The John Calipari era in Kentucky has brought us one-and-done players year after year. There's nothing wrong with that; we witness their outstanding play for one season at UK, and then watch them excel in the NBA. However, one aspect of the college basketball season that has suffered due to this is senior day. Many of the senior day games in coach Cal's tenure have featured seniors that do not get a lot of minutes and do not contribute a lot.
This season, however, is a different story.
While there is only one senior who will be honored in the upcoming senior day game against the LSU Tigers, he has by no means been insignificant to this team in the four years he has been around.
Senior Alex Poythress has always shown a ton of potential each and every time he has stepped out on the court. He has been bothered by injury, such as when he suffered a torn ACL following his Sports Illustrated cover release last season, or earlier this season. While he has been kept from the court at times, his performances when he is playing have been outstanding, especially for someone who has stayed in school all four years. Poythress is currently sitting at 896 career points at Kentucky, which gives him of a career average of 9.25 points-per-game.
While Poythress has not gotten back to scoring at the level he did his freshman year (which has been by far his best season statistically) when he averaged 11.2 points-per-game, he is still having his best season since then. He is averaging 9.9 points-per-game, and is actually putting up better rebounding numbers this season than he did in the 2012-2013 season, averaging 6.4 rebounds per game, as opposed to his 6.0 per game his freshman year.
Poythress has made a solid comeback this season following injury, and now he hopes to be the senior leader on a UK team that makes a deep tournament run. In his three previous years at Kentucky, Poythress has experienced many different levels of success and failure.
Poythress committed to Kentucky the same year that they won the National Championship, and he was hoping to do the same. Unfortunately, the exact opposite thing happened his freshman year, as he had to go through a first-round loss in the NIT to Robert Morris.
However, his sophomore season went much better, as he got to experience a run to the National Championship game. His junior year saw the heartbreak of a torn ACL, which ended his hopes of being a key leader, while also bringing the end of Kentucky's platoon system, which seemed absolutely unbeatable at the time. Without Poythress, Kentucky fell to the Wisconsin Badgers in the Final Four.
This year, in an insane season filled with upsets and a lot of doubt about who will win it all, Poythress is looking to do what everyone hoped would have happened by now in his college career: lead the Wildcats to a National Championship.
The 'Cats currently look to be about a four seed in the tournament, and Poythress has been a part of a team that made the National Championship as an eight seed, so he knows just as well as Kentucky's fans that Kentucky cannot be counted out this season. The field is wide open, and Poythress is more than capable of being a senior leader who can take Kentucky the distance.
We are all hoping that Poythress, after being a part of an outstanding UK team already, can make his senior season his most memorable one yet, and lead the Wildcats to their 9th National Championship.
Tweet(s) of the Day:
Will I cry at Alex's senior day tomorrow? https://t.co/it4UxBKK5X— Things #BBN Likes (@ThingsBBNLikes) March 4, 2016
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