Kentucky males’s basketball off to worst begin since 2000-01 with loss to Georgia Tech

No. 20 Kentucky‘s 79-62 loss at Georgia Tech on Sunday marked the Wildcats’ third straight defeat and the primary time they’ve began 1-3 for the reason that 2000-01 basketball season.

Together with the poor begin, that is additionally the primary time Kentucky coach John Calipari has suffered two double-digit losses to unranked, nonconference opponents whereas teaching an Related Press High 25 workforce throughout his profession, in keeping with ESPN Stats & Data.

Georgia Tech (1-2) and coach Josh Pastner had opened its season with losses to Georgia State and Mercer earlier than Sunday’s victory.

One week in the past, Kentucky suffered a 76-64 house loss to an unranked Richmond workforce, earlier than falling by three to No. 7 Kansas in Indianapolis on the Champions Basic on Tuesday. A Kentucky squad had beforehand suffered a pair of double-digit nonconference losses to unranked opponents in solely two seasons (1949-50 and 2002-03), per ESPN Stats & Data.

The final time Georgia Tech had gained a sport towards a ranked nonconference opponent was Nov. 21, 2006, versus a Memphis workforce with Calipari as the top coach and Pastner as a prime assistant.

Pastner, now 43, was 31 when he changed Calipari at Memphis in 2009.

Georgia Tech was simply higher than Kentucky in each means on Sunday, with the Wildcats’ sloppy play (21 turnovers) and poor protection serving as their foremost issues. The Yellow Jackets’ 15 steals led to a dominant 33-4 benefit in factors off turnovers. Georgia Tech additionally outscored Kentucky 36-20 within the paint.

Calipari, 61, mentioned his younger workforce, with 4 freshmen beginning on Sunday, pressured too many performs.

“Simply make straightforward performs and assault,” Calipari mentioned after the sport. “We shot the ball higher, did some higher issues, however they drained us out after they went with a smaller lineup; and once we had our probabilities, we turned it over.”

Calipari mentioned he may make gamers run extra if the workforce hits a sure variety of turnovers in apply. His starters mixed to commit 14 turnovers towards Georgia Tech.

A tricky schedule in the course of a pandemic, nonetheless, has contributed to the Wildcats’ struggles by affecting the period of time they will spend collectively off the courtroom, Calipari mentioned.

“There is no such thing as a face-to-face contact,” Calipari mentioned. “Little or no with me, and also you want that once you’re younger.”

Moses Wright, who had 21 factors, led 5 Georgia Tech gamers who completed with double digits in scoring.

For Kentucky, B.J. Boston, a projected lottery decide in subsequent summer season’s NBA draft, completed 4-for-11, whereas Terrence Clarke, additionally an NBA prospect, had a team-high 22 factors.

Wildcats guard Davion Mintz, who completed 2-for-8 with seven factors, mentioned the outlet Kentucky is in proper now’s “pretty deep.” He mentioned the loss “wanted to occur,” however he’s hopeful the workforce can regroup.

“[We need to] look one another within the face and understand we’re probably not good proper now,” Mintz mentioned.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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