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Mark Stoops: “We always keep guys in check”

Mark Stoops isn’t worried about prosperity bothering his players. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

His first few years at Kentucky, coach Mark Stoops had to try to build his players’ confidence during the offseason after losing seasons.

Now that UK has been to three straight bowl games and is coming off a historic 10-win season, is dealing with prosperity forced him to make changes to keep a chip on his players’ shoulders going into next season.

“That’s not in my plan. Our plan is to continue to do the same things we’ve always done and be as demanding as we always are. We always keep guys in check,” Stoops said.

“That’s one of the reasons why we’re pretty thorough in spending a lot of time in our assessments, in our evaluations and sit down with players and explain to them in detail what we expect of them and the things that they’re doing well and the areas that they need to improve, and it’s very interesting because you see kids with — it’s just human nature to have blind spots.

“They may think one thing of themselves but their peers think something else and their coaches think something else, so it’s our job to point that out. Again, that’s not to pick on them, that’s to make sure that they’re very aware of blind spots that they have within themselves, and I’m no different, coaches are no different.

“We’re constantly going to be hard on ourselves and critical and evaluate ourselves and make sure we’re doing things the best way we can.

“It’s full steam ahead, foot on the gas.”

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