Kentucky Basketball: The Wildcats Are Baby Steps Away From Being A Great Team - A Sea Of Blue
Shooting — Kentucky is a good, but by no means great shooting team. They have an effective FG% of 52%, 74th in the nation. Not bad, but definitely not the stuff of the 2012 Wildcats, who were more efficient at 54%, but it is every bit as good as last year's national champs, the Louisville Cardinals, who shot 50.5%. Defensively, Kentucky is holding teams to 43% eFG%, 12th in the nation.
Obviously we only have a twelve game sample size for this year's team, but despite the win percentage it's doing some things significantly better than its predecessors did over the course of the entire year. Take a look at some of the statistical categories the current Vols are excelling at:
Ellington's decision comes in advance of the basketball team's match-up this evening against South Carolina State, where he had been expected to play. It seems likely his announcement means he will not play basketball for Carolina this season.
The Gamecocks played one of their worst defensive games of the season against the Bulldogs, letting State's offense score 1.10 points per possession, their best output of the season thus far against Division I competition. That number wouldn't be great against Arkansas or Texas A&M - it's downright concerning against a team with as weak an offense as the Bulldogs.
Florida trailed Richmond 48-45 with 6:23 remaining in the second half on Saturday at the O'Connell Center when Billy Donovan called timeout midway through a possession. This was rare for Donovan, who generally doesn't bail his team out of tough situations with timeouts, usually opting to let his Gators play their way into or out of trouble. Given how well that timeout worked, Donovan might want to think about that philosophy going forward.
In the last non-SEC game Georgia will play this basketball season (barring any possible post season tournament invites), Mark Fox takes his crew up the road to Washington, DC, where they square off against the George Washington Colonials at 7 p.m. and televised by CSS for those who get the channel(or CSN MidAtlantic if you get that station. Check your local listings with your television service provider). Last season, Georgia knocked off GW in Athens, also on January 3rd, 52-41.
So, Georgia enters conference play sitting 6-6 after George Washington took the victory in DC. Make no mistake about it, the Colonials are a likely NCAA team, and will get plenty of Cinderella mentions come March considering the major conference teams they've beaten.
Texas A&M ends 2013 with a listless 20-point home loss to heavy underdog UNT, raising some very uncomfortable questions about the Billy Kennedy era.
The Rebels wrap up the non-conference slate with a game against a very tough Dayton Flyers team. Per kenpom's ratings, Dayton is the 44th best team in the country. The Rebels check in at #75. The Flyers have already beaten Georgia Tech, Gonzaga, and California this season and dropped a nailbiter to #9-ranked Baylor.
SPOILER: OLE MISS LOSES:
Hoops Psychologist – Reinforcing the theme that began last summer with this team, Mike Anderson is pulling out all the stops to try and pull his team closer together this season. With the road woes Arkansas has endured the last few years under Anderson, he has decided to employ a sports psychologist to the staff. The psychologist, who was around the bench and the players during the High Point game, told the team to turn the energy up on defense (probably much to Anderson's liking). Team chemistry is also a major focal point and, so far, Arkansas is sharing the rock more this year, making for an even more entertaining brand of basketball.
After another heartbreak, Alabama looks to end non-conference play with a win at home against the Robert Morris Colonials (5-9). Let's call a spade a spade, Robert Morris is a bad basketball team (and they should feel bad). They shouldn't cause too many issues for the Crimson Tide. But with a string of close losses to really good teams fresh on the players' minds, this could definitely be a trap game. A lot of people remember Robert Morris upsetting Kentucky in the NIT last season. Well, Kentucky beat them by 40 this year. Their defense is truly atrocious, surrendering about 80 PPG. They currently rank outside of the top 330 in Defensive Rating. Their one redeeming quality is that they can shoot the three. Fortunately, Alabama defends the three point shot as well as anyone.
Earnest Ross added 16 points and Ryan Rosburg had a career-high 11 rebounds for the Tigers (12-1), who open Southeastern Conference play at home against Georgia on Wednesday. Jordan Clarkson, who leads the SEC with a 20-point average, had a season-low 11 points.
Other links of Note:
I guess Mizzou falls under "other BCS-level offers"? Okay Arky fans, I see you.
Always fun to get a 4* commitment on national TV over the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and several other BCS-level offers, but the Crimson Tide is thought to be his other finalist.
Totally random Snoopy rendition of the Mizzou Fight Song:
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Willy Mo has a new song, pretty cool too.
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One of the few times I'll link to a Bleacher Report article:
Cotton Bowl 2014: Henry Josey's Incredible Road Back to Superstardom | Bleacher Report
On Friday in the Cotton Bowl, Josey walked into the end zone three times, capping off a magnificent season with a 41-31 victory over Oklahoma State. His touchdown with three minutes left in the fourth quarter was the go-ahead score.
The Fifty States of College Recruiting - Every Day Should Be Saturday
The purpose of this little project was to determine which football programs are the best at retaining the top talent from their states. Many of our programs live or die by whether they are able to retain home state talent, and this is an attempt to quantify how well a state’s programs do on this crucial issue.
Reporters spend most of their time in the press box. Here, we honor those who love taking uninteresting photos from their seat ... and letting you know that this is, in fact, their 'office'.
How Jimmy Sexton became college football's most powerful agent with coach clients including Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher and Gus Malzahn.
I thought this look at Gus Malzahn's offense has been making the rounds of the intertubes and I think it's awesome.
If you're still to shellshocked by SECCG, warning because there's a GIF from the game - although at some point I get tired of the "I can't bear to watch" reaction.
In Raymond's wing-T, wingbacks, receivers, and running backs often went in motion one way or another, and the quarterback almost always carried out one, two, or sometimes even three fakes on a given play. The same is true in Auburn's offense: Against Missouri, running back Tre Mason's big run around the right end on the Buck Sweep was set up by a receiver who faked an end around to the left, thus freezing Missouri's defenders long enough to allow Auburn's pulling linemen to get out in front and lead the way.