Alex Poythress will return to the Kentucky Wildcats for his junior season. Alex was a starter his freshman year under John Calipari and averaged 11.2 points and 6 rebounds per game in 25.8 minutes. After a disappointing end to the 2013 season, Alex returned with Willie Cauley-Stein for his sophomore campaign. Poythress became the sixth man off of the bench in 2014, averaging 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 18.4 minutes.
Alex's role on the team changed his second year as he became the energy guy, making hustle plays on offense and defense. He was vital to the Wildcats amazing run to the national title game. He will join fellow junior Willie Cauley-Stein, sophomores Marcus Lee, Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins, as well as incoming freshmen Tyler Ulis, Trey Lyles, Karl Anthony Towns and Devin Booker next season on what is shaping up to be a loaded team.
Alex will add more leadership and experience as a third year player that has been through extreme highs and lows. His return also guarantees another stellar front court for the Kentucky Wildcats. Poythress may be asked to add a little more diversity to his game and may very will start at small forward, a position that he is more suited for in the NBA. He will need to develop a more consistent jump shot and better ball handling skills.
This is very exciting news. Alex is a great kid and will eventually make a lot of money in the NBA. Plus, we get to see more of this:
Here is what Alex had to say about returning, via a UK press release:
Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine, but I want to make sure that I’m NBA-ready before I make that jump," Poythress said. "By coming back, I’ll be so much closer to earning my degree in business and it will give me another year to prepare my game and my body for the next level.
John Calipari on Alex's return:
I’m excited for Alex and the decision he’s arrived at," head coach John Calipari said. "I’m proud of the work he committed to this past season, on and off the floor, and think he’s ready to take that next step and lead this team next season.