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Alex Poythress: The Next Patrick Patterson?


Since he arrived, played, and graduated, we’ve had three seasons without Patrick Patterson, who, without hyperbole, may have been one of the biggest factors in turning around UK basketball. A top-15 recruit when he signed in 2007, Patterson was one of the biggest recruits of the decade for Kentucky. But not only did he come in highly-touted, but he stayed three years, graduated, and only got better during his tenure.  Now he’s enjoying a successful pro career in Sacramento, after being a fan-favorite in Lexington.

You know who could learn from that?  If you read the title of this post, or looked at the above picture, you’re probably a step ahead.  So congratulations.  But look at the numbers from their freshman seasons; there are a lot of similarities.  Patterson got nearly ten more minutes per game, largely out of necessity, but within those minutes, Poythress and Patterson are a lot alike.

Both players shot at over 57% from the field, which frankly is pretty outstanding.  Throw in Poythress’ 42.4% 3-point clip, and you’ve got a super-efficient offensive player, if maybe not aggressive enough for certain stretches.  And the rebound rate (7.7/game for Patterson, 6.0/game for Poythress), accounting for the minutes disparity, is about the same, too.  What you have with both of these guys are strong frontcourt players who benefit a little from being able to step out and, and benefit a lot from having better players around them.  Even if he doesn’t start next season, look for Poythress to have a dynamite year, with less pressure, and more opportunity to play his game.

But more important than basketball performance, Poythress can take a page out of Patterson’s Character Handbook.  PPatt was a legend not because he led the school from the BCG era to the Elite 8 in Cal’s first year, but because in addition to his ability, he was a humble guy that appreciated fans, respected coaches, and always went out of his way to represent the University well.  Whether that meant graduating a year ahead of schedule, deferring to Wall and Cousins as teammates (despite his seniority), or giving people rides home after Basketball Camps, there was really nothing he could do wrong.  If Poythress follows that example, whether he’s here 2 years, or 3-4, he can continue to impress folks around the BBN who are looking for a guy to step up and be what Patterson was: a true leader, on and off the court.

So Alex, if you’re reading this, you have a tremendous opportunity to become something that your team really needs: a leader who is secure enough to step back on the court, while stepping up off it.  Next year should be great, and your continued maturation could have a lot to do with that.

Go Cats.

Article written by Corey Nichols

74 Comments for Alex Poythress: The Next Patrick Patterson?

  1. big difference
    9:10 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    PPat could shoot free throws

  2. josh
    9:10 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    they even look alike

  3. minton
    9:13 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    All season, I’ve been thinking his is more like Jones. You know he has the talent and can be a beast, but when will we see it? He seems a bit timid. Once he comes out of his shell, look out.

  4. markky
    9:13 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    this is exactly what I was thinking. Alex won’t get huge amounts of playing time this fall but will become a Darius/PP type player and grow at his pace…

  5. jb
    9:14 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Big difference? Poythress 69%, PPat 73%.. yeah huge difference in players.

  6. Walter Sobchak
    9:15 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    1) And poythress can’t? I don’t remember him ever struggling badly from the line. But, I guess everyone looks like a good ft shooter when compared to a few of the guys on last years team

  7. Joe Blow
    9:15 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    68% and 73% isn’t much of a difference there “big difference”

  8. Nick Papageorgio
    9:15 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    3 – Agree…always thought he was more of a T Jones type…without the selfishness

  9. Joe Blow
    9:16 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Jb beat me to it…

  10. Seriously
    9:16 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Dumbest post i’ve ever seen Nichols make and that is saying something.

  11. Austin
    9:16 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I covered the Cats for a small blog during Patterson’s junior year. After a game where Magic Johnson was in attendance, I asked him about the difference in the buzz around the program vs his first two years. It was the last question of the night. The media guy (not Peevy, but the bald white guy) came and said this was the last question before I got my question off. It was around midnight, if not later. Patterson could have given me a ten second answer and called it a day. It was late. I wouldn’t have thought anything of it. I think I was the only “media” left talking to him. He sat there for five minutes answering my question thoughtfully and thoroughly. I know they get training on how to deal with media types, but that left a big impression on me.

  12. Austin
    9:19 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    As for comparing the two, I think Poythress is somewhere in between Darius Miller and Patrick Patterson, both in what he did as a freshmen, and what his potential is down the road. I am excited he came back, he could be a good one.

  13. ky_99
    9:19 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Aaron Harrison says the group already has a more suitable nickname than “Super Six” or “The Magnificent Seven.”

