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What would you say to Alex Poythress?

Photo © Mark Zerof

Photo © Mark Zerof

Photo © Mark Zerof

The deadline to enter the NBA Draft is Sunday, and John Calipari is meeting with his players today and tomorrow to discuss their options. This morning, he met with Julius Randle in what was surely the easiest of the five conversations. Julius has earned a spot in the hearts of the BBN forever, but is projected to be a Top 5 pick, which means it’s silly not to go.

This afternoon, Cal will meet with Alex Poythress and Dakari Johnson. Because DeWayne Peevy totally found out about my hidden camera, let’s use our imaginations to picture what’s going down in the meetings, starting with Poythress. Cal says that in these meetings, he presents each player with the information he’s gathered from the NBA, and asks the players to explain why they would like to stay or go. I’m big on lists, so here’s my list of reasons Alex needs to come back:

Getting your degree: Alex is practically a 4.0 student, and on track to graduate at the end of his junior year. This is a big priority for Alex, who enjoys school, and his family. For Alex more so than any of the other players deciding right now, this is a huge factor.

Achieving consistency: With Julius gone, there’s a good chance Alex can work his way back into the starting rotation. At times, Alex was the team’s most dependable sixth man, and in the tournament, he had an uncanny ability to make the plays the team needed the most. Alex still slumped a little this past season, but if he can build on his performance in the postseason, beast mode will become the norm instead of the exception.

Enjoying college for college: Our Alex Poythress source (Ryan Lemond) says that Alex truly enjoys being in college, and wants to stay another year. Ryan also said that if he’s making this decision with his heart, Alex will stay because he loves being at Kentucky so much.

No guarantee, even in the second round: Alex isn’t even listed on most mock drafts. Chad Ford says he’s the 51st best prospect, but that’s a pretty big gamble, especially just to get into the second round, where contracts aren’t guaranteed. Scouts say Alex would be a second round pick at best. I’ve read that some in Alex’s camp say they’re getting a lot of interest from a few teams, but I can’t help but think that if he’s drafted, Alex would be sent to the D-League for a few years until he becomes more consistent, and for a player who sometimes gets down on himself, that may not be a great option. Why not continue that development while getting closer to your degree?

What reasons would you give Alex for staying or going?

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.

61 Comments for What would you say to Alex Poythress?

  1. Hayley's quadriceps
    3:04 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Love Alex, but I would tell him to spend four hours a day, during his junior season, dribbling between cones with both hands.

  2. raccoon
    3:05 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    That pretty much sums it up. I think one thing is that he has 1st round talent and potential. So he has a lot to gain by coming back. He isn’t a Russ Smith-type player that has peaked. Mainly I would like to see him expand his offensive game. He is too athletic to not have better moves from 10-15 feet.

    3:07 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Alex you are majoring in accounting!! Finish your degree and, NBA or not, the wide wonderful world of accounting is open for you!

    • Steve
      4:30 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      Alex, work your tail off to improve your ball handling and shooting skills, or else a living hell of tax season and/or auditing awaits you.

  4. Brow
    3:11 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Taking off the blue goggles, I’d tell him to stay if he is ok with plYing 10 or 12 minutes per game. Go pro or transfer if you ever want to be anything more than a 7th man.

    • Brow
      3:14 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink


  5. CoachWannaBe
    3:14 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Alex —– please learn to pass the ball with a little back spin and touch,,,,,,,,those passes with overspin are terrible hard to catch.

  6. Teachable Mo'
    3:15 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I remember that Poythress is very smart. I’d suggest that he consider medicine as a career. We have enough athletes. We don’t have enough healers.

    • UKfan
      3:31 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      I sometimes wonder if “healers” are in it for the right reasons.

  7. MJB436
    3:15 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    #9, simple enough

  8. CoachWannaBe
    3:15 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink


    Hate auto spell,,,,hahaha

  9. tammy
    3:15 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Alex you were a difference maker in the last 5 games of the season. Come back next year and play 25-30 games like that instead of 5 and you’re a lock in the first round. You’re plenty good enough for the NBA but need to develop consistency – and BBN would LOVE to have you back!

  10. WithinReason
    3:16 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I would tell him thank you for being a Wildcat. Then I’d wish him luck regardless of his pending choice. I certainly want to see more of Alex at Kentucky but I’m not gonna tell someone how and when they should earn their living.

