Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
Today, there is relatively little big news to talk about, so let’s take a quick recap of where Kentucky basketball sits right now.
First, a few quick stats:
- Kentucky is currently ranked #12 on Ken Pomeroy’s site.
- The Wildcats are 21st in the country in offensive efficiency and 9th in defensive efficiency.
- 3-point shooting is 34.3%, about average for Division 1.
- 2-point shoting is 54.5%, 67th in the rankings.
- Offensive rebounding percentage is 36.6%, 28th in the rankings.
- Turnovers are at 21%, 258th in the rankings
- Free throw attempts/Field goal attempt is 39.3%, 80th overall.
- Free throw shooting is 66.8%, 272nd in the country.
As you can see above, overall these are pretty pedestrian numbers for any Kentucky team in the Calipari era other than 2013. Kentucky is really having trouble taking care of the ball, and if there is one stat that stands out as hurting the team most, it has to be turnovers. When you surrender one possession in five to the other team, it’s going to be reflected in many other stats, and ultimately in the W/L column.
Calipari has often suggested he’s somewhat insensitive to turnovers. If so, that’s a blind spot he needs to work on. If this were the end of the season rather than the beginning, this would be the highest turnover rate Coach Cal has had at Kentucky. While the 2010 team is close and they did okay, 2013 is also close and they did not.
But enough doomcrying, this number will improve as the team, particularly Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Quade Green, improve as they surely will. How much better it gets will determine, in large part, how good this UK team can ultimately be. We have seen the Wildcats shoot well, rebound well, and make free throws, and even take care of the ball. What we haven’t seen is them do all this in a single game.
On the positive side, Gilgeous-Alexander is in the top 25 in America in steals percentage, and that helps to offset the turnovers a little bit. Nick Richards is one of the most efficient players in the country, as well as one of the best rebounders. Fouls are his kryptonite.
Overall, Kentucky looks like the 2014 team without Julius Randle. Kentucky this season lacks a dominant player like that, although this year’s team is much longer and is showing the ability to defend that the 2014 Wildcats lacked. That will serve them in good stead if they continue to improve.
The next team up is Monmouth, and while their 3-5 record looks bad, they have played some pretty good teams close on the road, and nearly beat UConn in Storrs. They get to the line, make threes, and defend pretty well.
Tweet of the Morning
Devin Booker had a game against The Process! pic.twitter.com/h7bSeycELu— SB Nation (@SBNation) December 5, 2017
You go, Devin!
- Mark Story writes about why a fan veto is a bad idea over coaching hires, and gives three Kentucky-based examples why. This is part and parcel of the ongoing slow-motion train wreck that is happening at the University of Tennessee.
- Mark Stoops visits a recruiting target driving a blue Bentley.
- Basketball, or bowl game? UK football and basketball play on the same day (Dec. 29). For those of us watching on television, that won’t be a problem, but for those going, it’s gotta be “divide and conquer.”
- Benny Snell and Josh Allen named All-SEC, Snell to the first team on offense, and Allen to the second team on defense.
- The rumors that James Wisman (2019) might reclassify are without merit.
- Ben Roberts and John Clay talk about the Marshall County Hoop Fest with an eye on Kentucky basketball.
- Will Kentucky utilize the “twin towers,” Nick Richards and Sacha Killeya-Jones more often?
- New and unwelcome: Kentucky shut out of SEC weekly honors so far.
Other Kentucky sports
- Two Kentucky hoops signees, Rhyne Howard and Blair Green, are on the High School Naismith watch list.
- #20 Women’s basketball faces Evansville in Memorial Coliseum tonight.
- Former Western Kentucky coach Willie Taggart, who is currently the head coach at Oregon, is receiving serious interest from Florida State. Talk about your meteoric rises.
- Pretty great group of finalists are headed to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation.
- Florida State upsets Florida to go 7-0. More here.
- Let the beclowning of LeVar Ball continue forever. I can’t get enough of watching this idiot destroy himself, but the sad part is, he’s taking his young sons into the abyss with him.
- The Big 12 is in trouble in the college hoops power rankings.
Other sports news
- Kevin Durant, doing his best DeMarcus Cousins impression, gets thrown out of two games in four days. His latest, he was joined by his new apparent bro, Boogie.
- Oral arguments in Christie v. NCAA (yes, that would be the governor of New Jersey’s name on the front end) heard at the Supreme Court about legalizing sports gambling. Andrew Brandt writing for SI thinks the justices are leaning toward allowing the Garden State to legalize and regulate sports gambling.
- Darius Miller is playing very well, leading the NBA in 3-point FG percentage. That’s some rare air.
- Derek Willis is working hard.
- Remember that Kentucky attorney, Eric Conn, who was charged with all that Social Security Disability fraud against the US government, and fled the country? He’s been picked up in Honduras. Good.
- We’re talking prohibition here, nach. Today is the 84th anniversary of the 21st Amendment.
- The possibility of life beyond our solar system just got a lot slimmer. I’m fine with that, Great Filter and all considered…