    “We’re Kentucky, that’s all we are,” he said. “We don’t need any nicknames. We’re just going to go out there and prove that we’e the best. We like all of it (pressure). Great players thrive in great moments. Just wait and see.”

  14. BA
    9:20 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Poythress really messed with my emotions this past season…some games we would have definently lost without him…and some games he was main reason we lost. But there is no doubt that he is an amazing athlete and bball player. I think a combination of high quality practices and playing a role where he isn’t the main player at his position will allow him to refine his game.

    Welcome back.

  15. Steely Dan
    9:21 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    A few things to bitch and moan about

    1) We needed Patterson more his freshman year? Really? A team that lost in the first round of the NIT didn’t need a top 20 recruit to fill some minutes?
    2) PPat took three 3’s his freshman season and missed them all. Didn’t even make one until his Junior year
    3) PPat was a much better defender
    4) PPat was a better passer
    5) PPat cared about playing basketball

    I see absolutely nothing similar about these two guys other than their FG% and frame

  16. An Answer
    9:23 am April 3, 2013 Permalink



  17. hallfan01
    9:23 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Worst post since Jones said Calipari should bring back Michael Porter for his senior season.

  18. HUH
    9:24 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    No HE is not the next PPAt. Pat had heart and always played with intensity when he was out there. While Poythress shows glimpses, It’s just not constant enough. Pat came in at a time when we really needed him, Poythress came in right after a championship. If Poythress learns how to go balls to wall all the time, I’ll take it all back.

    I just don’t see any similarities

  19. Daryl Dixon
    9:24 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Seriously? PPat was a beast from day 1. End of comparison, end of conversation.

  20. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    9:25 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    If we’re gonna compare Poythress to anyone, I would pick Kaz……comparing him to Patterson is absurd.

  21. MS cat
    9:26 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    PG ?? When Harrison needs a blow or if has injury who runs point? does Aaron play PG

  22. kyle heavy
    9:28 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    This is a rather horrible comparison.

  23. hallfan01
    9:28 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    #21 – Hawkins

  24. Free Enes
    9:28 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Played more like Kanter. Heard he was a beast but we never saw him play.

  25. Rayder
    9:31 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    When Harrison needs a “blow” I think Hood or Poythress would be very much up the task.


  26. HicksPickSix
    9:31 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Corey Nichols: The Next Armond White?

  27. Al's IndiCats
    9:32 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Not quite sure to label him the next PP, if nothing else is because of Patrick’s work ethic. But if he comes back with the mindset of doing everything Cal teaches him, I’m sure AP will be just fine.

  28. Michael
    9:32 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    PPat got traded to Sacramento?

  29. kyle heavy
    9:32 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Things that come to mind when thinking of these two:



  30. Topical Pseudonym
    9:32 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    All this is pointless unless ALEX himself wants it…hasn’t yet shown it

  31. Hartline
    9:32 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I actually think this is a fairly apt comparison although I feel like Patterson had better post moves. If Poythress could hit the mid range jumper on the elbow or down the baseline we would be cooking

  32. TampaCat
    9:32 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    All he needs to do now is to have the desire to “make a difference” in the outcome of a game. Working together with the new team coming in will make a man out of Poytress. Alex will be hungry and show it on the court!!! Go Cats!

  33. Matt
    9:33 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Based on Corey’s track record this is what I expected when I read the title: “Alex Poythress: The Next Patrick Patterson?”…. blah blah blah….. no he is not. The end

  34. RahRah
    9:36 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with Aaron H here. Sitting around making up nickames for a team that hasn’t even hit the court yet is just dumb. Nicknames are only good if they develop naturally and pretty silly then. As in, “Russdiculous.” Ugh.
    Cats 2014!

  35. Devastation INC
    9:40 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    This was an old Corey post. He was getting better and just took two steps back.

  36. STEVE!
    9:41 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Patterson was 6’9″ and could play with his back to the basket, and played Center most of his career, even backing up Cousins. He learned to play on the Wing under Calipari, and can play all three front court positions now in the NBA. Alex is 6’7″, and I doubt he’ll ever be the post player Pat was. Hopefully, he can become an all-around good offensive and hard-to-defend Small Forward, another Darius Miller.

  37. House Lannister
    9:46 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    3rd Day in a row.


    You ask questions that the answer is 1000% no every single day. Why?

  38. Rixter
    9:48 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    To you posters who disagree with everything that is written here:

    Why do you come here? Don’t you have something better to do? And if not, that’s just sad.

