Wednesday, March 28, 2012

'6 Things You MUST Do To Beat The Kentucky Wildcats'

All statistics provided were researched and calculated by Mr. AllDayEryDay via
Teams and games noted either beat Kentucky (Indiana and Vanderbilt) or gave them the best competitive challenge based on final score, halftime score, and closeness of the game during its final eight minutes.  Key for exact game instances located at the bottom of this piece.  Feel free to leave any comments.
Kentucky can be stopped . . . with the right plan of course.

Play from behind.
Kentucky has had atleast a six-point lead in every game this season.  Don't get discouraged if you fall behind.  Indiana rallied from six down to beat Kentucky and Vanderbilt trailed by 14 points in its win against the Wildcats in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game.

Biggest Deficit:
Vanderbilt - 14 (twice; SEC tournament win 71-64 Mar. 11 and 69-63 loss Feb. 11; both games played in Nashville)
Indiana - 6 (won 73-72 Dec. 21 on 3-pointer at the buzzer in Bloomington)
*North Carolina - 6
+Louisville - 15
^Tennesse - 8
%Florida - 9
&Alabama - 9
#Mississippi State - 9

Play at Kentucky's pace
Ideally you would want to slow down a high-scoring team like Kentucky and limit its possessions and shot attempts.  Not only is that much easier said than done, but the teams that have played the Wildcats toughest have not used that technique.  Kentucky fired 58 shots in the game it lost to Vandy and 54 in the loss to IU.  The 'Cats jacked up 63 shots in their early season matchup against North Carolina, yet the Tar Heels only lost by one point.

Field Goal Attempts Allowed:
Vanderbilt - 58 (both)
Indiana - 54
UNC - 63
L'Ville - 57
Vols - 49
Florida - 60
'Bama - 51
Miss. St. - 57
Good luck slowing down the Wildcat pace.

Defend without fouling.
When playing a team as talented as Kentucky is, you're naturally gonna want to ramp up the defensive intensity.  But being too aggressive and letting the fouls add up plays right into what the Wildcats want.  They're shooting 73-percent from the foul-line as a team on the season and the guys that get the most offensive touches -- Anthony Davis (493) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (483) lead the team in combined field goal and free throw attempts -- both shoot over 70-percent from the charity stripe.  Case in point: Kentucky had 17 free throw attempt in its one-point loss to Indiana and recorded 37 attempts in its NCAA tournament win, connecting on 35 of them.

Free Throw Attempts Allowed:
Vanderbilt - 15 (both)
Indiana - 17
UNC - 18
L'Ville - 43
Vols - 29
Florida - 20
'Bama - 40
Miss. St. - 21

Hit atleast eight three-pointers.
You have no chance beating this team if you are a team that lives in the paint.  Davis, the leading shot-blocker in the nation, lives there too, and even if he does not block your shot, he will make you think about it.  Just be careful not to get into a three-point shooting contest though.  Kentucky is shooting 37-percent from beyond the arc this year and since Jan. 1, they are hitting at a 44-percent clip (84-for-193) in games where they attempt atleast 15 treys.

Three-Pointers Made:
Vanderbilt - 8 (both)
Indiana - 9
UNC - 11
L'Ville - 4
Vols - 6
Florida - 11
'Bama - 5
Miss. St. - 9
Give Doron Lamb too much space and he will make it rain on you.

Have 4-of-5 starters score in double-figures.This may seem like a head-scratcher but Kentucky has a 2-2 record this year in games when four of the opposing five starters have scored in double-figures.  Both Vandy and IU had 4-of-5 starters score in double-figures in its wins (Vandy had four of its five starters score double-digits in all three of its matchups with Kentucky).
UNC 3 starters, 1 bench.
L'Ville 1 starter (R.Smith - 30 points).
Vols 2 starters.
Florida 3 starters. 
'Bama 3 starters. 
Miss. State 2 starters, 1 bench.

Grab atleast 12 offensive rebounds.
Second-chance points are a big factor in winning against any team.  And when playing Kentucky, they are often the difference between winning and losing.  Both the Commodores and Hoosiers had 12 offensive rebounds in their wins against the Wildcats (Vandy also had 12 off. rebounds in the Feb. 11 defeat).

Offensive Rebounds:
UNC - 13
L'Ville - 8
Vols - 6
Florida - 6
'Bama - 9
Miss. State - 6

*Lost by 1 point in Lexington (Dec. 3, ranked No. 5 in polls)
+Lost by 7 points at home (Dec. 31, No. 4)
^Lost by 3 points at home (Jan. 14, unranked)
%Lost by 3 points neutral site (Mar. 10, No. 19), also lost 78-58 Feb. 7 at home (No.7) and Mar. 4 74-59 in Lexington (No.13)
&Lost by 6 points in Lexington (Jan. 21, unranked)
# Lost by 9 points at home (Feb. 21, unranked), had 13-point lead and one point during the game, Kentucky's largest deficit of the season at the time.

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