After two very disappointing starts in the first two home games of SEC play, John Calipari hopes his team will realize they have to be ready to play as soon the ball is tipped. Vanderbilt jumped out to an early lead and never trailed until the second half, when Kentucky finally locked in and played like the better team. The Cats can’t wait that long to get going, Cal said in his postgame press conference.
“We have to be more desperate to start games,” he said. “We have to be more desperate for 40 minutes. We have to understand that every team that plays us is excited, and in the beginning of the game, they’re coming.”
First it was Texas A&M with a hot start last Tuesday, and then Vanderbilt did it Saturday night. The Commodores led by as many as 12 points in the first half.
“Understand, in the beginning of games, they’re playing Kentucky,” Cal explained. “They’re in Rupp Arena, they’re going to make shots, they’re going to play sharp… but as the game goes on, if you stay desperate, you’ll have your chances.”
Despite the back-to-back slow starts, Cal is happy to put together two wins in a tough SEC this year. He began his press conference by noting Florida, Alabama, Mississippi State and Arkansas all lost at home on Saturday.
“It looked ugly early, but we didn’t. Now we move on to Georgia.”