"We wanted to force Meeks to make a pass and let the rest of the team beat us," Varnado said. "We seemed to wear them down with the triple team all night."
"We were just daring someone else to step up and beat us," Mississippi State guard Phil Turner added.
Patterson wasn't shocked by the Bulldogs' defensive scheme, but was surprised by the team's slow start. Kentucky missed their first 10 shots from the field and scored just 24 points in the opening half.
"I was really surprised," Patterson said. "When we first came out, we knew that they were going to pack it in and that opened up the perimeter," he said. "They felt like we couldn't knock down the perimeter jump shots."
Patterson said the Cats tried to adjust to the scheme, but missed shots, which added to the team's lack of confidence offensively.
"They pressured Jodie (Meeks) and left Darius (Miller) on the wing a couple of times and Michael (Porter) and DeAndre (Liggins) too," he said. "They challenged them to shoot the ball. Darius was able to drive the ball the basket and get some points for us while some shots weren't falling and some players lost confidence in their jump shot."
Patterson said the situation didn't improve late in the contest.
"Down the stretch we stopped checking the ball as much," he said. "In wide open situations I always tell them to shoot it and if it isn't falling in to drop it to the basket."
Patterson said he and Meeks have gotten used to the attention from opponents, but said other issues have arose as the team lost for the third straight time in the Southeastern Conference.
"I think that intensity and also us just not playing with a passion, heart and not wanting it a lot more than the other team is what we have been missing," Patterson said. "We haven't played like we did early in the season and SEC conference. We are starting to lose that type of swagger and that type of mentality and attitude that we had earlier. We just have to turn it all around.
"We know there is a lot of basketball left and we are only half way through the SEC. We know that we can still win the rest of our games if we just play tough.
Along with practicing, Patterson said ending the team's current three-game skid will cure most of the team's woes on both ends of the court.
"Win, it is a simple thing, just win," he said. "We need to play a lot tougher and also play with more heart. We have to play more competitive and want it a lot more in the opposition does. We have to play together as a whole not as a one but as a family.
"We need to get back to playing like we were playing at the beginning of the conference."