The Kentucky Wildcats have been putting a cliché — that it matters not how you start but how you finish — to the test a lot lately. The Wildcats stumbled out of the gate in each of their past six games and still managed to win five of them. Their lone loss in that stretch came on a last-second putback in overtime.
But always playing from behind can be a grind, and as coach John Calipari told them recently: “Against a really good team, you’re down 20 — and you’re not coming back.”
No. 14 Kentucky (13-4, 3-1 Southeastern Conference), which hosts Texas A&M (12-5, 3-1) Tuesday night, has been outscored 31-6 in the first two minutes by its past six opponents and has not led after five minutes in any of those games. The Cats trailed five of those teams by at least eight points in the first half and needed an average of 12 minutes and 26 seconds to take their first lead.
Assistant coach John Robic, who handled Calipari’s press conference Monday while the boss was out on the road recruiting, sounds just as confounded as fans about why such an otherwise good team is so bad at to begin games.