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Kentucky is 182nd in the nation in APG, has more total turnovers than assists

© Denny Medley | USATSI

© Denny Medley | USATSI

If you watched Kentucky’s matchup against Missouri yesterday afternoon, there is no denying you were frustrated from start to finish. Shots were clanking off the rim left and right, the Cats committed costly turnovers, and the entire team getting into foul trouble was the icing on the cake.

Something that directly correlated with each of those frustrations was the lack of passing and heavy isolation ball from the entire team. Lack of passing created a display of bad offense, resulting in charges, horrible shot selection, and the ball ending up in Missouri’s hands.

Coach John Calipari made a point to credit more assists in practice for players making the right passes and becoming more selfless on offense, even if the player on the receiving end of said passes missed the shot. It may have sounded like an “It’s the thought that counts” mindset at the time, but if it got the players to pass the rock, I was all for it.

After yesterday’s loss, however, Coach Cal said he’ll need to go back to the drawing board to fix the issues in the passing department.

“It’s obviously not working,” Cal said. “I’ve done this a long time but I haven’t had a team this young. And when they’re this young, each player is trying to establish who they are as a player, and it just takes time. I was disappointed with a bunch of guys.”

Breaking down the numbers, it’s worse than you probably expected.

Kentucky managed just nine total assists yesterday afternoon, and six of them came from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The team as a whole finished with 12 turnovers.

Unfortunately for the Cats, this isn’t new territory in the slightest.

Against Vanderbilt, we saw just seven total assists, with three coming from SGA, and three more coming from PJ Washington. (PJ Washington?) Nine total turnovers.

We saw a slightly better outing against West Virginia, where the Cats managed 16 assists and 16 turnovers, with Quade Green and SGA combining for nine assists and eight turnovers. Still though, that’s not anything to gloat about.

When you go down the list of games, you see a recurring theme, both by individual players and the team as a whole.

On the season, Kentucky has managed more turnovers (307) than total assists (305).

Hamidou Diallo, the team’s starting shooting guard, has 35 assists TOTAL this year, compared to 38 turnovers.

For comparison’s sake, PJ Washington, a player that has been heavily criticized this season for his struggles in the passing department, has somehow managed to eclipse Diallo’s numbers with 46 assists on the season. Whoops.

Despite averaging nearly 25 minutes per contest and starting in most of Kentucky’s games to begin the year, Quade Green averages less than three assists per game. No player on the team averages more than 4.4 assists a night. Hell, the entire team averages just under 14 assists per game over the course of the entire season, tied for 182nd in the nation with Boston University.

In every loss this season, Kentucky has either matched or committed more turnovers than assists. They’ve never had more than 14 assists in a loss, including nine or fewer assists in two of the team’s six losses.

The numbers don’t lie. When the Wildcats hold the ball and take the game into their own hands, they lose. Plain and simple.

I don’t know if Calipari will have to go back to the YMCA method of “every player has to touch the ball before you shoot,” but something’s gotta give.

Good thing I don’t get paid the big bucks to figure it all out.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

29 Comments for Kentucky is 182nd in the nation in APG, has more total turnovers than assists



  1. Parker_UKFanNC
    4:21 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Show this stat to the team maybe? Something to light a fire under their arses and get them to play like a team. In reality it’s a simple fix, if it weren’t for the egos and lack of effort from the team as a whole. Bring in some passionate student as a hype guy or something to get the competitive spirit flowing in these guys. I miss the days when I played and it sickens me to see so much more talent not being used.



    • syrin23
      10:54 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

      To be fair, for a pass to count as an assist, a player has to make a shot. A dozen missed open threes, a missed alley oop dunk AGAIN by our center who can’t dunk, etc.



  2. wildcatfan20
    4:26 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Well cal’s offense is called the dribble drive. Maybe he should change it to the dribble drive pass offense.

    In all seriousness though, These kids still could make a deep run in the tourney. Once they figure out how to work together on offense and keep their hands up on defense, they could be a tough out in the tourney. Go Cats!!



    • BigBlueNationDude
      5:47 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

      People gotta quit saying this. Delusional



    • syrin23
      10:55 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

      This team will not make it to the second week.



  3. catdaddyd
    4:34 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Does the hammer have a new commercial?



    • notFromhere
      4:41 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Lmao… You, too?



    • RealCatsFan
      7:43 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

      I personally couldn’t give two shits about his ad, but I would like to see the UK Football ad with Benny Snell. If the Louisville market doesn’t show it, I sure hope KSR will have it. Isaacs is a Louisville fan anyway.



  4. UKPROF
    4:37 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    If we don’t get our sheet together, we will be playing in the
    N.I.T.,
    N.I.T.,
    N.I.T.!



