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Kentucky’s Offense and Defense: The Good and the Bad.

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With Kentucky coming off a 71-62 win against the Vanderbilt Commodores, the SEC season is still young. The Cats have 16 games before the start of the SEC tournament to perfect their weaknesses and master their strengths. After the game, Cal was thoroughly pleased with their performance, but knows they still have a long way to go before they get where he wants them to be. With that being said, Kentucky needs to improve, but in what areas? To find out, I headed over to They do a great job of listing a variety of stats and how that team compares to other teams across the country in both offense and defense. Kentucky’s full page can be found here. I analyzed and determined what statistical categories Kentucky ranked in the top 35 in the country and in what categories Kentucky ranked below 100. Note that there are 345 teams in Division 1 College Basketball. The first chart is Kentucky’s offense, while the second focuses on Kentucky’s defense.


Assists/ Turnover 1.000 (#174) Points/Game 80.5 (#23)
Assists/Game 12.6 (#169) Total Rebounds/Gm 43.8 (#5)
Free Throw % 66.0% (#287) FTA/FGA 0.592 (#4)
Three Point % 29.8% (#308) Two Point % 54.8% (#10)
FGA/Game 56.3 (#145) Shooting % 47.6% (#33)
3PM/Game 4.9 (#298) FTM/Game 22.0 (#5)
3PA/Game 16.3 (#251) FTA/Game 33.3 (#2)
Def Rebound % 72.6% (#101) 1st Half Pts/Gm 37.7 (#36)
Steals/Game 4.3 (#329) 2nd Half Pts/Gm 42.7 (#14)
Steals/Play 5.3% (#333) Off Rebounds/Gm 14.5 (#3)
Turnovers/Game 12.6 (#174) Def Rebounds/Gm 26.2 (#17)
Off Rebound % 45.5 (#1)
Blocks/Game 6.8 (#7)
Block % 11.2% (#13)

Most surprising stat from the bad: Three Point %, 29.8% For Kentucky to have the back court of James Young, Aaron Harrison, and Andrew Harrison; this seems like a very low percentage. Cal must have confidence in their abilities, since they shoot 16 threes per game. Can the team get their percentages up come tournament time?

Most suprising stat from the good: 1st Half Pts/Gm 37.7 We all know Kentucky has had some slow starts, but maybe they aren’t as slow as we thought. Kentucky is still doing a decent job of scoring in the first half  but they certainly have room to improve. If they can get their first half points average closer to their second half average, look for the slow start talk to disappear.


Opp Assists/Turnover 0.929 (#135) Opp Assists/Game 10.2 (#27)
Opp FGM/Game 23.6 (#118) Opp Total Rebounds/Gm 31.4 (#31)
Opp FGA/Game 61.5 (#330) Opp Effective FG % 42.9% (#12)
Opp 3PM/Game 5.6 (#109) Opp Two Point % 41.6% (#12)
Opp 3PA/Game 18.4 (#185) Opp Shooting % 38.3% (#14)
Opp 1st Half Pts/Gm 33.3 (#184) Opp Shooting Efficiency 0.939 (#12)
Opp Off Rebounds/Gm 10.2 (#245) Opp 2nd Half Pts/Gm 32.8 (#27)
Opp Off Rebound % 27.8% (#114) Opp Def Rebounds/Gm 17.1 (#2)
Opp Steals/Game 6.1 (#160) Opp Blocks/Game 2.4 (#16)
Opp Steals/Play 7.1% (#104) Opp Block % 4.3% (#15)
Opp Turnovers/Game 11.0 (#285) Opp Personal Fouls/Gm 25.4 (#1)
Opp Turnovers/Play 13.5% (#312) Opp Personal Fouls/Play 29.7% (#3)

Most surprising stat from the bad: Opp FGA/Game 61.5 To my surprise, Kentucky’s opponents average more attempts per game than Kentucky themselves. This certainly needs to improve before the SEC and NCAA tournaments. Whoever shoots the most shots usually has the best chance to win.

Most suprising stat from the good: Opp Shooting % 38.3% Contrary to the last stat, Kentucky is doing a good job of holding their opponents to a low field goal percentage. If a team gets hot against Kentucky however, shooting more shots favors Kentucky’s opponent.

What stat surprises you the most?

(stats from


Follow me on twitter: @Perk_21KSR

Article written by Aaron Perkins

9 Comments for Kentucky’s Offense and Defense: The Good and the Bad.

  1. dragonlord741
    9:08 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    When you consider how many more fts we shoot per game than our opponents, it balances out the fga/game. .. so again it comes back to needing to make our fts

  2. JROCK1966
    9:13 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    On a totally unrelated note….can somebody tell me just what exactly is the “League of Angels” advertisement about? I’m going to take a cold shower now and when I come back, I would like to have an answer.

  3. Uh oh
    9:21 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    Uofl just hired the DC for Georgia. Now uofl is trying to hire our DB coach.

  4. blueballer
    9:42 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    jrock-download adblock

  5. rockatao
    11:02 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    #1 nailed it…. when nearly 30% of possessions end at the foul line, it’s not surprising that the field goal attempts are generally lower…… add in the FG attempts while being fouled and UK will rank pretty high,

  6. hal
    1:20 am January 13, 2014 Permalink

    how is the opponents’ blocks/gm apart of the defense?? or is that our blocks/gm? & how are “defensive” rebounds apart of the offense?? good stats tho

  7. yesterday's wine
    7:01 am January 13, 2014 Permalink

    Interesting info.Thanks for sharing.

  8. steve
    9:23 am January 13, 2014 Permalink


  9. CatsFanFrankfort
    11:41 am January 13, 2014 Permalink

    I dont think that we necessarily need to be concerned with holding the other team to less shots than we take. The key is forcing opponents into taking bad shots. If 18 or 19 of the 61 or 62 shots are from the three-point line, then we are actually doing better on defense to make the opposing team shoot from farther away. Having WCS protecting the rim definitely helps that. As you pointed out, the #12 ranking in opponent effective FG% proves that it is not such a big concern that we allow other teams to take more shots. If we can get better on perimeter defense, as we have been steadily in the past few games, I would expect this number to rise.

    I think a larger concern is the opponents Offensive Rebounding per game. Even though we are one of the top teams in the in reounding in general, and in both offensive and defensive rebounding, we need to block out more and not allow as many second chance points for the opposing team. And that, of course, has a direct correlation on the number of shots the other team takes. So if we get better at not allowing so many offensive rebounds for the other team, then they wont be able to take as many shots!

    Great article; nice breakdown.