Throughout the UK basketball season we’ll be taking a look at the point guard play each game. Many fans have called for freshman DeAndre Liggins to be starting over Michael Porter. Both players have taken turns playing better than one another and the assist to turnover ratio of each is abysmal. Billy Gillispie seems to have a plan for this year’s teams, but we’ll investigate what the stats say in this segment.
Wow, another crazy night for the basketball Cats as they fired on all cylinders. Meeks went off in the first half and Patterson did the same in the second, each dropping 30+ points. Just plain sick. But what about the point guard play? Well, as the stats (and the game film) show, Michael Porter had his second great game for UK. Point differentials for UK while the two point guards were in the game are listed below.
The +32 by himself for Porter is amazing. This is the second straight game where he has had a huge differential on Liggins. Part of that is the great start the team has had in the last two games, but that is only 10-15 points in each of those games. Past that, Porter has just been flat out playing well, as the box scores show.
Porter 0 points, 0 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals in 25 minutes
Liggins 7 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 turnovers, 0 steals in 22 minutes
Those stat lines just go to show you the difference in these two young men right now. Porter had three good looks from the 3-point line tonight and couldn’t get them to drop. Outside of those looks the young man doesn’t even look to score. He has been doing a great job of facilitating the offense the last couple of games. We’ve also liked the fact that Coach Gillispie is having Miller, Galloway, and Liggins handle the ball down the court a little when Porter is in the game. Porter will still pop out and collect the ball inside of half court and get the offense started, but giving him the freedom to get down the court some and not have to worry about handling the ball up every time seems to be helping a lot with his confidence.
Liggins on the other hand is looking to create with every touch of the basketball. He still appears to be pushing a bit too hard some times, as evidenced by his turnover numbers and quick shots at times. We think that’s what you’ll get out of the young man though, a spark plug for your offense but one that can combust on you at times.
Again, we have to give this one to Porter. Outscored and outrebounded by Liggins tonight, Porter was still the one with a 7:1 assist to turnover ratio where Liggins’ was 1:1. In UK’s offense this year the point guard does not have to score (although if Liggins grabs 4-5 boards a night it’s a huge plus). Especially if Jodie Meeks can keep a 20-22 point scoring average for the year, Patterson will average 17-20, and you don’t have to have 10 points a game from the point guard position. Harrellson, Stevenson, and now Stewart appear to be able to chip in 8-12 a night collectively, Miller and Harris (when he fully recovers, and we wish him well on that road) will be able to contribute a few points, and with the defense the Cats are playing you don’t need much else.
Saturday brings Florida Atlantic on and we’ll be tuned in and ready to strike up another case for DeAndre Liggins on Sunday. Until then, have a great holiday folks, and continue to cheer on the blue and white.