Stoops pleased, believes defense can make jump

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LEXINGTON, Ky. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops believes his defense can make a jump in 2014. Coming off the practice field Wednesday, Stoops was pleased.

"Not bad work," said Stoops. "We're getting to the point where guys are getting very beat up and wore down like you'd expect through two and a half weeks of camp. But we got some good situation work today."

As for his defense, Stoops believes his players have a better understanding.

"They definitely do," Stoops said. "That just comes from experience. Some of those guys are in year two. There are not as many newcomers. They had an offseason to look at things, what we did and did not do well. They had spring practice, so obviously they understand things better."

The Wildcats allowed an average of about 31 points per game in 2013. Stoops believes major progress has been made over the last year.

"I think you've always got to increase your talent level. You've got to make the players you have better. And I think we've done that. I think you've got to be able to execute the nuances of the defense. As you always talk about doing more or less, whatever it is, when you do it you got to be able to execute it right. You got to be more on point with what you're doing, and you've just got to play at a higher level. I think we're getting to that point. We're getting better. I don't know how much. We'll see how much of a jump we made. I know we've improved. I know we'll play better. To what extent, we'll see. We got to go prove it."

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