A closer look at Kentucky’s slow starts

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Jerry Tipton of the H-L wrote today about Kentucky coach John Calipari warning his team that it can’t continue to dig itself holes at the beginning of games.

Here are the worst examples of UK’s slow starts this season:

  • Michigan State - John Calipari’s young team knew what was happening it was down 10-0 at the 16:50 mark in Chicago and 18-7 at 10:49. UK didn’t score its first points until a three-pointer by James Young at the 15:17 mark. The Cats rallied in the second half, but lost 78-74.
  • Cleveland State - You could almost hear the home crowd’s stomachs churning as UK trailed 11-4 at 16:20 and 19-10 at 12:17. It rallied for a hard-fought 68-61 win.
  • Baylor - Kentucky trailed 16-7 at the 15:37 mark during that ice storm in Arlington. It rallied to lead at the half and extended the lead to nine in the second half, only to wilt late and lose 67-62.
  • Belmont - The Cats trailed 25-14 at the 9:00 mark. Down 43-41 at the half, they restored order in the second stanza for a 93-80 win at Rupp.
  • Louisville - The visiting Cards scored the game’s first eight points and led 10-5 at 15:56. UK fought its way back for a 73-66 win.
  • Mississippi State - The heavily-favored but rusty Cats trailed 12-2 at 15:47 and 18-8 at 12:07. Down 40-37 at the half, Kentucky got its groove back in the second half to win 85-63.

Here’s a chart of the scores at the five-minute marks of the first half in Kentucky’s 14 games to this point. Shaded boxes signify the Cats trailed.

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