Stoops aims to lead Kentucky to respectability

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Mark Stoops' long-term approach in rebuilding Kentucky includes making some short-term improvements.

The rookie head coach seems to have made progress by changing the Wildcats' mindset.

Despite consecutive losing seasons including 2-10 last year, Kentucky enters the season optimistic thanks to Stoops. He envisions a team capable of eventually competing in the tough Southeastern Conference. That's asking a lot in a league that has won the past seven national championships, and with title contenders - Florida, Georgia and South Carolina - in the East division.

But Stoops is succeeding in making the Wildcats believe because of his history building strong defenses while stressing the importance of a good offense. Stoops hopes by handling details will translate into more victories this season.

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