37.8)  7. Tennessee (37.1)  8. Vanderbilt (36.7)  9. Auburn (36.6)  10. Georgia (34.5)  11. Alabama (34.3)  12. Arkansas (34.1).

Kentucky should win a number of SEC games based strictly on their ability to hit the boards with a vengeance.

Rebounding Defense -- 1. LSU (30.9)  2. Kentucky (31.5)  3. Georgia (32.2)  t4. Tennessee (32.6)  t4. Mississippi State (32.6)  6. Alabama (34.1)  t7. Florida (36.0)  t7. Arkansas (36.0)  9. Auburn (36.2)  10. Vanderbilt (37.8)  11. Mississippi (39.1)  South Carolina (39.6).

Rebounding Margin -- 1. Kentucky (+10.6)  2. LSU (+8.6)  3. Mississippi State (+8.0)  4. Tennessee (+4.6)  5. Georgia (+2.2)  6. Florida (+1.8)  7. Mississippi (+.5)  8. Auburn (+.4)  9. Alabama (+.2)  10. Vanderbilt (-1.1)  11. South Carolina (-1.6)  12. Arkansas (-1.9).

Offensive Rebounds -- 1. Kentucky (15.4)  2. South Carolina (14.7)  3. LSU (14.6)  4. Mississippi (13.8)  5. Auburn (13.6)  6. Florida (13.3)  7. Alabama (12.6)  8. Vanderbilt (11.8)  9. Tennessee (11.7)  10. Georgia (11.6)  11. Mississippi State (10.4)  12. Arkansas (10.0).

Offensive rebounds equals a gained possession, something UK has been lacking in to a great degree the last four years.

Offensive Rebound % -- 1. Kentucky (44.8)  2. LSU (40.8)  3. Florida (37.5)  4. Alabama (37.0)  5. South Carolina (36.6)  6. Mississippi (35.8)  7. Auburn (35.4)  8. Georgia (34.7)  9. Tennessee (34.5)  10. Vanderbilt (33.2)  11. Mississippi State (32.2)  12. Arkansas (29.9).

Surprisingly low number for Mississippi State.  UK at nearly 45.0% is remarkable.

Defensive Rebounds -- 1. Mississippi State (30.2)  2. Kentucky (26.7)  3. Mississippi (25.8)  4. Tennessee (25.4)  t5. Vanderbilt (24.9)  t5. LSU (24.9)  7. Florida (24.4)  8. Arkansas (24.1)  9. South Carolina (23.3)  10. Auburn (23.0)  11. Georgia (22.9)  12. Alabama (21.7)

Defensive Rebound % -- 1. Mississippi State (73.8)  2. LSU (71.8)  3. Tennessee (70.9)  4. Georgia (68.8)  5. Kentucky (68.1)  6. Auburn (66.9)  7. Arkansas (65.8)  8. Mississippi (64.2)  9. Florida (64.0)  10. Vanderbilt (63.8)  11. Alabama (63.3)  12. South Carolina (62.3).

How can MSU be so strong on the defensive boards, and so bad on the offensive glass? 

Blocked Shots -- 1. Mississippi State (8.6)  2. Kentucky (8.1)  3. South Carolina (7.8)  4. Mississippi (6.0)  5. Georgia (5.6)  6. Vanderbilt (5.0)  7. Alabama (4.6)  8. Arkansas (4.1)  t9. Tennessee (3.2)  t9. LSU (3.2)  t11. Florida (3.0)  t11. Auburn (3.0).

Raise your hand if you think John Calipari will have his players drive directly into the path of MSU's Jarvis Varnado, continuing an unpleasant Billy Gillespie tradition, which resulted in nearly 30 blocked shots in two games.

Assists -- 1. Tennessee (18.2)  2. Arkansas (16.3)  3. Kentucky (15.6)  4. Florida (15.4)  5. Mississippi (14.3)  6. Alabama (14.1)  7. Mississippi State (13.6)  8. Auburn (13.1)  9. LSU (12.4)  10. Georgia (12.3)  11. Vanderbilt (11.2)  12. South Carolina (10.7).

I expect UK's assist numbers to rise, as the team continues to gel.  Does UT's 18 dimes per game signal an end to the alleged chemistry issues which plagued the team last season?

Steals -- 1. Auburn (9.5)  2. South Carolina (9.1)  3. Tennessee (8.9)  4. Alabama (8.4)  5. Mississippi (8.3)  6. Florida (7.8)  7. Georgia (7.7)  8. Kentucky (7.6)  9. Vanderbilt (6.7)  10. Arkansas (6.5)  11. LSU (5.8)  12. Mississippi State (5.3).

Strong numbers at the top the conference. 

Turnover Margin -- 1. Tennessee (+6.9)  2. South Carolina (+5.1)  3. Mississippi (+4.7)  4. Alabama (+3.6)  5. Florida (+2.3)  6. Auburn (+2.0)  7. Arkansas (+1.6)  8. Vanderbilt (-.33)  9. LSU (-.56)  10. Georgia (-1.4)  11. Kentucky (-1.9)  12. Mississippi State (-2.6).

If UK hopes to race to Indianapolis as a Final Four participant, this number has to improve.

Assist/Turnover Ratio -- 1. Tennessee (1.4)  2. Arkansas (1.2)  3. Alabama (1.2)  4. Mississippi (1.1)  t5. Florida (1.0)  t5. Mississippi State (1.0)  7. LSU (.96)  8. Kentucky (.93)  9. Auburn (.86)  10. Georgia (.84)  11. Vanderbilt (.75)  12. South Carolina (.74).

