UK vulnerable to slow down game?


Of Kentucky's close calls this season, at least six of the games were kept at a slower than normal pace (for the 2010 Wildcats, that means anything below 71.1 possessions a game). Last night's win was no exception: although 'Bama lost, the Tide did not roll and slowed the game down considerably as UK only had 66.725 possession in the 66-55 win. According to freshman Eric Bledsoe, this strategy is nothing new to John Calipari's squad and quite frankly, not appreciated. "It is really frustrating [when teams slow us down]," said Bledsoe. So going forward into the second half stretch of conference play and the NCAA tournament, is this the best way to try and beat the Wildcats? In their upcoming seven games, two teams really stand out as possible to make UK play a 40 minute half-court game: South Carolina (tempo is slightly lower than UK but has beaten the 'Cats before by limiting the game to a 69 possession affair) and Georgia (a team that operates at a snail like 65.5 pace). However, in the NCAA tournament, this could become an even bigger problem if UK is matched up with a team like Northern Iowa; the Panthers operate at a glacial pace (60 possessions) and are well equipped to run the shot clock down and score in the half-court. Note: Tennessee games average 70.7 possessions per game. Pomeroy's calculations suggest our game against Kentucky will be 74 possessions. It is notable that four of our five losses this season were in games with 70 or more possesions.