  39. John Ellis
    9:49 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Poythress is a very bright kid, 4.0 GPA, and actually the simple stuff in BBall seems to be the hardest for him. A year mostly backing up what could be a historically great team then stepping into the star spotlight as a junior may be his ticket. He was the missing link, had he gotten it this year UK might still be playing. Seriously. He actually reminds me a lot more of Jones than Patterson. With five teammates who might go in front of him in the draft next year, I hope he’s thinking long term.

  40. Uglymuffin
    9:50 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    John Calipari was the ONLY reason for UKs turn around. Patterson lead us to the NIT before Cal. You guys over hype Patterson to Mashburn type levels…he wasn’t even close.

  41. Hey Corey
    9:52 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t know why only sad or angry people post about your post but it was a good read man. I sure hope your right about him though, definitely is a special kid but will he grow up that much in one offseason without buddy Goodwin, only time will tell and we all will be there in October to see it.

  42. Wall2Cousins
    9:55 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    LOL at people who think Polson or Hood will get any minutes next year…haha TFF

  43. Alright
    9:57 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Alright, Alright….who thinks Number 41 is really Corey!?!?

    Its either him or his mom, tough to say.

  44. Rockfield, KY
    10:04 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Corey’s posts are a lot like Aaron’s bachelor posts. I get on here to read the a$$hole comments by you miserable people who have nothing better to do than complain all day. If you have something better you can write about please do one of the following:

    1. Start your own blog, see if people want to read your bull$hit
    2. Submit a column to Matt and see if he’ll post it. It it’s worth a damn (probably won’t be) I”m sure he’d post it.

  45. trytodoubleteammeandsomebodywillgetdunkedon
    10:04 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Guard play was a huge issue for us this season. The whole team looked lost most of the season on offense. The defense was decent until we lost Nerlens. With more depth it will definitely open up the floor. Poythress is talented, yes, but even good talent has trouble when they are double and triple teamed. Teams will not have the option to double and triple with the class coming in.

  46. Bunzz
    10:05 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t think Alex’s charactor is in question. I believe he is a fine, humble kid. The only thing that I really wish he would take from Patrick, is his work ethic and effort level. That was my only issure with Alex all season.

  47. asdf
    10:11 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    There are some similarities between PPatt and Poythress, especially off the court. Both are very intelligent, well-spoken young men. The big difference is, of course, drive. I’m not sure that at this point in his development, Alex could have survived a season under Hitler the way Patrick had to. Thank God that Momma Patterson came down and laid down the law to Barnhart to get BCG outta here!

  48. Ware's Calcium
    10:20 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    We haters here in the comment section exist for one purpose. To attempt to show you fools that following blindly anything that Matt Jones and his minions say is a terrible pattern.

    Just because they have a blog doesn’t mean they have ANY CLUE what they are talking about. If Matt Jones says jump, you fools ask how high…if Corey Nichols writes a crap post (which isn’t much of an “if”) you commend him, essentially giving him a participation medal.

    Thats the problem, it is the supporters of the continuance of the pure crap factory that is this website.

  49. Dave
    10:37 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    40- you need a hobby. Also, your screen name suggests that you are making light of Kevin Ware’s injury. Again, find something in life that you enjoy and direct your energies there rather than disparaging afree website.

  50. Dave
    10:38 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I meant 48. 40, carry on.

  51. Turkey thug
    10:43 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Agree that the only striking similarities between pat and Alex are Height and fg%.
    Patterson was a hustle player, a loose ball getter and a steady leader. He also had a high basketball IQ. Granted, Patterson was accustomed to playing along side a talented guard in HS (oj mayo). Poythress played a very reserved, deferring role this season. With a full spring and summer of practice, he COULD put himself into a position for this comparison, however Cal not anyone else can teach emotion. He will have to find it in himself or continue to be a deferring player. Patterson was able to play with his back to the basket and be aggressive, poythress showed some signs of that this year when they would dump him the ball on the block but in all honesty, he was most effective as a cutter and slashing towards the rim. He has the size and body to be a bully in the paint, he just needs to do it collectively. Jones needed the 2nd year, and really needed a 3rd. If poythress can be an aggressive rebounder and a hustle player and also be a complimentary offensive player he will be just fine. Next year we will have the luxury of a rotation where the kid won’t be exhausted and can put forth max effort during his minutes. Find the things he is able to do well, and do them. Not having the pressure of playing outside his limits will help him.

  52. Teachable Mo'
    10:43 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    The important thing is to make sweeping, irrational, narrow-minded, peevish, infantile character judgments based upon how a kid plays basketball.

