At this time last year, Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops wasn't ready to open up a full practice to the fans and media.
After hosting an estimated 4,000 fans on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium for its annual preseason Fan Day, which included the first open practice of fall camp, Stoops elected to also open practice on Monday morning at its regular practice venue at the Nutter Training Facility.
Following the practice, Stoops met with the media, getting a question about the communication and tempo of the session.
"A lot going on out there, huh?" Stoops replied with a smile.
Kentucky's practices are a quick paced, organized operation that rarely includes down time in an effort to maximize efficiency. Stoops was excited to begin to share those practices with the UK fan base.
"Last year, we probably weren't at a point where we could open it up where you could totally see," Stoops said. "That was just a normal practice for us for the most part right there. Last year you probably saw some abbreviated ones, and only parts of it. The communication, the confidence of them talking comes with experience."
UK's practices, as to be expected this early in fall camp, have been a mixture of good and bad. Stoops and the coaching staff understand that dealing with negative plays and failure is a huge part of progressing with a youthful roster.
"The way we respond," Stoops said about the progress his squad is making in accountability. "Maybe the offense is not doing some good things, they come back and make a few plays and bounce back. Defensively the same thing. Just to stay on the grind. Just keep on pushing and never accept being average. Our guys are pushing to be better. We are not there. It is frustrating at times to be so young in certain spots again but it is what it is and it is our job to get them better."
Kentucky's next open practice will be on Tuesday at the Tim Couch Practice Fields, slated from 3:30-5 p.m. ET.
"Hope you guys enjoyed the practice. I was glad to open it up again, it was good to have you out there and open it up to the public," Stoops said. "We will do that a few more times."