Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats close with New Mexico State and Louisville, but stepping outside of the SEC doesn’t mean that they can let up.

So the coach issued a challenge to the team, and shared it on the SEC coaches media teleconference on Wednesday.

“I’ve been very pleased. … I really challenged them on Monday to continue to push, continue to focus on the little things. Just pushing these players to get better as the season goes on,” Stoops said. “The challenge is to get better every week, it doesn’t matter who you play.”

Stoops also commented on his brother Bob’s role on FOX Sports’ “Big Noon Kickoff” show.

“I have seen him from time to time,” Stoops said. “I think he’s doing a great job, better than I anticipated. … He’s loosened up a bit and seems to be enjoying himself. … As long as he likes it, that’s great.”