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Alex Poythress is an “under-the-radar” 2014 draft prospect


My, how a year changes everything. Last summer, Alex Poythress seemed primed to be one of Kentucky’s breakout freshman stars, with visions of beast mode dancing in fans’ heads heading into the season. Unfortunately, things never really seemed to click for Alex, who puttered around in passivity for most of the season but continued to play because of Kentucky’s depth problems. Poythress recognized his problems late in the season, admitting he hadn’t tried hard enough his freshman year, and vowed to rectify those mistakes the second time around. So far, so good. Reports from the summer workouts suggest that Julius Randle has lit a fire under Poythress, who is rising to the challenge in practice. Poythress also turned some heads at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy this past weekend. According to’s Josh Stirn, Poythress was “by far the most impressive player from a physical and athletic standpoint” at the camp, which included Jabari Parker, TJ Warren, Laquinton Ross, Glenn Robinson III, Gary Harris and Damyean Dotson.

As ESPN’s Eammon Brennan put it, last season, Poythress’ issues were never about talent. That’s why Brennan lists Poythress as one of his five under-the-radar prospects for the 2014 NBA Draft. An excerpt:

But Poythress’ issues last season were never about his talent. Even with all the agony, Poythress finished the season shooting 60.7 percent from 2 and 42.4 percent from 3 (which he attempted just 33 times, but still). He also rebounded well on both ends of the floor.

No, the biggest issues were mental: Despite the constant pleading (and then some) of John Calipari, Poythress checked out of entire games, unwilling to be aggressive, happy to be a bystander. He also turned the ball over way too much for a guy with a 61.1 percent effective field goal percentage. If he cuts down on the turnovers and becomes a more engaged, lively guy on the court, not only does he have a big role for Kentucky, he’ll remind NBA folks why he was such a big deal in the first place.

Here’s hoping that some competition is what Alex needs so we can see more of this his sophomore season:

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

22 Comments for Alex Poythress is an “under-the-radar” 2014 draft prospect

  1. MadTex
    1:06 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    First!!! That look on Alex’s face looks like he just cut a big raunchy fart. WCS standing to him thinks the same thing and is getting ready to run away…..

  2. BlueDeuce
    1:13 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Alex gets nothing from me until I see “it” on the floor during games! I’ve heard all the stories I need to hear, bring it or don’t, that’s the options.

  3. Kyboyinnc
    1:14 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I think one of Ales’s biggest problems last year was guard play. If your open in the post, and the guards can’t get you the ball then you’re going to get frustrated. I think with better guards we will see better play from Alex, he’s certainly got the tools.

  4. Reality
    1:16 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    This wasn’t even the best dunk in the game….the 1 handed one was SICK!… If we can get this Alex to show up every game, we will be unstoppable.

  5. I Say
    1:22 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    #1 Good insight.
    Im ready for Alex to have a break out year. Everytime they post his stats I am blown away by how good his numbers sound. Lets just hope they can translate to a full 40 minutes

  6. RealCatsFan
    1:41 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I really like Alex, and I hope this year is his coming out party. By all accounts he is a classy young man, and a 4.0 student to boot. I hope he keeps working hard and gets to realize all his dreams – which hopefully will include a national championship ring and the chance to bring home his lottery check after the season.

  7. rickshelton
    1:43 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Alex and Willie are going to be awesome this year! Can’t wait to see them terrorize Michigan State, Baylor, North Carolina, Louisville, and the entire SEC!

  8. Laker Cat 18
    1:46 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    3. Not really. You can blame the guard play all you want, but his problem was straight up effort. His big problem last year was lack of testicles. Hopefully he grew a pair this off season. I’m with #2, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  9. Merlin's
    1:48 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I see that the talent and physical attributes are there, by any reasonable account he had a very solid year for a first year college basketball player. Some guys are going to take a little longer to mature and adjust but it doesn’t mean they won’t pan out and eventually make the NBA. Think about how our standards have changed and how we expect our freshmen to automatically jump after 1yr. It simply isn’t right and goes against over 60 plus years of history and facts. We’ve got to learn as a fan base that not every recruit, no matter the amount of stars and accolades he brings, will go after 1yr. They’re 17 and 18 for gods sake. He’ll be fine

  10. eddie vedder
    1:49 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I hope he’s learning how to dribble in the offseason. His ball handling last year was atrocious, and the reason for his ridiculous amount of turnovers.

