WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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