clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Goodbye Auburn, Hail State Edition

New, comments

Kentucky just faced a team that dominated them on the glass, and another great rebounding team invades Rupp Arena tonight in the form of Mississippi State. UK must prove they have addressed this problem, or face trouble.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

After a tough loss at #17 Auburn on Saturday, Kentucky returns home to face Mississippi State tonight in Rupp Arena. A few observations:

Auburn loss

Despite what some have said, turnovers were only a minor problem against the Tigers, and mainly because Kentucky forced so few, not because they turned it over so much.

The big problem was UK getting punked on the offensive glass, and that’s what it is when a team gets 44% of their missed shots compared to your 20%. Shooting percentages were roughly comparable, so this stat is glaring and inexcusable. Kentucky is bigger, longer, and at least as athletic, yet Auburn took UK to the woodshed. That’s just a lack of toughness.

Auburn made more free throws that UK attempted. That is a very rare statistical anomaly in a UK game this year — it has happened exactly twice, once against Ohio State and again at Auburn. Both games by my lights gave the opponent a very, very friendly whistle. In both games, Kentucky had multiple players in severe foul trouble.

Mississippi State

The Mississippi St. Bulldogs have had an up and down season, somewhat like UK but ... more down. Their biggest victories have come in league play against Florida on the road and Arkansas at home, but they have been a very poor road team this year. Their best effort were close losses to LSU and Oklahoma.

In conference, MSU has been offensively efficient and defensively challenged, having the second-best OE in the league. They are also one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country, and considering the brutal beating Auburn laid on the Wildcats on the offensive glass, this has to be a major concern.

The Bulldogs also get to the line, and they make their free throws. So Kentucky is going to have to address two of the major problems they faced in the Auburn loss in this game, or they’ll wind up dropping two in a row for the second time this season. Unlike the Auburn loss, which is somewhat excusable, this one would hurt too much to contemplate.

Tweet of the Morning

Well, EJ has certainly underachieved his prodigious talent this season, so I’m all for it.

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
Kentucky basketball
Other Kentucky sports
College football
College basketball
Other sports news
Other news