By LARRY VAUGHT
One thing Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has not done since last year’s 10-3 mark is to downplay what he expects from his team this year.
Nationally few seem to have much confidence in Stoops’ team this year, but he’s never wavered in his public comments that his team can do well when the season starts Aug. 31 against Toledo.
“We’re not interested in going back. We’re not here to take steps backwards. We’re not,” Stoops said. “We’re continuing to grow. We’re continuing to improve the program.”
Stoops said that was not just “coach speak” either coming from him.
“The outcome will take care of itself. I know I’m judged ultimately on wins and losses. But internally we’re judged on how we’re building our program, what we’re doing to continue to grow and put ourselves in a position to be successful. That’s what it’s all about,” Stoops said.
He’s right. Wins determine a coach’s success to most. However, those inside a program can see the right pieces being built to sustain success like Stoops thinks he’s done at UK.
“You could go back seven years, hear me basically saying the same message, that we’re going to work hard to do the things necessary that we believe are going to help us be successful. We’re not going a waver from that,” Stoops said.
“We’re in a learning environment. We try to learn and grow every day. But you also have to stick to your beliefs, the things that you know are helpful to help you be successful and win games. ”