"Everyone in general knows that the little things are what is going to help you be good," Gillispie said. "We have been doing a lot of good things all year long, but we haven't taken care of the basketball and that should be improving by now."
Kentucky's turnover problems - five players had three or more turnovers in Saturday's loss - have been due to carelessness more than anything else from what Gillispie has observed.
"Some things are basic fundamentals, making hard passes instead of soft passes, understanding what is going on before you receive the ball so you can move it quickly, but a lot of our turnovers been careless by nature," the Kentucky coach said.
Mississippi State (14-7, 4-2 SEC) uses a similar style offense that has given UK problems the last two games.
"They are a hard team to guard because they spread you out," Gillispie said.
That gives junior center Jarvis Varnado room to operate inside while the perimeter is left open for State's four guards to drive inside or shoot 3-point shots.
"Varnado is one of the more improved players I have seen in a long time and is a major force down low offensively and defensively," the UK coach said. "But the way they are shooting is a challenge for anyone on the perimeter."
Gillispie says he's not sure whether it will be harder matching up inside with Varnado or trying to defend State's four guards.
"Both present major challenges for us. We don't play four-guard lineups very often," Gillispie said. "They are athletic and quick on the perimeter. Coach does a great job spreading people out. You better guard the 3-point because they can really make it.
"Their guards benefit from Varnado in there and he has room to operate because of their ability to shoot the 3. You can't wait in the paint on him. It is a very well thought out plan by Coach."
Gillispie says his team has to be aware of Varnado, the reigning SEC defensive player of the year. He blocked 10 shots last year when the Bulldogs beat UK for the second straight time. The Bulldogs have never won three straight games over UK.
"When you have a guy like him, you know where he is. You may hold on to it, change your shot," Gillispie said.
Other SEC coaches said Monday that Varnado changes games with his defense.
"With him, it is God-given ability. He has great timing," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "He is never rushed. He is not panicked back there. He can just get off the floor. It is a gift. You have to challenge him and go at him. You have to be good at ball faking. You have to go at him. He is tremendous. He is one of the better players in our league."
Auburn coach Jeff Lebo says going right at Varnado might not be best.
"It's hard to go right at him because he doesn't have much of a body. It's hard to get shots over him," Lebo said. "Most people have more success not trying to attack him but bringing him out with some ball screens and stuff."
Varnado had 15 rebounds in a loss to Mississippi on Saturday. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy says the Rebels tried to bring Varnado away from the paint by reversing the ball to his man.
"We made sure we were using his guy as a ball reversal guy to get him away from his comfort zone of roaming the lane and erasing any mistakes," Kennedy said.
Stansbury knows UK will be aware of Varnado, but he doubts that sophomore center Patrick Patterson will change the way he plays tonight.
"Patterson is not going to change. He is going to be same strong, tough guy on the inside. They are not going to shy away from him in any way," Stansbury said.