  11. BigBlue
    1:50 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Poythress will be great this year!
    Just needed a year to mature.

    This season is going to be great!

  12. Reading Comprehension
    2:00 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    If you read that guy’s tweets, the one you reference above basically says Alex passes the looks test better than anyone there. No one’s ever doubted that. He’s a physical specimen. However, it doesn’t always translate onto the court. The twitter guy goes on to list Harris, Parker and others as standout performers with no mention of Poythress so your post is a bit misleading.

    I think (and hope) Alex will have the breakout season we know he’s capable of and will play his way back into the mid-lottery of next years draft, hopefully with some bling he earned in early April.

  13. Wildcatsteeler
    2:29 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Boy, that Duke game early last season had me very optimistic. I would’ve never guessed it ended up like it did. Effort, enthusiasm, killer instinct, will to win, etc. etc. aren’t things you can teach. You either have it or you don’t. As devoid as Poythress was of all those I’ll be amazed if he can somehow make them appear. And to make that task even harder there are now guys on the team just as good and already have all that. Tremendous amount of competition at the forward spot. But hey, at least he’s not a coward like another forward and running from it.

  14. I Say
    2:33 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Now that I am thinking about it, Poythress should stive to be Anthony Bennet. They are both 3/4 guys who are a little undersized to be true power forwards, but both can step out make shots and rebound well.

  15. Mack
    2:42 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    “puttered around in passivity”! I’m sure Alex liked.

  16. THE Baseline
    2:53 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Hey Alex remember me? I havent gone anywhere and you can improve all you want but it means nothing until you understand where I am. Good luck this season, please dont step on me every game like last year.

  17. Jorts
    3:42 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Hey #13, remember me? I was fairly lacking in all those categories my first three years at UK, but I sure did develop them when Cal put the clamps down on me and the light went off!

  18. Alex
    3:43 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    16, I’ll be happy to avoid you as much as possible if the ref’s promise not to swallow their whistle when a defender is bumping me out of bounds.

  19. Bobbum man
    3:44 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    5- you’re blown away by his numbers? Really? Don’t get me wrong he is have decent numbers for a guy who didn’t try but I think “blown away” is a bit of a stretch

  20. Cotton Nash
    5:51 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Yeah,..okay. And Harrow was supposed to be much better than Teague. And he was making Teague look really bad the year before last when Harrow was sitting out that season. That’s what “they” said,..but talk is cheap. I’ll believe it when I see it,..and I haven’t seen it yet from Poy. I haven’t even seen a hint of it. Let the freshmen have the PT. I feel good about them,..including Dakari. Then if there is extra time left over,…. give it to Poy, Willie and Wiltjer (if he doesn’t transfer). James Young! Julius Randle!! The twins!!! Marcus Lee!!!! Dakari Johnson!!!!! Let’s give them a chance first,..since the veterans had a whole season to show what they could do. I suspect the freshmen will be very competitive. We shall see. Jmo.

  21. Duke Sucks
    6:18 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Alex looked like a typical freshman who for the first time in his life was playing with people as good or better then him! We have been spoiled with some of the players Cal has brought in, most freshman play just like Alex and Archie. For most things slow down for them in year 2 and they start playing instead of thinking. Alex will be fine this is TJ alll over agian.
    Just like TJ in year 2 if Alex doesn’t bring it every day he will ride the pine because Cal has some studs wanting every minute they can get! It’s just like the cliche you play like you practice!

  22. Dazed and Confused
    7:14 pm July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I went to High school with Alex and #10 is absolutely right…he needs to work on his handle….that’s a reason why he is so passive…he knows he can’t dribble and he really can’t create his own shot…he’s a catch and shoot guy or a guy that goes right thru you…but I know for a fact that he will work on it religiously and when he gains confidence in his handle…watch out