It's been a terrific start to the season for the women. They've steamrolled almost everyone they've played including an astonishing 90-23 win over Alcorn St and an exciting late comeback win on the road over Louisville that really helped erase the bad taste of the loss to Baylor.
Here is an updated look at their tempo-free performance as they go into conference play. For convenience and comparison purposes I've included their numbers from the original post I did a month ago after their first 7 games.
First, the offense:
- The Cats faced their toughest opposition early, but it;s still very encouraging to see the offense performing better. A 3.5 point improvement in efficiency might seem small, but it's actually quite a good step forward.
- It's easy to see where the improvement has come from: the team is shooting the ball slightly better and has improved at holding on to the ball. These are the two most important offensive areas and it's good to see them doing better at both.
- More on turnovers: In 5 of their last 6 games the Cats have had a TO% under 20% - that's really great and the one game where they were over was Alcorn St where it hardly mattered. By contrast, only 2 of their first 7 games featured a TO% under 20% and 4 games were over 25%.
- Offensive rebounding is down slightly, but it's nothing to worry about - the Cats are still incredibly good in this area and although I can't find offensive rebound numbers for all of D1, I suspect they are a Top 10 squad in this area. The Ladies could really teach the men a thing or two here. Maybe Cal should get Mitchell to guest-coach a practice or two.
- Getting to the free throw line is still an issue, but after some thought I wonder if this is artificially low due to the nature of how the Wildcats play. Their pressing style creates a large number of steals which lead to easy transition baskets - those types of possessions don't usually result in a lot of free throws and the Wildcats have far more of them than a typical team.
- The Cats average a little over 18 FT attempts per game which is right in the middle of D1 according to the NCAA stats. It would be great if they could get there even more, but I don't think it's as big an issue as I did a month ago.
Now to the defense where not much has changed and that's a good thing:
There's really nothing to say: the Kentucky defense is just as nasty now as it was early.
I don't have anything useful to say here so instead, let's look at the defensive numbers from that Alcorn St game!
I tossed the offense in there too for the sake of completeness.
Just a sick, sick, sick game any way you look at it. Alcorn St didn't even get to take a shot on half of their possessions and when they did it missed far more often than not and then they rarely got another chance to shoot again.