For an explanation of the Defensive Score Sheet go here.
I believe I am contractually obligated to use the phrase "Tale of Two Halves" when describing UK's defense Tuesday night. The first half was fantastic, the second half not quite as much. Still, the Cats came up with big stops when they needed them and that is something to build on even this late in the season. I also present a look at Josh Harrellson in honor of Senior Day.
Also, there were some decisions by the official scorer that I thought were kind of interesting and worth mentioning.First off here are Josh's Defensive Ratings in comparison to the team ratings for each game. As always, negative values are better and positive values are worse relative to the Team Rating.
I think the up-and-down nature of these game by game results is more the norm than anything else. There are just so many variables over which a defensive player has little or no control that I think it's only natural to expect these kinds of results for players, at least when it comes to this kind of "points scored against" measure.
Having said all that, Josh is usually better than the overall team average and in several instances very much so. Even in Tuesday night's game where Ezeli was really, really good Josh did enough to slow him down and help out on other guys that he ended up slightly better than average.
Now here are his Stop % and Usage % for each game:
What interests me here is the inverse relationship between Josh's Stop% and Usage %: when Josh is around 20% usage on defense he has very good Stop%'s. When he starts to creep upward from there his Stop% goes down. It could be that the games in which this happens there are specific match-ups that teams are taking advantage of. The two lowest points for Josh came against Florida and Mississippi St.
Official Scoring Oddities
One thing about the way I do the DSS now is that I get to see how each play is viewed by the official scorer before going back and filling in the details of which players were involved. For the most part there isn't anything interesting about this, except for the occasional loose ball scramble that results in several "turnovers" as players fight for control of the ball. However, there were 3 official scoring decisions that were made in the Vandy game that I thought were odd enough to mention specifically.
- In the first half, at about the 9:50 mark Festus Ezeli went up for a shot after grabbing an offensive rebound. Terrence Jones swatted the ball out of his hands and into the big mitts of Harrellson. The official scoring decision was that it was a Harrellson steal, but it looks all the world to me like a block by TJ and a defensive rebound by Jorts.
- At the 5:32 mark in the first half there was a play where Jones drove to the basket, drew the defense (Ezeli and Odom) to him and lofted the ball over them. Harrellson caught it and layed it in for a basket. Jones got credited for an assist, but I think he was attempting a shot and left it short (which would have meant another offensive rebound for Jorts). It could have been a pass, it just didn't look like one to me.
- The over-and-back turnover to start the 2nd half was credited as a steal by John Jenkins. I have no idea how this decision was made.
I mention these things not to criticize the scoring, but just to highlight that different people can see the same thing in a game and come to very different conclusions about what happened. You should see for yourself though. The official box score is here and the replay of the game is still up on ESPN3 here.
I'm particularly interested in what people think about the two plays in the first half I mentioned. Did you think they were shot attempts or were they a steal and a pass?
Here's the DSS for the game. Click for a larger image.
- As I mentioned above, despite being on the receiving end of several points by Ezeli, Josh did enough things well that he had one of the better statistical defensive days for the team: 11.5 forced misses, 2.5 turnovers, and 6 defensive rebounds.
- Every one of Jorts' forced turnovers was a collaborative effort with a teammate. That is, Josh actually had a hand in 5 separate turnovers that he split credit for with someone else. Great team defense there.
- Terrence Jones continues to be impressive on the defensive end - especially on plays around the goal.
- Kentucky did not have nearly as many open looks in this game as they have had in the last few. In the second half they didn't get any.
- Lance Goulbourne played great defense against Jones.
- Lamb's numbers don't look good, but a lot of his defensive work came on ball denial to Jenkins and that doesn't show up here. Worth noting is that Jenkins missed a 3 pointer at the 7:00 minute mark of the 2nd half. He never attempted another shot in the game - that is great denial.
- Ezeli was just as good on defense as he was on offense. I'm glad Vanderbilt doesn't have two of him.