The Kentucky Wildcats have lost three straight for the first time in the John Calipari era, and the third came in horrific fashion.
Despite leading Texas A&M 30-26 at halftime, the Cats got absolutely destroyed in the second half by the Aggies, trailing at one point by 23.
UK has a late push to make the score look somewhat respectable, but there’s really no question this is one of the uglier losses of the Calipari era in what turned into an 85-74 defeat.
Here are five things to know:
Kevin Knox was the spark early
Knox was aggressive right from the tip and scored 6 of our first 8 and kept looking to get open for shots. Knox went on to finish the half with 11 points (only player with 10+) and he also grabbed 3 rebounds. He wasn’t nearly as aggressive in the second half, but he still had a decent game.
PJ Washington is still struggling
Washington had a great first half on the road at Tennessee before suffering cramps but since then he hasn’t been the same. He struggled again tonight and looks like a different player. He has gotten away from attacking the rim and just looks lost out there at times. He still rebounds but doesn’t give us much anything else right now.
Second half was as bad as it could have been…mostly
Kentucky had a lead at the half and then for most of the second half they completely fell apart. The Aggies were able to do anything they wanted to do whenever they wanted to. A&M out-played Kentucky most of the half. However, late in the half Kentucky started playing much better and cut the lead down to 8 with under a minute left.
Diallo had a good second half
In a game the went the way this one did its hard to find a positive. However, the second have performance by Hamidou Diallo is something to be happy about. He scored all his points in the second half and was one of the few Kentucky players to score in double figures. Hopefully, he can use this as a momentum builder going forward.
With the loss, the Cats are now 17-8 going into one of their toughest games of the season at No. 8 Auburn next Wednesday. It’s a game UK will be around a 6-point underdog in after tonight’s debacle, and then comes a home matchup with surging Alabama.
That’s followed by a road game at Arkansas, home matchups with Missouri (who may have Michael Porter by then) and Ole Miss, then capped off by a road finale at Florida. Along with the SEC Tournament, UK could easily lose 3-5 more games before the NCAA Tournament begins.
Part of that is due to the SEC being as good as it's ever been, but a big part is UK just isn’t a good team right now. There’s still time for UK to get back to being the team that crushed Louisville and beat quality teams in West Virginia and Virginia Tech, but time is running out.
Here is the final box score:
Now, let’s talk about what just happened.