“We’re not worried about A&M, I’m worried about my team.”
Cal might not be looking at the Aggies (or at least saying he’s not), but we sure are. With the game tipping off in less than two hours, how do the Cats measure up against A&M? Any glaring weaknesses?
Looking at the stats, Kentucky has the advantage in almost every statistical category. Averaging 78 points on 48.9% the Cats are having a pretty decent offensive season to this point, certain games (Baylor, Vandy) not excluded. The two areas of improvement, free throws and three-pointers (64% and 35.7%, respectively), are victims of the biggest dips from last year, when we got used to 72.5 and 38.6%. But that doesn’t mean they’re anemic.
Meanwhile, the rebounding has improved tremendously since the first couple of rough games against Maryland and Duke, and the average is now up to 40/game. Even though Cal bemoaned his team’s lack of effort on the offensive glass, which admittedly needs to improve, this is a team that’s certainly capable of pulling down its share of boards.
Probably the most notable stat in Kentucky’s repertoire is its statistical balance: four Cats are averaging double-digit points, and a fifth (Harrow) is right behind with 9.7. Even though the guys can each have their off nights, the Aggies are going to have a handful of guys to worry about, instead of just one or two. Hopefully Cal’s able to get some benefit out of his stable of talent.
While the Cats lead in most statistical areas, that doesn’t mean they can rest on their laurels. After all, Vandy is legitimately terrible, and we saw what almost happened there. Can’t take anything for granted, even though A&M is averaging 12 fewer points per game (66), and shooting worse (45.3%).
Specifically, remember the two offensive areas that Kentucky struggles with? Free throws and three-pointers? Those happen to be two things the Aggies do fairly well. Awesome, right? They pick up 70% of their FTs, and over 38% of their threes.
Finally, the Aggies simply can’t match the offensive balance that Kentucky has, relying largely on Elston and Ray Turner (no relation) and Fabyon Harris to do most of the scoring. Outside of those three, the points drop off pretty quickly, leaving the next four scoring options in the 3-7 point range. Limit those three, and there’ll be a lot of frustration for Billy Kennedy to deal with.
If this is a short game with few fouls, look for Kentucky to have an edge. They really don’t want to get the Aggies in the bonus early on, and let the guards stack up points at the line. At the same time, if the Cats can keep the ball inside on both sides of the court, both getting it in the middle on offense, and keeping it out of the hands of the 3-point shooters on defense, things should go our way. Of course, that’s assuming the rebounding and hustle pick up from where they were last game. Let’s hope that’s out of the system. If this team plays like Nerlens, they’ll be doing themselves a favor.
[powered by WordPress.]
Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
11 queries. 0.357 seconds