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From the Pressbox: Notes to close out basketball season

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There's no denying the hit that Kentucky's interior defense took when Nerlens Noel was lost for the season to a knee injury, but there was an impact on the offensive end, too.

For the season, UK averaged 37 points "in the paint" per game and the Wildcats were 13-0 in games in which they scored at least 40. But over the final five games, UK averaged a little more than 30 points in the paint. And during that same stretch, Kentucky had trouble hitting the perimeter shots, too, making fewer than 25 percent of its 3-point attempts.

Here are some other interesting statistical notes from this past season:

  • The Robert Morris loss marked just the second time in Calipari's four years that Kentucky lost a game in which it hit better than 50 percent of its field-goal attempts;
  • The Cats were just 2-9 in games in which they failed to crack the 70-point barrier;
  • Calipari's teams, historically, have won games in which they didn't shoot well but this year's squad was only 1-6 in games with when its shooting percentage was 40 percent or worse (the victory over Florida was the exception);
  • UK has won 50 of the last 51 games in which it led or was tied at halftime. This year's team was 19-1, with the lone blemish coming at Alabama, when the Cats let a nine-point lead slip away.

Bracket postmortem with Lunardi

ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi had a good year, correctly forecasting every at-large team that made the NCAA Tournament field. 

One of the many factors he has to consider in projecting what the selection committee will do involves analyzing a team's RPI. But Lunardi says he'd like to see the committee incorporate more of the metrics measuring things like offensive and defensive efficiency.

"I would include more of them than the RPI. I think they all measure different things and the things measured are things of value, if taken correctly. You have to spot the outliers," Lunardi said on "The Leach Report" radio show. 

If Lunardi had the proverbial magic wand and could change something about the selection process, what would it be?

"I would pass this rule without discussion: To be tournament-eligible, you would have to at least .500 in your league, as a way of making the conference season and the conference tournaments a little more important. If you are 7-9 in your league and you count conference tournament games if you make the conference final and lose so you are 9-9 or 10-10, you are back to being tournament eligible. It would add a tremendous amount to those Thursday and Friday games between the teams that finished down on the standings and I think history shows it would open up one or two spots a year in the at-large pool for the Drexel's who win 29 games and get excluded," Lunardi said, referring to last year's Drexel example. "History shows that time after time, teams that have won a lot from high quality non-BCS leagues almost always perform better in the tournament than what I would call the middling majors from the bigger leagues. Twenty seven or 28 wins in those leagues is pretty good and we forget that winning begets winning."

Recruiting analyst Telep on point guards

With all of the talk about the point-guard position for Kentucky this season, it brought to mind a quote from veteran recruiting analyst Dave Telep of ESPN.com:

"When I go and watch a guy and people describe him to me when I watch a guard and they use the word "combo" a red flag goes up," Telep said on "The Leach Report" show. "To me, a point guard has to have complete command of the team and they generally can showcase that ability. It's not quantifiable but you can see it with your eyes and you ask the question, 'Does he have the respect of his teammates, does he have command of his team and is he an orchestrator of the offense?' "

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