BTI's Rants and Ramblings: Cats struggle to stop Stars

Bryan the Internover 10 years

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Aritcle written by:Bryan the InternBryan the Intern
Out of all the struggles this team has had this season, one that has gone underplayed has been the Cats struggle to stop the other teams star player.  In 6 of the 7 losses this season, the opponents leading scorer coming into the game scored more than their season average.  In fact, those 7 players averaged 17.6 ppg coming into the UK game, but together they averaged 23.1 ppg against the Cats.  That is not a good sign when you know the gameplan coming into each contest had to partly be to stop those players.  The Cats have had some greater success stopping key players at home, such as Scotty Hopson, but overall they have done a poor job.  UCONN (Kemba Walker) Season Avg: 22.9 ppg, 41.8% FG, 35.0% 3P Against UK : 29 points, 58.8% FG, 75.0% 3P North Carolina (Tyler Zeller) Season Avg: 14.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 52.8% FG Against UK: 27 points, 11 reb, 61.5% FG Georgia (Trey Thompkins) Season Avg: 16.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 47.0% FG Against UK: 25 points, 7 reb, 46.7% FG Alabama (JaMychal Green) Season Avg: 16.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 52.2% FG Against UK: 18 points, 11 reb, 46.7% FG Ole Miss (Chris Warren) Season Avg: 18.6 ppg, 41.2% FG, 34.9% 3P Against UK: 22 points, 60.0% FG, 57.1% 3P Florida (Erving Walker) Season Avg: 14.7 ppg, 42.3% FG, 38.5% 3P Against UK: 9 points, 11.1% FG, 16.7% 3P Vanderbilt (John Jenkins) Season Avg: 19.8 ppg, 46.7% FG, 41.7% 3P Against UK: 32 points, 64.7% FG, 60.0% 3P What is interesting is there are a variety of guys who have been given the task of defending these players.  Liggins had to job of defending Walker and Warren at times.  Jones and Harrellson have tried to defend Zeller, Thompkins, and Green.  And Knight and Lamb split the job of defending Jenkins.  Not positive who defended Walker in the Florida game, but considering he is a point guard, I would imagine Knight had the role most of the game.  Of course, the Cats allowed Chandler Parsons to dominate that game, and Darius Miller had him most of the game.  That's all 6 key UK players responsible at one point or another to defend these 7 guys, with not so great results.  As far the rest of the season goes: Dee Bost (Miss St.): Knight Bruce Ellington (USC): Knight or Lamb Rotnei Clark (Arkansas): Lamb or Liggins Erving Walker (Florida): Knight John Jenkins (Vandy): Knight or Lamb Scotty Hopson (Tennessee): Liggins Now, while Mississippi State and Tennessee have quality big men, none of them look into the post as their main option.  The job of stopping these high scorers is going to rest on the guards and forwards for the rest of the season.  Can they do it?  Are you confident in this teams ability to play quality defense?

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2021-09-19