The interesting thing about this game was that Vanderbilt really only played about 20 minutes of good basketball -- the first five to open the game, and then the first fifteen of the second half. The three point line was an advantage for the Commodores against the Wildcat -- it could have been the difference, were Vanderbilt to have turned in a more vintage performance from deep. The Wildcats struggled from long range, which could end up being their Achilles heel later on in tournament play. As it was, Vanderbilt still nearly won the game, and had several opportunities to finish the job.
One surprise was rebounding. The Commodores really pounded the glass against the Wildcats, winning OReb%. Turnover percentage was down from the typical 20%, but it still wasn't low enough against a team that is happy to settle into its halfcourt set. Ten came in the first half when the Dores really struggled. Second-half adjustments effectively eliminated those issues, as Vandy only surrendered the ball twice. Festus, in particular, was a completely different player in the second stanza.
Certainly, Kentucky lived up to its billing, winning in a very hostile environment. The Dores took a body blow in the first half. They got up and nearly delivered one of the most satisfying knockouts I would have ever witnessed in Memorial.
Moving forward, the team absolutely needs to find a way to bottle up that first fifteen minutes of the second half and learn to unleash it at will. That team was every bit the Top 7 team that experts and Commodore fans foresaw. It was every bit the Final Four challenger. If that team plays forty minutes against any opponent, they will prevail.
|Points Per Possession||1.01||1.13|
|Assists/Field Goals Made||60.9%||42.9%|
|% of Points by 3FG||38.1%||13.0%|
Periscope prediction: "Vanderbilt wins eFG% and FTRate. Kentucky gets TO% and OReb%." Result: 1/4. Kentucky wins FTRate thanks to the late game, situational fouling that the Commodores did in order to try to win the game.
*** Each game, AOG's army of statistics monkeys laboriously pore over the box score and play-by-play to calculate the mysterious plus/minus game statistics. These are those statistics. Please share your observations via the comments. Note: these are only the stats from the last five games. Click here to view the entire 2012 season.***
Plus/Minus Adjusted Per 40 Minutes