LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - The optimistic outlook by Kentucky's veteran players and a top-20 recruiting class are reflections of coach Mark Stoops' impact.
Stoops is looking to make an even bigger mark with more wins in his second season after going 2-10 last year.
Kentucky figured to struggle last season with the transition to a new coaching staff and a challenging schedule that featured four consecutive games against ranked teams. And they did.
The Wildcats endured another winless season in the Southeastern Conference and their league losing streak now stands at 16, dating back to 2011.
Kentucky is picked to finish last in the Eastern division again - though players are hungry to prove their doubters wrong. While the young Wildcats understand it's a process of small steps, they're determined to showcase their progress.