  53. Ware's Calcium
    10:43 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Suggests? You sir, are a scholar and a gentleman. I can’t believe you were intelligent enough to decipher my screen name. If you are the mental standard for this site then I have exceeded my intellectual bounds. Further, your eye-opening comment has sincerely effected me. Thank you. I shall never frequent this site again. I apologize to you and your loved ones, David. Truly.

  54. PoHot Off The Press
    10:44 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    When Corey’s mom takes him to the store she wears a shirt that says “I’m With Stupid”

  55. dsjfh
    11:01 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    comparing poythress to patterson is literally the dumbest thing you could’ve done. wow, a huge insult to one of the greatest players to suit up for the cats. PPatt is the complete antithesis of Poythress. you, my friend, are a dolphin.

  56. BravoBigBlue
    11:01 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I cannot imagine a less valid comparison. PP was a warrior from the time he stepped on the court for the Wildcats. Also, a tremendous leader. Poythress is like Miller – passive and unsure of how good he can really be. Man, do you guys just make this stuff up as you go along?

  57. playersfan
    11:08 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    If Julius is what everyone thinks he is, and I believe it, Poythress and Wiltjer are going to benefit greatly playing every day against good, big physical speciman, and they step up and learn, or they stay to weak. I think they will stepup.

  58. Kevin Cooke
    11:20 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

  59. WildcatRX7
    11:22 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Good article! Well said.

  60. AndrewH
    11:36 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I didn’t take time to read other comments, but Patrick played his butt off when he was on the court. They have similar body types but that is about it.

  61. Slap to the face
    11:37 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Ouch! Awful comparison. The two are nothing alike. Makes me wonder if Corey isn’t just trying to stir something up on a light news day.

  62. moob boom
    11:46 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    It can be argued that Patterson”s best year was his first.

  63. Dave
    11:58 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Ware’s calcium, I am glad that I got through to you. Since you will never frequent this site again you will not see this, but try to learn the difference between “effect” and “affect”.

  64. Zach
    11:58 am April 3, 2013 Permalink

    PPatt played intensity, heart, and passion for the team he played for. Poythress did not try, was too passive, which made his production decrease. Patterson played like a beast from his freshman year onward, Poythress didn’t. There is no comparison between these two unless it is a comparison between the FG%, otherwise, Patterson andPoythress are completely different.

  65. Poy's response
    12:22 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Can you imagine POY reading this and actually appreciating the advice? If it was me, I would be so annoyed with this writer. You’re not the coach. Quit trying to give the players advice

  66. sunnycat
    12:50 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    STOP…..Poythress is nothing like PPat or T Jones. Jones was very frustrating during his freshman year but the effort was always there and PPAT left it all on the court from day one. Poythress is soft and lazy.

  67. WSFLWildcat
    12:54 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Glad Alex is coming back. The sky is still the limit for him. Go CATS!

  68. brain
    12:55 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I love PPat but Cal is the single biggest reason for the BB turn around and it’s not even close.

  69. Jughead
    1:56 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Er…Alex is not reading this. So why ask the question?

  70. gettinluckyinky
    2:16 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    poythess….grow some balls end of story….tj was a but hard to watch at times mostly his freshman year but he had intensity and always went for the throat…patterson was always ball to wall and ALWAYS gave 100%….poythress GROW SOME BALLS

    2:34 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    70- I remember Alex dunking all over Duke. He’s capable of starting on our team next year if Wiggins doesn’t come. I hate stubborn UK fans. “grow some balls”? are you an idiot or what? He’s a freshman in college loser. You’re the one talking crap on a post, Alex will be a millionaire. #9 #BBN

  72. njCat
    3:05 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Given the mentality of the kids coming in, Alex will either adjust or move to the end of the bench. Hopefully he responds well because he has a ton of potential. His only limitations are mental. Unfortunately, those might be the toughest to overcome. Toughness is hard to teach.

    That said, there is very little similarity between PPat and Poythress, other than their size and the fact that they may both be three year guys. The skillset and mentality of the two guys couldn’t be more different.

  73. Shannon
    3:06 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Is Poythress even commimg back?He hasn’t publicly stated for sure what he’s going to do, although he appears to be leaning to staying. I hope he does though, another year would do him and the team good.

  74. Corey
    4:35 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I like Alex and he has a ton of potential. He’s just a kid and we should have patience and understand that all freshmen don’t develop at the same rate. But he has a loooooooooooooooooooong way to go before we start calling him the next ‘P’PAT!!! Not even close, at this point.

    But if he [Alex] somehow catches a mean streak I could see it.