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Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: Alex Poythress Picks The Wildcats

What? Me worry about recruiting? Pssh...
What? Me worry about recruiting? Pssh...

In a press conference from his high school (Clarksville Northeast), Alex Poythress announced that he will sign a Letter of Intent to play for the Kentucky Wildcats. Poythress, a 5 star combo forward in the 2012 class, had been heavily pursued by Kentucky and head coach John Calipari.

Poythress had attended Big Blue Madness on an official visit, and following that trip, many recruitniks speculated that Kentucky was the leader. But in recent days, momentum picked up that Poythress was more interested in staying in-state to play for Memphis or Vanderbilt. Then, in a last day twist, it was rumored Poythress had dropped Memphis and had Florida, along with Kentucky, in his final two.

The bottom line? No one really knows when it comes to recruiting. In the end, Poythress decided that Kentucky was his dream school.

He comes into a great situation at Lexington. It's widely expected that Kentucky will lose sophomore power forward Terrence Jones and freshmen bigs Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to the NBA Draft following this season. That would leave Kyle Wiltjer as the only returning big man going into the 2012-13 season.

Poythress joins center Willie Cauley as the two committed big frontcourt players for Kentucky in the class of 2012. Poythress is a great get. As a combo forward, he can flex between either the power forward or small forward positions. Ideally, he will follow in the footsteps of Jones and Kidd-Gilchrist as an immediate impact frontcourt player with inside-out versatility. Poythress is above-average in almost all aspects of his game. He can score from the perimeter or the paint, is known as a plus rebounder and ball-handler, and should be a tenacious defender, especially after some Calipari tutelage.

Poythress' commitment also gives Calipari great flexibility in finishing out the 2012 class. With Poythress' available to play both the 3 or 4 spots, the Wildcats can continue to pursue a true power forward like Jarnell Stokes, or switch gears and focus solely on recruiting Shabazz Muhammad to play on the wing while Poythress mans the 4 along with Wiltjer. While Muhammad remains the top target on the board, I expect Kentucky to continue to heavily pursue another big man for position depth, whether it's a highly rated recruit like Stokes or an under-the-radar player like Chris Obekpa.

Congrats to Poythress on making his decision, and welcome to Big Blue Nation!