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Reading Between the Lines

Nerlens sent Wayne Blackshear’s shot flying before a record Yum! Center crowd of 22,810.

Nerlens sent Wayne Blackshear’s shot flying before a record Yum! Center crowd of 22,810.


Games cannot be purely explained by stats, but after every game (especially a loss to Loserville) the box score can easily tell us what the Cats need to improve on. Yesterday’s game was a roller coaster, finding it difficult to pinpoint exactly where the referees UK went wrong, but there were a few lopsided statistics that jump off the page when comparing the two teams.


Points in Transition

Nothing was more annoying then watching UK’s freshman attempt to throw high-arching cross-court passes against the speedy Louisville defense. The typical result was Russ Smith streaking down the court for an easy layup. The Cards outscored the Cats in the fast break 20-2 (Last year UK only lost the battle 10-4). What was more frustrating is how easy these points came by. Chane Behanan was rocking the cradle in the open floor. Russ Smith would get the ball at the UK free throw line and outrun 4 UK players for an uncontested layup. The icing on the cake was Behanan’s dunk in the final minute that put the game out of reach. UL may be the best team in the country running the floor, but when Kyle Wiltjer or Julius Mays can make them earn their points from the free throw line, they would let them get the dunk/layup. PUT THEM ON THE FLOOR! I don’t want to be a poor sport, but even 80% free throw shooting Russ Smith was only 3-6 from the line.


Free throws, free throws, FREE THROWS

Any idiot watching the game could’ve told you if the Cats hit their free throws, it’s a different ball game. Cal teams traditionally aren’t good from the line, especially at the beginning of the year. The Freshman looked shaky, specifically Willy Cauley-Stein. He started and played more minutes than he has all year, but for a stretch the guy was doing everything right except knocking down his foul shots. I felt bad for the poor guy: he got an ‘And-1’ call taken away, only to miss both free throws AND an extra free throw after Louisville committed a lane violation. He missed lane violation free throws on two separate occasions. The Cats finished shooting 47.8% from the line, leaving 12 points on the board. Cal’s teams have always lived and died by the free throw, how they improve from the line will determine  their success.



The referees whistles were blown early and often, providing bad calls for each side to complain about today. The most impactful of foul calls happened with 8 minutes left. The Cats were down 17 with 8 minutes to go when Gorgui, Russ Smith, and Peyton Siva all had 4 fouls. UK took the opportunity to put together a run and make it a ball game. This morning I was surprised today to find that even though the number of  fouls helped UK climb back into the game, they both committed an equal amount of fouls (21). Even though both teams were hacking away, it is only a good thing if you can turn those fouls into points. Louisville had six more points from the free throw line, once again explaining how UK let this crazy comeback fall short.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

17 Comments for Reading Between the Lines

  1. Mike
    4:06 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe the guys should go over and watch the lady Cats practice. They shot 87.5% from the foul line today!!!

  2. mudcreekmark
    4:16 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    Noel played another good game yesterday. I’m liking him more and more as the season goes on. I like the picture above. That shot had no shot making it to the rim.

  3. Beatle Bum
    4:52 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    UK did not attempt to bust or hard foul on any contested fast break. I think Cal told them not to, so as to avoid foul trouble.

  4. Beatle Bum
    4:54 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    The Cards were overplaying the passing lanes. Our guys never seemed to figure that out. Fake a pass and hit the back cutter a couple of time to keep that honest. And, under pressure, we passed like it was high school and you can just throw to the general area of your man. This ain’t high school.

  5. kentuckyjoe
    4:54 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    put’em on the floor? I don’t think that’s quite necessary.

  6. tdogg40330
    5:10 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    4) most of their turnovers came from cross court passes, not from them over playin the
    passing lanes.

  7. brad
    5:26 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    Do we at KSR even care about accuracy of the information that is going on the board today? Cats were only down by 17 points at one point during the game yesterday. It came with almost 15 minutes left when the score was 51-34; the Cats cut the lead to 11 following two Wiltjer 3-pointers hit within the next 48 seconds.

    To say that we were down by 17 points with 8 minutes to go is simply not true.

  8. Syrin
    5:34 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    Here’s the ting about the refs. The no calls. U of L in the last 15 SECONDS of the first half committed three fouls that weren’t called, two of which COULD have been called intentional fouls. We had hip checks EVERY time we drove to the hoop, and they called 50% of them. This was the first technical I recall Cal getting for getting on the HORRIBLE officials in a very long time. That said, I am VERY proud about how this team came back. Wiltjer HAS to be in the game, and Mays HAS to come off the bench. Mays defense isn’t much better, he’s a non-threat on offense, can’t rebound like Wiltjer, and doesn’t get the same number of assists. Bench Mays, and start either Wiltjer or Cauley-Stein

  9. eastcoastcat
    5:50 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    no more puff passes

  10. E. Manuel
    6:12 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    Wiltjer’s softer than charmin

  11. WorldWideWes
    6:19 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t worry fans! I’ve got plenty of Nike cash to bring in more players next year!

  12. bung
    6:27 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    I am more concerned about the Cats NOT scoring fast break baskets than I am about another team scoring some. But I do agree we were defenseless against theirs. We had 27 defensive rebounds plus 5 blocks and 5 steals and scored 1 fast break basket??? That aint tryin…. or it shows a lack of knowledge on how to execute the break.

  13. RealCatsFan
    6:46 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    Did somebody fart, or did a UL troll just appear in the forum? i.e. #11

  14. KY Realist
    7:16 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    Wiggins is going to FSU and Randle is going elsewhere. Wes must be running out of cash.

  15. brain
    8:01 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink

    UK was down by 17 at the 14:45 mark of the second half nor the 8 minute mark. Siva’s 4th foul was at the 10:11 mark, Dieng at the 12:44 mark and Smith at the 9:17 mark but don’t worry about doing some research before you write some thing when you can just make it up as you go. Lazy.

  16. brain
    8:02 pm December 30, 2012 Permalink
    Just in case you ever want to actually do the work before you scribble.

  17. Bigblue
    9:20 am December 31, 2012 Permalink

    The officiating was terrible, but free throws killed us.How many games has Doug Shouse call this year. I don’t believe he has call anything on an opponent, Sure he has but would like to know ratio between calls for and against UK. He is horrible.