John Calipari 'not cracking' after Kentucky crushed by Texas A&M in third straight loss

Kentucky is not a very good basketball team right now, and its tumultuous season hit a new low on Saturday night.

The Wildcats suffered their third-straight loss in SEC play, 85-74 to Texas A&M, and were effectively run off the floor in College Station. So how rare is that? Kentucky's never lost three consecutive games under John Calipari until now, and the way in which it happened -- a second-half collapse that saw the Aggies outscore Kentucky, 59-44 -- drove home just how wildly inconsistent this team has been.

"We let go of the rope," said Calipari. "I told them after 'I'm not cracking.' I've been through this. I've coached for 30 years. All I'm thinking about is how do I get these guys to play two halves the way we did the first half?"

Kentucky's second half was a season lowlight reel. The Wildcats led by four points at halftime in an encouraging open frame, then promptly followed it up by opening up the flood gates in the second half. It was a total defensive collapse.

Texas A&M knocked down 67 percent of its shot attempts in the final 20 minutes, largely ushered in by defensive collapses and miscommunications. Calipari, frustrated yet resolute in finding a solution, chalked it up to freshman mistakes and his players not trusting one another.

Kentucky's season low was a doozy, but it only gets more challenging from here. The Wildcats head to SEC-leader Auburn on Wednesday where they're expected to be a heavy underdog, before returning home next Saturday vs. Alabama.

Things might get worse before it gets better for UK. But in the here and now, Calipari remains focused on fixing the team's struggles so it can be prepared for the postseason.

"We play for March," emphasized Calipari. "That's what we're playing for. We got to get this thing right, we've still got time ... when we get this, we'll bust through. But it's getting old right now."

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