For the first fives game of this young season, UK won despite the play of freshman guard Andrew Harrison.
The heralded point guard had made repeated “freshman” mistakes and failed to defend the way his 6-foot-6-inch frame should allow him to.
Yet on Monday, when the Cats were on the brink of suffering a monster upset at the hands of Cleveland State University, it was No. 5 that gave UK the push it needed.
The game began with a familiar narrative. UK came out slugglish and lethargic. They trailed by four points at halftime, maybe as poor a 20-minute stretch as you could possibly see them play.
In the opening 20 minutes, they shot 26.9 percent from the field, turned the ball over seven times and played a brand of team defense that has been a constant concern for head coach John Calipari.