John Clay: Stats tell the story around college basketball

John Clay
John Clay

Random hoops notes:

■ Through Sunday's games, Kentucky ranked 327 out of 330 Division I NCAA basketball teams in turnovers per game.

■ Being in Rupp on Saturday, I didn't get to listen to Saturday's debut performance, but my blog readers gave new CBS analyst Greg Anthony a thumbs up. But then maybe they were happy to hear someone besides Billy Packer.

■ Here on Dec. 18, six shopping days before Christmas, even with its loss last Saturday at Temple, Tennessee is clearly atop the SEC.

■ There are 13 undefeated Division I basketball teams remaining. Tubby Smith's Minnesota Golden Gophers are one of the lucky 13.

■ ESPN draft expert Chad Ford said Patrick Patterson's NBA Draft stock is improving but not to the point where the UK center is a lottery pick.

■ This year, Patterson is averaging a shot once every 3.7 minutes. Last year, the average was a shot once every 3.2 minutes. And that was with Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley on the team.

■ Through Sunday's games, Patrick Patterson was third nationally in field goal percentage, having made 71 percent of his shots.

■ After losing to Indiana by 19 last year and then beating the Hoosiers by 18 points this year, would Billy Gillispie still quarrel with the assertion that IU is a bit down in basketball this year?

■ The hope is last Saturday's performance will elicit a strong stretch of games from Perry Stevenson. The junior had watched his playing time bounce from 16, 16, 33 and 18 minutes in the four games before his 32-minute, nine-point, 10-rebound showing against Indiana.

■ Freshman DeAndre Liggins is 0-for-11 on three-pointers in his past three games.

■ Freshman Darius Miller has made two of 14 threes on the season.

■ Ken Pomeroy's super computer ranks Kentucky as the 30th-best team in the country. The same computer lists Georgetown as No. 1.

■ Pomeroy's numbers put the Cats as the 13th-best defense in the nation.

■ Don't forget the free open practice at Freedom Hall on Friday night. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Practice starts at 5:30.

■ Through Sunday's games, Jeff Neubauer's Eastern Kentucky Colonels were 10th best in the nation in turnovers, giving the ball away just 11.4 times per game.

■ Through Sunday's games, Louisiana State led the nation in field-goal percentage defense, allowing just 32.5 percent.

■ Speaking of LSU, the league's most improved player, to this point, may well be Marcus Thornton.

■ Georgia nearly handed Dennis Felton his walking papers before the Bulldogs shocked everyone, including Athletics Director Damon Evans, by winning the SEC Tournament last year. This year, the Dogs have lost by 21 to Loyola-Chicago, by four to Western Kentucky and by 34 to Illinois.

■ A viral infection put Rick Stansbury in the hospital for a couple of days, but the Mississippi State coach is out and will coach the Bulldogs at Cincinnati on Thursday night. That game is part of an SEC/Big East Invitational doubleheader at U.S. Bank Arena. Louisville plays Mississippi in the other game.

■ This is only the third time in his college career that Jodie Meeks has gone back-to-back games without an assist.

■ Sorry to say, but I agree with those who think the shorts on UK's new uniforms look like skirts.

■ During the Sunday game in which UK honored the late Bill Keightley, the Rupp Arena crowd was coaxed into singing the national anthem. I'd be for that happening more often.

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