Top Individual SEC Performers

Scoring -- 1. Rotnei Clarke (ARK) - 21.1  2. Chris Warren (UM) - 19.2  3. John Wall (UK) - 18.1  4. Tasmin Mitchell (LSU) - 18.0  5. Devan Downey (SC) - 17.7  6. Patrick Patterson (UK) - 16.8.

Now we see why Clarke was a hard target recruit for Billy Gillespie.

Rebounding -- 1. Storm Warren (LSU) - 11.4  2. Jarvis Varnado (MSU) - 10.1  3. Patrick Patterson (UK) - 9.6  4. Tasmin Mitchell (LSU) - 8.4  5. DeMarcus Cousins (UK) - 8.3.

Field Goal % -- 1. Jarvis Varnado (MSU) - 67.5  2. Storm Warren (LSU) - 64.3  3. Patrick Patterson (UK) - 62.5  4. Murphy Holloway (UM) - 59.5  5. Ravern Johnson (MSU) - 56.0.

Coming in at No. 7 is UK's John Wall at 54.0%, and at No. 8 UK's DeMarcus Cousins (52.9%).

Three-Point FG % (min. 2.5 made per game) -- 1. Rotnei Clarke (ARK) - 53.9  2. Ravern Johnson (MSU) - 50.0  3. Frankie Sullivan (AU) - 41.3  4. Chris Warren (UM) - 39.8.

Somebody get a hand in Clarke's face.

Assists Per Game -- 1. John Wall (UK) - 7.1  2. Mikhail Torrance (UA) - 5.5  t3. Dee Bost (MSU) - 5.4  t3. Julysses Nobles (ARK) - 5.4  5. Erving Walker (UF) - 5.1.

Steals Per Game -- 1. John Wall (UK) - 2.8  2. Devan Downey (SC) - 2.4  3. Ricky McPhee (UGA) - 2.1  4. DeWayne Reed (AU) - 2.0  5. Eniel Polynice (UM) - 1.9.

Free Throw % (min. 2.5 made per game) -- 1. Frankie Sullivan (AU) - 93.3  2. Mikhail Torrance (UA) - 90.9  3. Kodi Augustus (MSU) - 87.1  t4. Dustin Ware (UGA) - 82.8  t4. Trey Thompkins (UGA) - 82.8.

UK's John Wall checks in at No. 8, making 78.7% of his free throws.

Blocked Shots -- 1. Jarvis Varnado (MSU) - 5.3  2. Sam Muldrow (SC) - 3.3  3. Reginald Buckner (UM) - 2.4  4. JaMychal Green (UA) - 2.3  5. DeMarcus Cousins (UK) - 2.2.

Cousins is averaging less than 20 minutes per game!

Offensive Rebounds -- 1. Storm Warren (LSU) - 5.1  2. Patrick Patterson (UK) - 4.2  3. DeMarcus Cousins (UK) - 3.6  4. Murphy Holloway (UM) - 3.3  t5. JaMychal Green (UA) - 3.0  t5. Jarvis Varnado (MSU) - 3.0.

Patterson and Cousins average nearly as many offensive boards per game as the entire South Carolina team.  Paying attention, Darren Horn?

Defensive Rebounds -- 1. Jarvis Varnado (MSU) - 7.1  2. Tasmin Mitchell (LSU) - 6.4  3. Storm Warren (LSU) - 6.3  4. Lucas Hargrove (AU) - 5.6  5. Patrick Patterson (UK) - 5.4.

UK's DeMarcus Cousins comes in at No. 8 with 4.7 defensive rebounds per game.

Assist/TO Ratio -- 1. Tyler Smith (UT) - 4.1  2. Chris Bass (LSU) - 2.9  3. Kenny Boynton (UF) - 2.3  4. Bobby Maze (UT) - 2.3  5. Erving Walker (UF) - 2.2.

John Wall is ranked No. 10 at 1.6.  Very impressive number for Tyler Smith, and it may be indicative of the focus he has this season.

Bad Conference Losses -- Alabama (Cornell), Arkansas (Morgan State, East Tennessee State, and South Alabama), Auburn (Missouri State, Central Florida, and Troy), Georgia (Wofford and UAB), Mississippi State (Rider and Richmond), Vanderbilt (Western Kentucky).

Good Conference Wins -- Alabama (Michigan), Auburn (Virginia), Florida (Michigan State), Kentucky (Stanford, North Carolina, and UConn), Mississippi State (UCLA ... kind of), Mississippi (Kansas State), Vanderbilt (Arizona and Missouri).

Individual and Team Points of Interest

Rotnei Clarke scored 51 points versus Alcorn State ... In that game he made 13 three-point shots ... Clarke made 10 threes in a game versus East Tennessee State ... Devan Downey dropped 34 points on Jacksonville ... DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Tasmin Mitchell have all corralled 18 rebounds in a game this year ... John Wall dished out 14 dimes against UNC Asheville, and 11 versus Rider ... Dee Bost and Julysses Nobles each handed out 11 assists in games this year ... Jarvis Varnado has twice blocked eight shots this season ... Arkansas scored 130 points against Alcorn State ... Tennessee scored 124 points against UNC Asheville ... Arkansas shot 65.9% from the field against Delaware State ... Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi State have all made 16 three-pointers in games this year ... Arkansas made 35-45 free throws against Morgan State and still lost ... Auburn pulled down 52 rebounds versus Alabama A&M ... Florida and Vanderbilt both have games where they recorded 51 rebounds ... Tennessee dished out an astounding 34 assists in their contest with UNC Asheville ... UK handed out 28 dimes versus the same club ... Mississippi and Tennessee have both recorded 17 steals in games this year.

Thanks for reading, and Go 'Cats!

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