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Defensive Score Sheet: UK vs Tennessee

For an explanation of the Defensive Score Sheet go here.

Here's the DSS for Tennessee.  This was the first game that I scored completely from watching the replay on ESPN3.  Because of this, I knew what every play was ahead of time thanks to the play-by-play, so I think this represents the most accurate accounting of UK's defense for this project so far.  Having said that, there are still some places where reasonable minds might disagree and I'll discuss a couple of those places in regard to Liggins.

Before I talk about Liggins though, let's look at some charts!  Below are game flow charts for UK and Tennessee's respective offensive efficiencies (points per possession).  Typically offensive efficiency is displayed scaled by 100 possessions to make it look nice, but for these charts I scaled it by 63 which matches the number of possessions in the game.  So what these charts show you is a kind of "On Pace to Score X Points" for each team.

I don't have any particular reason for these, I was just curious what they might look like and thought I would share.


 Here's what the second half looked like by itself (without counting the first half results as the above graph does).


click to see a larger image

 The thing that struck me about the second half is the symmetrical nature of the scoring in that half.  UK and Tennessee started the half at opposite ends of the scoring spectrum and then gradually got closer to each other as the game went on.

Now let's look at DeAndre.  I was curious about what Liggins' line would look like because I read Glenn's postmortem and read most of the comments before I was able to watch the game.  I think it's worth taking a closer look at him because his line doesn't quite match the impression most people took away from the game and it's worth examining why that is.

To reiterate: the purpose of the DSS is not to judge good defense versus bad defense any more than the purpose of the box score is to judge good offense from bad offense.  The main goal is to determine and record who the defender (or defenders) are for each field goal attempt, free throw, and turnover.  From this I calculate a couple of basic defensive metrics that we can use to talk about an individual player's defense, but it's not the entire story any more than the box score tells the entire story of the offense.

The tables are listed below and you can scroll down to see Liggins' line, but the main part of his game I wanted to concentrate on are the field goal attempts that I identified him as a defender for.  For the game, DeAndre was the defender on 9 field goal attempts, 3 missed shots and 6 makes.  On one of the misses, Harrellson was also a defender.

If I had the know-how I would put together a flash video of each shot so you could easily see them for yourself.  I don't have that skill though, so I'll settle for a brief description of each.

First the misses:

  1. 19:17 - 1st Half: Hopson has the ball on the perimeter with Liggins closely guarding him.
  2. 18:56 - 1st Half: Hopson gets the ball near the wing and drives to the basket with Liggins alongside.  Harrellson moves over to cut off the drive and Hopson pulls up to shoot.
  3. 12:56 - 1st Half: Another Hopson drive to the basket with Liggins guarding him the whole way.  Hopson pulls up and shoots a jumper.

And now the makes:

  1. 16:37 - 1st Half: Tatum hits a layup in transition.  Liggins was backpedling the whole way.  I assume he did not make a play on the ball to avoid picking up a foul, but he was the defender on the play.
  2. 14:12 - 1st Half: Hopson dunk on an out of bounds play.  Hopson drove past Liggins.
  3. 11:46 - 1st Half: Hopson shoots a 3 over Liggins in a play much like the first miss, only this time he hit the shot.
  4. 1:02 - 1st Half: Bone shoots a 3 in transition.  Liggins was staying near the basket as Tennessee brought the ball up the floor then tried to get out on Bone after he caught the pass.
  5. 15:42 - 2nd Half: Another Hopson 3 over Liggins, just like the previous 2.
  6. 2:14 - 2nd Half: A Brian Williams dunk after Harrellson left him to challenge a shot.  Williams followed the miss and dunked with Liggins next to him.

Of the 6 made shots, a reasonable case could be made that two - the Bone 3 and Williams dunk - were open shots and should thus be recorded in the "TEAM" line.  The Tatum layup clearly comes against Liggins and while he is probably trying to avoid an early foul, he's still the defender of record on the play.  If Tatum had missed the shot, DeAndre would have received credit for the miss.

All of which is to say that Liggins still had a very good defensive game.  Only Hopson's dunk could really be described as a defensive lapse, as DeAndre basically let him go right past him.  The two 3's that Hopson hit were both closely guarded and the other three plays tend to say as much about DeAndre getting back on defense as anything else.

Here are the tables (click for the full size image):



  • Terrence Jones is back to his shot altering ways after an uncharacteristically low total against Florida.
  • Likewise, much better results for Miller and I thought his defense against Harris was superb.
  •  Look at the shot totals in Tennessee's TEAM line - there are various reasons that a play can end up here, but when it comes to shots it means UK was getting a lot of unguarded, open looks, and they hit 60% of them.
  • UK had good teamwork on their turnovers.  Of the 14 they forced, 6 involved multiple players working together including 3 from three guys working together.