BTI's Rants and Ramblings: Terrence Jones Getting Bad Rep at End of Games

Bryan the Internover 10 years

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Aritcle written by:Bryan the InternBryan the Intern
terrence-jones-celebrate Kentucky has received a ton of grief from fans for their execution and toughness at the end of games, especially in SEC play.  Matt has said many times that Kentucky is 0-5 in games this season that "went down to the wire".  I am not sure what his parameters are for that stat, but for myself, I am going with any game that was within 5 points either way in the last 5 minutes.  And in those games, Kentucky is actually 3-5 this season.  In all fairness, the South Carolina only became a 5-point game with 50 seconds left, so its hard to count that, but I will anyway.  Otherwise, UK is just 2-5 in these "close" games. So, just how bad has UK performed in the closing minutes of close games?  Below are the shooting, rebounding, and turnover stats in the 8 games that have been within 5 points in the last 5 minutes.  Stats are only counted from the moment the game was within 5 points, so not every game is counting all 5 final minutes, i.e. South Carolina: WASHINGTON (UK up 5 with 3:30 remaining) UK: 1-4 FG, 0-2 3P, 6-8 FT, 1 turnover, 5 rebounds (3 offensive) UW: 3-6 FG, 0-3 3P, 0-2 FT, 0 turnover, 3 rebounds (0 offensive) NORTH CAROLINA (UK up 2 with 5:00 remaining) UK: 2-7 FG, 0-1 3P, 6-7 FT, 1 turnover, 5 rebounds (1 offensive) NC: 0-3 FG, 0-0 3P, 14-16 FT, 1 turnover, 6 rebounds (1 offensive) NOTRE DAME (UK up 4 with 5:00 remaining) UK: 3-6 FG, 2-3 3P, 7-8 FT, 1 turnover, 8 rebounds (1 offensive) ND: 2-11 FG, 0-6 3P, 1-6 FT, 1 turnover, 7 rebounds (5 offensive) GEORGIA (UGA up 2 with 5:00 remaining) UK: 4-14 FG, 2-7 3P, 1-1 FT, 0 turnovers, 5 rebounds (2 offensive) GA: 1-2 FG, 0-0 3P, 14-16 FT, 2 turnovers, 8 rebounds (0 offensive) ALABAMA (Alabama up 4 with 5:00 remaining) UK: 3-7 FG, 1-4 3P, 2-2 FT, 2 turnovers, 5 rebounds (2 offensive) UA: 1-4 FG, 0-0 3P, 5-7 FT, 2 turnovers, 4 rebounds (2 offensive) SOUTH CAROLINA (UK up 5 with :50 second remaining) UK: 0-0 FG, 0-0 3P, 6-7 FT, 1 turnover, 3 rebounds (0 offensive) SC: 1-4 FG, 0-2 3P, 0-0 FT, 0 turnovers, 0 rebounds (0 offensive) OLE MISS (Mississippi up 5 with 4:11 remaining) UK: 2-5 FG, 1-2 3P, 5-5 FT, 0 turnovers, 5 rebounds (0 offensive) UM: 3-7 FG, 1-2 3P, 0-1 FT, 0 turnovers, 2 rebounds (0 offensive) FLORIDA (Florida up 2 with 5:00 remaining) UK: 2-6 FG, 1-3 3P, 4-4 FT, 1 turnover, 2 rebounds (0 offensive) UF: 2-5 FG, 0-2 3P, 5-6 FT, 1 turnover, 5 rebounds (1 offensive) COMBINED (8 games for a total of 33:01 of game action) UK: 17-49 FG (34.7%), Opponents: 13-42 FG (31.0%) UK: 7-22 (31.8%), Opponents: 1-15 (6.7%) UK: 37-42 FT (88.1%), Opponents: 39-54 (72.2%) UK: 7 turnovers, Opponents: 7 turnovers UK: 38 rebounds, Opponents: 35 rebounds UK: 9 offensive rebounds, Opponents: 9 offensive rebounds If you do the math, the problem is quite clear for Kentucky down the stretch: MAKING SHOTS!!!  It seems simple, because you obviously have to hit shots to win games, but Kentucky is not hitting enough shots, either from in front or behind the arc, to make any type of comeback to win.  They are 3-5 in those 8 games.  They were trailing in 4 of them, plus dropped the North Carolina game.  And that game can simply be explained by the amazing free throw shooting of UNC.  But, I was stunned that Kentucky, in these 8 games, is shooting better overall, better from the 3-point line, better from the foul line, same amount of turnovers, and out-rebounding the opponent, yet have lost 5 of the 8 games.  And what it means is quite simple: Kentucky actually needs to play in the first 35 minutes like it does in the last 5.  It's not the last 5 that hurts them.  Defensively, Kentucky has been FANTASTIC in the last 5 minutes of close games.  Yes, Chris Warren hit his shot, but to ignore that opponents have shot 31-percent is to focus on one play and ignore the other 50. Now, as good as they have been defensively, they have been almost as bad offensively.  If they only shot 40-percent in these 8 games, they could very easily be 6-2 or 7-1 in those games.  Instead, they are shooting 34-percent and can not make up deficits, thus the 3-5 record.  If Kentucky can just enter that last 5 minute stretch with the lead, they have got to be one of the better clutch free throw shooting teams in the country.  Individually, the stats for UK in the final 5 minutes of these 8 games breakdown this way: Jones: 44 points, 16 rebounds, 11-20 FG, 4-9 3P, 18-21 FT Knight: 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3-11 FG, 1-4 3P, 6-7 FT    Lamb: 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2-8 FG, 1-5 3P, 6-6 FT Miller: 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1-4 FG, 1-2 3P, 3-3 FT Liggins: 0 points, 2 rebounds, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3P, 0-0 FT Harrellson: 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3P, 0-0 FT I know this isn't en vogue to say, but this team isn't close to being in these 8 games without Terrence Jones.  Jones may have forced a shot here and there, but he is shooting 55% in the clutch, and 45% from the 3-point line.  Brandon Knight is shooting 25% in those same situations.  In fact, Jones seems to be the only one who has stepped up CONSISTENTLY in the clutch this season.  Brandon Knight has disappeared.  Lamb, Miller, Liggins, and Harrellson have been non-factors in nearly every close game down the stretch.  Want to blame somebody?  Better not blame Terrence Jones.  He's the only one doing a damn thing (sans Knight against Florida) at the end of games.

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2021-09-26