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DSS: Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic

Here is the DSS for the weekend games against Penn St and Old Dominion.  Rather than do separate entries for each game, I've combined the results so you can see how the Cats did overall for the weekend tournament.

With everything written about the games - particularly the ODU game - it's easy to overlook the fact that in terms of final results UK put together another dominant defensive performance.  The process leading to those results still needs some work, but it's telling that in their first 4 games this season UK has yet to allow a team to score more than 1 point per possession.  3 of the 4 games have been on neutral floors, 2 games against quality opponents and another against a BCS squad has provided a good mix of competition early in the season.

You can read a description of Defensive Score Sheet here and here.


  • Quietly, Eloy Vargas is putting together some excellent defensive possessions.  He was an absolute monster on the defensive glass against Penn St (7 Defensive RBs in just 13 minutes) and is getting it done on shot defense.  About the only thing he didn't do was force turnovers.
  • Speaking of defensive board work, there were 4 possessions against Penn St where the Cats gave up 2 or more offensive rebounds and 3+ shots in each possession.  I'm sure that drove Cal crazy.  In watching that game, the interior guys battled hard for rebounds, but didn't get much help from the guards who tended to stand and watch while their Nittany Lion counterparts got involved.
  • The "Undefended" line reveals why the results outstripped the process: UK allowed 18 uncontested shots but only gave up 3 baskets.  Uncontested shots are open jumpers, some put-backs after offensive rebounds, and transition shots.  When the opponent shots poorly on those shots that's mostly luck.
  • Marquis Teague had a rough weekend offensively, but I saw some good things out of him on defense.  He is really active on the perimeter and got a number of deflections.  Unfortunately he also tended to lose his man when he went through the paint area, but the effort is there.  I will be really watching to see how Teague improves his defense over December.  I think he can be very good once Cal gets a chance to work with him more on that part of his game.


  • Pretty good results all around.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis continue to have unholy Stop%.  They are joined by Terrence Jones who, along with Davis, was really active defensively as evidenced by their 28% and 26% Usage% respectively.  Most of that is due to where they play on the floor, but both guys are very active at challenging other players.
  • Of course, Vargas looks at that Usage% and thinks "Slackers".  It's not a lot of minutes, but 40% is a really high number - twice what a perfectly average player would have.  Defending 9 shots and grabbing 8 rebounds in just 19 minutes will do that.
  • Teague's 8% Usage% reflects both his position on the floor and his tendency to lose his man.
  • You can see on the Totals line that UK allowed 34.1% eFG%, forced turnovers on 18.0% of all possessions, and was Scrooge-like on free throws.  The TO% is not great, but Cal's Kentucky teams have not been big on forcing turnovers.