Stevenson confident, but not overconfident

Don't worry about sophomore Perry Stevenson getting overconfident now that he has had back-to-back games where he has scored in double figures for the first time in his Kentucky career. "I would say confidence comes from practice. My teammates tell me I need more confidence and need to be tougher. That just kind of helps," Stevenson said.

He didn't come to UK with that cockiness that some freshmen do.

"I have seen a couple of people fall from that, so I didn't want to do that," he said. "I guess coming out of high school you think you can play collegiately, but when you get those bumps and bruises and hit that wall and your self-esteem suffers, everything else just kind of drops a little bit. Knowing I have a coach and five teammates now that believe in me just makes everything easy now."

Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie says Stevenson has had a change of mindset about basketball and that he's become more serious about his play.

"I would say he is right. I wouldn't say I didn't take it seriously before. But doing stuff every day just kind of wears on your body and wears on your mind. If you just have confidence in the stuff you do, then the wear and tear really doesn't matter. I've learned that," he said. "He (Gillispie) is a gym rat and he is getting us to be gym rats as well. That will just help us win games."

So is it easy to turn into a gym rat?

"It's easy for him because all he has to do is say it once because that is the man that controls my playing time. You have to listen to everything he says," Stevenson said.

Apparently, Stevenson has because he's certainly become a more physical, confident player and has been a huge part of UK's last two wins. If the Cats are going to stay competitive in conference play, it's a must for him to continue to provide an inside presence to go with Patrick Patterson.

"He has been a lot tougher in practice. He is banging more inside and pushing more. His confidence is starting to rise. He is taking shots, driving the ball and starting to do more things. He is showing he can play and the more he does that, the better we are," Patterson said.

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