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Jan 09

Calipari: Cats can’t afford slow starts

Kentucky coach John Calipari knew his team would be rusty following an 11-day layoff. The Wildcats got off to a slow start before pulling together to post an 85-63 win over Mississippi State in their SEC opener Wednesday night at Rupp Arena. Calipari liked the comeback, but said the Cats can’t afford a repeat against a good team.
“We were really rusty and when you watch the tape, it’s amazing how they revert,” the UK coach said Thursday. “If there is game slippage, or when they get tired, the biggest thing they must learn and they just haven’t yet, is that every team that comes in here has unbelievable energy to start the game. We just don’t seem to think that matters. So you’re down 10-0, 12-2, 8-0. Maybe I’ve got to start people that understand it. But this is like every game now and it’s the same reason. They outrun us, they outwork us, they’re more alert to play than we are and then we kind of kick it in.
“I told them after the game that against a really good team, you’re down 20 and you’re not coming back. You’ll get it to eight or 10 and they’ll push it to 16 and then you’ll get it to six, and you’ll lose by 12. That’s what’s going to happen against a good team.”

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