The Case for DeAndre Liggins: Florida Atlantic Edition

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dligThroughout 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.

(Also, E wasn’t able to post this, so I am putting this up on the site for him.  Remember, all positive statements about Michael Porter were from EDayStat and NOT Smoothron.  Thanks for playing.)

The UK basketball Cats took on Florida Atlantic Saturday and Michael Porter turned in another solid performance.  Porter had a 5 to 1 assist to turnover ratio in 27 minutes versus DeAndre Liggins’ 2 to 1 in 15 minutes. Not bad by either young man in this game.  Points and rebounds were a wash in this one as well.  Let’s look at the differentials.

Porter +10
Liggins -4
Both +1

This all adds up to a 7 point Kentucky win in the end and again it looks like the team has been more efficient with Porter on the floor.  This is the third straight game where both the stats, and the feel of the game, seem to be leaning toward Porter playing much better than Liggins.  Even the hardcore “ditch Porter” crew would be hard pressed to say Porter hasn’t played solid basketball the last three games.

Where has this come from though?  The first 3-4 games of the year Porter looked shaky (at best) with the basketball and he looked damned near frightened with it in the VMI game.  In the last three games; however, he has handled the ball confidently, gotten the team into the offense, and best of all he has played solid defense.  Gillispie was very vocal in his support of Porter’s defense on Graham on Saturday.  No one else could shut him down, but Porter, who knows he’s not relied upon heavily on the offensive end, put everything he had into shadowing the guy and slowed him down a bit.

Another one goes to Porter here and as the team continues to play well it’s hard for anyone to ask for a change at the point right now.  The rotation seems to be working well and Billy seems to have things rolling in the right direction.  One more until the big measuring stick against the I-64 brethren.  That’s when we’ll really see who comes to play.

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