DEMAREE: Brooks addresses the slow starts

Does my keyboard appear to be stuck? Why am I continuously typing the same thing? Why are the slow starts a common theme in coaches, players, and fans and yours truly? Perhaps Moncell Allen needs to shed the nickname, "the Turtle." - power of suggestion?

All jokes aside this seems to be an on going theme surround they Wildcats the last couple of years. This was even a problem of the 2007 team and part of this in large part account for the fact that UK in it's last 24 wins, 14 have been fourth quarter comebacks.

As in any problem solving, the first step is recognizing and admitting there is a major problem. An alcoholic cannot address his alcoholism until he admits he has a problem. Brooks now admits publicly that his team has a drastic problem with the continued slow starts. Back in the spring Brooks attributed the 2008 starts to inexperience. The quarter by quarter scoring does not indicate that. Here are the score by quarters, UK on the left; 1st 34-101; 2 nd 71-71; 3rd 78-41; and 4th 111-66.

"The first three, four, or five years I was here, everybody wondered why we couldn't play well in the fourth quarter and finish games and some of those games we started well but just couldn't get anything going in the second half - ran out of gas - out conditioned or whatever you wanted to say. We're finishing games a lot better but we are starting a lot poorer and statistic don't lie - 139 to 44 in the first quarter since the first game of last year after the loss of a lot of talent. But or defense, also, is probably starting a little slower. The last three quarters in those last sixteen quarters in those same games, we're outscoring our opponent some thing like 330- points to 208." Brooks said it doesn't take a math genius the figure that if they were scoring evenly in the first quarter, they would be a pretty good team.

"We do have to start better," Brooks lamented. "We are going to change some things in the pre-game warm-up. I old fashion but I do try to change things when I see something that isn't working. Now, I just hope we don't go out and have a great first quarter and can't play the second, third, fourth. But we HAVE TO play better I the first quarter.

Brooks said they are not going to micro-manage the offense as much in the Alabama game. "We change a lot of plays at the line of scrimmage, obviously, and we are going to change fewer this week," Brooks explained. We may get hit in the mouth but we are going to get up there and run some plays without change them and if they get hit in the mouth you are going to know they didn't change the play.

"When you are doing that, everybody has to be quick - when you are changing plays at the line of scrimmage, you have to get the play in quick, you have to get out of the huddle, you have to get lined up, and you have to give your quarterback time enough to make those changes. When he makes those change he has to make sure everybody is set before you snap the ball? Brooks said he intends to have the first team offense and defense go against each other in practice to better assimilate game speed and intensity. But readily admits there's a fine line when risking injury to the first units.

He said he is old school and change is humanly to most resisted element in life. We have to wonder when or if he will give his offense a chance to take advantage of the fan enthusiasm, the smoke and pyrotechnics by not deferring when UK wins the coin toss. "We can't lose our fans," Ricky Lumpkin said.

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