Alex Poythress was a projected NBA lottery pick and preseason All-SEC player before he ever stepped foot on a college basketball floor. Those lofty expectations are why most Kentucky fans call Poythress’ freshman season a huge disappointment, even though he averaged over 11 points and six rebounds per game.
Despite the underwhelming rookie year, Poythress still could’ve left for the NBA on potential alone and gone somewhere in the first round. But he chose to return to Kentucky instead, because he is more than potential, he says.
“[I want to] prove that I belong,” he said this afternoon when asked about his personal goals for 2013-14. “Prove I’m not just potential.”
Leaving Kentucky after one year, the way that year ended, would’ve left a bad taste in his mouth, he added.
“You can’t end your college career like that.”
Poythress knows how special next year’s team can be and he’s excited about facing the competition in practice and bettering himself as a player. He realizes it’ll be a fight for playing time but he’s ready to step up and he isn’t worried about the minutes.
“If you come to practice and work hard and compete, playing time will work itself out.”
That’s exactly what fans want to hear.