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Wildcats '07-'08: Some fun with Ken Pomeroy's stats

Lately, there has been a lot of discussion about how the team is performing, so I decided to crunch some numbers and come up with some general directional stuff.  Obviously, it is early in the season, and we are comparing 7 games of data with years where the team accumulated 30 games of data, so this probably doesn't resemble where the team will end up in March.  But it is instructive just to get an idea of how the 2006, 2007 and 2008 versions of the Wildcats compare using Ken Pomeroy's statistics.  

So here we are, just for fun:

2008 2007 2006 2008-2007 Direction 2008-2006 Direction
Statistic Offense Defense Offense Defense Offense Defense Offense Defense Offense Defense
Raw tempo 68.4
Adj. Tempo 67.3
Raw Efficiency 102.4 86.6 108.2 99.2 108.2 100.4 worse Much better worse Much better
Adj. Efficiency 100.8 84.6 119.3 91.3 115.8 94 Much worse Much better worse Much better
Effective FG% 51.8 40.5 53.8 47.4 51.3 48.3 worse Much better better better
Turnover % 24.2 24.8 20.8 18.4 19.4 20 worse better worse better
Off. Reb. % 35.1 34.9 34.4 32.2 35.9 32.7 better worse worse worse
Free Throw Rate 23.8 47.4 25.9 27.9 20.1 32.4 worse worse
better worse
3-Point FG% 33.3 28.2 35.5 33.4 35 32.4 worse better same worse
2-Point FG% 52.6 39.6 54.1 45.8 50.6 48.1 worse better better better
Free Throw % 74 71.3 70.3 64.8 67.6 67.6 better worse better worse
Block % 6.6 12 8.9 12.6 9.3 8.5 better worse better worse
Steal % 10.2 11.9 10.2 8.6 8.2 8.9 same better
3PA/FGA 29 31.9 34.8 37.6 37.5 36 down down down down
A/FGM 49.4 51.5 60.3 52.6 54.8 54 Much worse better worse better

The first thing to catch my eye was a frequent complaint of Wildcat fans, and that was that UK played "too slow."  Has Gillispie addressed that concern?  Well, technically yes, but clearly, not by very much.  Still, it is there, so we have to say that so far this year, the Wildcats are playing at a faster tempo than the last two, however insignificant it looks to me.

Another thing that caught my eye is how much better we are defensively.  I'll bet few of us would have figured that our defense would have improved, given that Tubby Smith is widely known as a great defensive coach.  But this year's team is significantly better defensively than either of the last two years' versions of the Wildcats, and this even with two major contributors on the bench.

Offensively, we are generally worse, significantly worse than last year.  I think this will improve once we get our two contributing guards back, so I don't sweat this very much -- when a freshman is expected to lead you in offensive point production, it is never a great thing.  As good as Patterson is, he is no Michael Beasley or Kevin Durant.

It's interesting that our free throw percentage is up, despite Gillispie's assertion that they don't practice them.  I know Smith was famous for practicing free throws, so this would seem to lend credence to the idea that too much practice can actually be bad for your free throw percentage.  It's no surprise our FG% is up over 2006 and down from 2007 -- that difference is Randolph Morris.

Surprisingly, as poorly as we have shot from 3-point range, there is very little difference in our percentage from the last two years.  also, our assists per made FG are way down this year from last, and I think that may be a reflection of the absence of Derrick Jasper.  Clearly, Ramel Bradley and Michael Porter have not been able to elevate their game in that area.

So there we have it, some fodder for discussion.  If you have any question about what the terms mean, this page will explain most of them.  Discuss away.