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Alex Poythress poised to be best overall player next season

(AP Photos)

My first time seeing Alex Poythress was at the McDonald’s All-American practice in late March. When I walked into Attack Athletics, gym of legendary trainer Tim Grover, my primary instinct was to look for Shabazz Muhammad. At that point, Muhammad had not yet committed to UCLA and was considered by most as the prize of the 2012 class. As I’m making my way through the gym I ran into a guy covered in Kentucky gear and naturally I had to speak to him. He turned out to be Alex Poythress’ dad and one of the nicest guys I had ever met. He told me how much he and his family loved the city of Lexington and how excited Alex was to arrive in a couple of months. Not wanting to rudely admit that I was searching for Muhammad and not his son, I decided to take in the East practice with Mr. Poythress. Drooling over Muhammad could wait a while, I figured I needed to get a closer look at a player I knew was going to be in a Kentucky uniform next season. I was not disappointed.

The first thing I noticed about him was his physique. He had the body and athleticism of a veteran NBA small forward as a senior in high school. Poythress effortlessly turned the layup line into a slam dunk contest. Word around the gym was that NBA scouts were in awe and that he played his way up some draft boards that afternoon. As the practice went on Poythress put his entire arsenal on display. His tremendous passing, shooting, and defensive ability had other players struggling to guard or score on him. He was undoubtedly was the best player on the East team and made everyone who was watching him a believer in his talents.

It would’ve been a treat for Muhammad and Poythress to be on the same team during the event simply for the head-to-head practice sessions. Muhammad expressed his admiration for Poythress’ game after the East vs. West game calling him “the toughest person to score on.” There’s no doubt that Poythress could be the best perimeter defender in all of college basketball next season. His combination of basketball intelligence and length are going to put him in the Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and DeAndre Liggins class of recent Kentucky perimeter defenders.

While everyone expects Nerlens Noel will be the best player on next year’s team, I’m not so sold. I think that Poythress is a better player right now and will be the best overall (offensive and defensive) player on the Wildcats next season. Sure, Noel has a higher ceiling, will project better as a professional, and maybe even have a better NBA career than Poythress. But, from what I’ve seen, this kid is about to take the college basketball world by storm.

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

24 Comments for Alex Poythress poised to be best overall player next season

  1. tyrus
    8:03 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink


  2. Will
    8:05 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    I hope he tears his ACL. Would be karma for Cal and Wes paying every player under the sun. Tear it!

  3. brian m.
    8:06 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    people can call me crazy all they want but in my own opinion i think alex poythress is way better than shabazz muhammed in all phases of their games !!

  4. brian m.
    8:08 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    @ #2 and i hope will gets raped by some roid rage freak on bath salts tonight…

  5. minton
    8:10 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #2 You are one sick puppy. Beyond low to wish that for any kid coming out of high school. Beware the karma fairy. Wouldn’t be in your shoes for any amount of money.

  6. BBB
    8:21 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve always been perplexed as to why he wasn’t the #3 player in the class. Kyle Anderson? Please!

  7. Head Bussa
    8:26 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Thanks Rashawn. I respect your opinions and I’m thinking you’re right on this one.

  8. Not to Worry
    8:33 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t think we have to worry about #2. Not. At. All.

  9. Bradley
    8:33 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    2. Will, I hope u slip on KY Jelly while spending time with your blow up doll and snap your spine in half.

  10. Question
    8:34 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Why isn’t Will’s IP banned? Color me curious.

    And yes, Poythress is going to be beastly next year…will play like Jones wanted to and may cause us to have visions of the Monster Mash.

  11. Bigblueeasy
    8:47 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #2 shouldn’t you be over on little brothers board dreaming about making love to Siva!!!

  12. fish on
    8:52 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    is he 6-7 215 lbs or 6-8 230 lbs? how big is he? is he a small forward or a power forward?

  13. Tommy
    8:55 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #2 man u must b a miserable person. I woould wish that on any player.

  14. getting old
    9:15 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Get #2 off of here!! little bro envy

  15. Capt
    9:41 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    Will, I might tear your ACL and punch it into your face if you ever decide to visit.

  16. I Say
    11:04 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    I agree completely, although I don’t know if he’ll take the “college world by storm” but he will be our best all around player, with Archie nipping at his heels.

  17. Duke Sucks
    11:59 pm August 13, 2012 Permalink

    #10 is right. After you said it he does kinda remind you of Mash. That is high praise for the ones to young to remember how good he was. Mash was the BEST UK player in 30 years. He would be a all star if he played in today’s game.

  18. Saggywheels
    8:02 am August 14, 2012 Permalink

    Archie Goodwin is better than both

  19. Will
    8:28 am August 14, 2012 Permalink

    I have sex with my mom. A lot. she loves it on top. being on bottom would just be weird she says.

  20. lets do it again
    8:47 am August 14, 2012 Permalink

    It’s one thing to be a hater on a UK blog, but statements like #19 really need to go. This is very offensive and I’m sure not what this site intends it to be.

  21. Real Cats Fan
    9:00 am August 14, 2012 Permalink

    I’m looking forward to see how this team gels this year. It’s always tough to see a group of kids like we had last year depart for the pro’s, but it is always somewhat offset by the next crop of youngsters coming in who will soon be household names across the commonwealth. There sure isn’t time for boredom around these parts, at least not when you talk about basketball!

    RE “Will” – post #2 – classless troll. Contrast azz-sniff’s like him to the UK fans who expressed genuine empathy and concern for players of rival teams who were unfortunately injured last year, most notably Edgar Sosa, who was at one time universally disdained by UK fans. When he broke his leg playing for Cal for the DR team, a lot of Cats fans came onto this site to wish him luck in his recovery. That is a sign of true class, something “Will” will never know.

  22. Suffo-Cats
    9:14 am August 14, 2012 Permalink

    I feel as if this team has great individul parts… we must wait to see how the parts fit together. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “best” UK player was a senior transfer or an undersized point guard.

  23. Will S
    9:23 am August 14, 2012 Permalink

    I think Archie and Alex will be the best offensive players for UK this season. Nerlens will anchor the defense. Going to have a great defensive teams, as always with Cal. The weakness may be outside shooting, but that won’t be a problem if UK creates turnovers with suffocating defense, gets out in transition, and attacks the rim on a regular basis. Noel will develop offensively as the season goes on.

    Also, that was NOT me in comment #2 lol.

  24. Tuz
    10:32 pm August 14, 2012 Permalink

    Ah, Will………….you are one sad, pathetic piece of %$#^. Get off this site and return to your “hater cave” somewhere in the bowels of jealousy.