How Good Were The 2010-11 Kentucky Wildcats?

Despite the season's abrupt end, the Kentucky Wildcats had a very successful 2010-11 campaign.  Not only did they make it to the Final Four for the first time in 14 years, but they made quite an impact on the statistics categories as well.

After the jump, What I have done is basically listed the statistical categories in which Kentucky fell into the top 15.  Just for reference purposes, I also included the stats for the 2009-10 team for which Kentucky fell into the top 15.  The purpose of this exercise is just to get an idea on how the two teams were similar.  And different.

Follow me past the jump for the numbers.

Here are the numbers, via Statsheet.com:

2010-2011
2009-2010
Stat Value Nat'l Rnk Stat Value Nat'l Rnk
Blocks 239 1 Wins 35 1
Blocks Per Game 6.3 3 Winning Pct 92.1 1
Block Pct 10.9 4 Floor Pct 58.2 1
Total Games 38 5 Field Goals Made 1066 1
Total Rebounds 1420 6 Total Rebounds 1584 1
Defensive Rebounds 975 6 Defensive Rebounds 1036 1
3-pt Field Goal Pct 39.7 9 Blocks 271 1
Wins 29 10 Total Games 38 2
Field Goal Attempts 2183 11 Possessions 2686 2
Field Goals Made 1002 12 Points 3012 2
Points Per Possessions 1.13 13 Free Throw Attempts 971 3
Points 2845 13 Offensive Reb Pct 41 4
Possessions 2522 15 Block Pct 11.7 4
Efficiency 112.8 15 Blocks Per Game 7.1 4

Field Goal Attempts 2228 5
Total Rebounds Per Game 41.7 5
Offensive Rebounds 548 6
Rebound Pct 54.5 7
Defensive Rebounds Per Game 27.3 7
Free Throws Made 649 9
Assists 573 10
Turnovers 547 12
Points Per Possessions 1.12 14

 

I highlighted the categories that appear in both years.

Kind of interesting, isn't it?  I think this basically points to the fact that 2010 was a better year for top  teams overall than 2011 was.  Kentucky lead the nation in blocks this year, but had far fewer than last year. Kentucky led the nation in 7 statistical categories last year, but only in 1 this year, yet this year's team got further.

Nobody could deny the chemistry of last year's team, but they failed to get as far as this year's, even if only by one game, in the NCAA tournament.  I think that boils down to the one statistic that is notably absent from last year's team -- a high 3-point percentage.  That's what can get you farther in the tournament than any other one single thing, at least to the point of the Final Four.  Three point shooting wasn't what did Kentucky in in the end -- 2-point shooting did.

I strongly suspect that next year's team will have vastly more weapons, inside and out, than either of these two.  As for chemistry, we'll just have to wait and see.

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