  5. Lip Man 1
    4:46 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Personally I’m tired of the “we’re so young” mantra. No…you’re not anymore, you are almost done with the first season. It’s not November anymore. Stop with the excuses and hold people accountable.

    If you can’t play the game right, you sit, even if it means playing the walk-on’s and losing.

    Second, Diallo is Archie Goodwin Part II (and that didn’t work out very well did it?)



  6. ScoggDog
    4:48 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    “In all seriousness though, These kids still could make a deep run in the tourney. Once they figure out how to work together on offense and keep their hands up on defense, they could be a tough out in the tourney. Go Cats!!”

    And a frog could quit bumping it’s ass when it hops … if it just grew wings.

    I don’t know how to start a gambling site – but I’d love to cover all the action on the kids making it past the first weekend.

    Because they ain’t.



  7. makeitstop
    4:49 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Here’s Cal’s worse regular season teams’ assist:turnover stats: 441/430 and 446/480. This year it’s 314/318. The worse numbers are actually from the year of the “Tweak” which was essentially to get Andrew Harrison to drive and kick it better and while I don’t have game stats from the tourney run, my memory is they were much better, JUST in time. So, there is reason for hope: even bad passing teams can get better just in the nick of time but the other awful year was the Ryan Harrow one and done in the NIT year for a team that never got it. So we have 2 choices: improve our passing or get ready to go down as the second worst team of the last decade. These are facts and those are the two choices. Forgettable or memorable. They have to decide bc Cal can’t pass it for them like a video game and he can’t move without the ball to create a passing lane and stop spectating which our “shooters” do, only the kids can do that.



  8. Catlogic15
    4:51 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Cal must be totally exasperated. He’s pulled every rabbit he has out of his hat and….nothing



  9. makeitstop
    4:56 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Btw the only other team under 500 assists was the Brandon Knight team but they made up for it by hitting more 3’s than any team since our runner up NCAA squad in ‘97, so a lot of those 481 assists were worth 3. Talking to u Kevin Knox and the guards… move like u want it and u might get more open looks.



  10. sp
    9:13 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Good God. Please make Darryl Issacs stop!



  11. Jiminy Crickets
    9:27 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Calipari is a master motivator, and a genius recruiter. His actual coaching though?? This team can’t pass, can’t shoot, runs no offense, and can’t defend. The great news we should have a lot of guys coming back. Anyone that knew anything about basketball saw major flaws in this team ( this includes Cal). I’m hoping we make the tourney, win 1-2 games and get the majority back.



    • henderblue
      11:22 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

      “This team can’t shoot, runs no offense, and can’t defend “. Then you turn around and say the great news is that they’ll be coming back…what? And you want them back,..why? So you’ll have plenty to complain about next year? I bet you’re a single man living in the parents basement. Maybe locked in there.



  12. catsfan9508
    9:39 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    Diallo assist stats are ridiculous. Quade too. I thought that was the big selling point on Quade being a special passer. Maybe we would’ve done better with trae young. And I didn’t want young to begin with. But two of our guards are two of the worst passers.



  13. jaws2
    11:17 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

    It really doesn’t take a mathematical genius to figure out that if you shoot 20%, you’re going to have 0-5 assist. This isn’t rocket science. I can make statistics tell you whatever I want with simple logic.



    • makeitstop
      11:27 pm February 4, 2018 Permalink

      Very true v Missouri but the season stats are just as bad. And if u take good shots u don’t shoot 20%.



  14. chris43
    12:36 am February 5, 2018 Permalink

    This is truly pitiful…..?



    • makeitstop
      9:19 am February 5, 2018 Permalink

      Well UT was just a butt whipping on the glass so it’s hard to pass and shoot ur way out of that but SC, FL and Missouri were all horrible shooting and bad passing nights, and a lot of our turnovers are charges – I think there were 6 one game. So yea it’s pitiful but it’s also fixable. I think root cause is poor movement and spacing so there aren’t open shooters to pass to and that leads to Quixotic charges down the lane, poor positioning then and we get beat on breaks bc if they don’t charge they get pinned underneath… I think a lot of it starts w the guards not not seeing as well as we were told but most of it is they’re seeing guys w lawn chairs on the perimeter waiting for their man to leave them. Vando may help fix the passing bc he really is a nba quality passer, and if we get some smart movement and better spacing then yea it’s fixable. Question is will they and will it be in time.



  15. SoCalCat
    9:41 am February 5, 2018 Permalink

    The mock draft article about 4 of the team members being first round picks must mean this year’s draft is going to be woeful. They should go now if that is the case.