Alex Poythress might be one of the best players in the freshmen class heading into next season. Not just at Kentucky either. He might be one of the best freshmen in the country. In fact, Poythress has already made a few lists and conversations when discussing the impact youngsters for next season. Nerlens Noel has dominated the scene with his unique hair cut and exciting “reveal” when he chose Kentucky on national television. Julius Mays gained a lot of attention because of his late decision. Archie Goodwin has “burrrrred” his way into our hearts with his very evident personality. Poythress on the other hand, has been a little more reserved. Poythress has been a Wildcat for a while now. And while everyone seems beyond excited to have him and the rest of the #1/#2 (depending on the service) recruiting class on campus later this summer, Poythress’ more quiet nature has kept him under the radar.
A fan created a t-shirt recently to honor Poythress that is pictured above. The slogan used to represent Poythress is “Courage Doesn’t Always Roar.” Poythress has embraced the motto, even making the picture his avatar (For my Mom and the few others out there without Twitter: the main picture on his Twitter page). He has made a few other comments on Twitter that follow a similar theme, that he is maybe not the focal point at all points in time, but that he quietly goes about his business and makes his noise on the court.
Poythress very well might be the most important player heading into next season. At this point, without the pick up of another big man, Poythress’ role could expand for this team. Nerlens Noel will likely man the center position. Kyle Wiltjer and Willie Cauley-Stein are the only other two big men on the roster for now. Wiltjer is not considered a physical power forward and Cauley-Stein has been dubbed as a player who will need some polishing before he receives major minutes. Kyle Wiltjer’s defense has come into question often since last season. One common belief is that Calipari might often go with a “smaller” line-up with the group he has in place for next season. In this line-up, Poythress would almost certainly slide into the power forward role, likely having to defend one of the other team’s big men. How Poythress performs in this role might just be the biggest factor moving forward during the season.
Many experts seem to think that Alex Poythress might be the most exciting and athletic player for Kentucky next season. He has a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist-like ability to score in traffic and make the tough plays. Similar to Kidd-Gilchrist, he also seems to be quiet in nature, but a tireless worker. I think the comparisons personality wise/leadership wise to Kidd-Gilchrist will probably continue and only become more evident as the guys start to trickle in on campus. Much like we ended the season infatuated with the effort and work ethic of Kidd-Gilchrist, I think we will likely view Alex Poythress in the same light. Kidd-Gilchrist embraced his role as the guy not always in the spotlight, but willing to do anything asked of him to help his team. It seems as if Poythress might be asked to step out of his comfort zone at times to help next year’s team. What we have seen of his personality, which has been limited so far, seems to suggest that he will embrace the role asked of him.
He may not sport a flat top or make us yell “burr,” but I think Poythress will quietly make his own kind of noise next season.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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