This morning on KSR, Matt, Drew, and Ryan discussed the basketball team’s recent spike in play and the momentum they have going into postseason play. One question they raised was just how many points does Kevin Knox need to score to guarantee a Kentucky victory here on out?
The KSR consensus was 15 points from Knox made you feel pretty confident in a Wildcat victory, but 20-plus pretty much locked up the W.
When you look at the season stats, they were pretty spot on.
Kentucky is 7-2 when Kevin Knox scores 20 points or more on the year, with the only losses coming against Kansas to start the year and on the road at South Carolina on January 16. The Cats are 14-5 when he scores 15 points or more.
As a whole, the entire Kentucky team is scoring at a ridiculous rate, scoring at least 80 points each game in the team’s four-game winning streak, the first time since the Cats did it eight games in a row last season. They’re also shooting efficiently, including a 50% outing on Wednesday against Ole Miss. The team is 13-0 this season when shooting at least 46.4 percent from the field.
Over the last four games, five Wildcats have scored in double figures, the first time this has happened since 2016-17 when the team had five such games in a row against Duquesne, Cleveland, UT Martin, Arizona State and UCLA.
Against Ole Miss, Kentucky starting lineup featured Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, Wenyen Gabriel, Kevin Knox and Nick Richards for the sixth time this season, where UK is 5-1 starting those five.
There are specific lineups that have found success, and benchmarks for scoring as a team that have directly correlated with victories, but what about players?
We already talked about Knox and his 20-plus point near-guarantee. When Kentucky’s lead scorer is firing on all cylinders like he has over the last four games, the Cats are pretty unstoppable.
Beyond Knox though, the numbers are pretty interesting.
The Cats are sitting pretty at 12-2 when point guard Quade Green scores 12 or more points. As we’ve seen in his recent four-game streak of 12 points or more, Green has become one of the most deadly shooters on the team, specifically with his mid-range pull up.
Green’s backcourt mate, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has led Kentucky to a 10-3 record this season when scoring 15 points or more. He was certainly the biggest scoring factor during the Cats’ losing streak just a few weeks ago when he had to carry the bulk of the offensive load.
The most interesting statistic, however, is just how much of an impact PJ Washington has been on the team’s record when he’s rolling offensively. Kentucky is 14-3 when Washington scores ten points or more on the year.
As a side note, Jarred Vanderbilt is averaging 9.5 points and 11 rebounds per game during UK’s current four-game win streak, proving just how valuable he has become on both ends of the floor.
Most importantly, Brad Calipari is undefeated when he scores a bucket.
Numbers never lie.