  11. Mc
    3:17 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Alex has the game of a 4 but should be a 3. Julius leaving doesn’t give him the chance to start. James Young leaving gives him a chance to start. Lyles is way more skilled than Alex, and is a top 10 pick next season. I think Alex should return. Focus on getting his degree. Work on his outside game and handle. He’ll make the best decision for him.

    • Cats
      3:25 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      Seriously. Saying AP will have better odds at starting at the 4 instead of the 3 seems crazy. If he started at the 4, and Dakari returned, we’d have Lyles, Towns, WCS, Lee, Dakari, and AP at the 4/5 spots. That’s 80 minutes divided by 6. That’s not happening. His best bet is the 3. Hopefully he can develop a consistent 3. Otherwise, Booker will take a lot of his minutes at the 3 if the twins did return.

  12. RICK
    3:17 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I would say Alex what ever you decide to do remember don’t pay any attention at all to what the fans have to say.

    • schwing
      3:33 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      right. pay attention to what the scouts and cal has to say. those things are that you are projected 50th this year and on track to graduate next year.

  13. huntin chickens
    3:18 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Alex. consistency.

  14. Dano
    3:18 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Play like the beast you should be for 40 games next year while finishing your degree in accounting. You will need the degree to count all the money you will make in the draft.

    That is all.

  15. Cousins Fake Tooth
    3:19 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t even see why this is a decision honestly. He is not ready. Will not be drafted in first round, and will spend a couple years in the d-league. He was better his Soph year vs his Frosh year though.

  16. Syrin
    3:20 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I’d tell him to work on his jump shot and go into full time beats mode next year in order to be a top 5 pick

    • Jughead
      3:28 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      Beats are good headphones.

  17. UKfan
    3:30 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Go with your gut kid. I think you know what the right decision for you is.

  18. houndstooth
    3:34 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I would tell him to leave- he doesn’t have the work ethic needed and I think he brings other players down. I used to take up for Alex until I heard a story about him skipping practice this year-telling Cal he was sick. I think it would be good for him to go.

    • UKBlue1!
      3:39 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      Yeah, Right? Go ask Russ Smith, what happened to the Cardinals season… paraphrase, “We got Poythressed.” Good Luck to all the Cats!

    • Carol
      8:33 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      You would be wrong. Alex Poythress is a good player and we could really use him next year. But he must do what is best for HIM!

  19. Mack
    3:37 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Remember you are Tarzan not Jane, play like it.

  20. asdf
    3:38 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Bring home # 9 and it won’t matter how your pro career turns out. You’ll never be without opportunity in the Bluegrass State because important doors will be open when you come knocking.

    • Do whut?
      4:04 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      That would be great. “Look at you Alex. You don’t have to work in the fields like everyone else. No siree! You get to work the day away where it’s nice and cool. Now come out here and meet our important guests.”

  21. Azubuike's Bicep
    3:40 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Alex is a smart young man. Regardless of his decision, I’m sure it’ll be a smart choice in the long run.

  22. Derrick Hord says
    3:40 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Improve your handle, develop a pull up jumper, keep up the confidence and stay in school.

  23. markky
    3:45 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    this kid is FULL OF ATHLETICISM and just needs more polishing. he is a finisher but could really benefit from developing some post moves and shooting. practice breeds confidence! and he needs it! there is no way he leaves in my opinion but needs to develp some goals this year and work his tail off in the off season.

  24. Jughead
    3:46 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Has the physical, but not the mental. Stay another year, graduate, grow up.

  25. Stay
    3:50 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Stay – Graduate, improve your handle, work on outside shot (Mid-range jumpers included) and play the 3 where you will be in the NBA…in other words the same reasons Patterson stayed

  26. UKblueblood
    3:51 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I would tell him to not waste his time reading mine or any other fan’s comments about what he should do. It’s his decision. Good luck w/ it.

  27. Do whut?
    3:54 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I would probably say something like, “wait a minute. Who the hell am I to tell you what you should do?! Sorry for being so presumptuous and good luck no matter what you decide.” Yeah. Probably something like that.

  28. Stanley
    3:56 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Since it looks like you will be 2nd round at the best and if you truly enjoy school being as close as you are to getting degree why don’t you return to school, work on the stuff that the NBA’s scouts say that you need to and enter draft next year. You have the potential, body, etc to be a lottery pick. You just need to work, work, work on the fundamentals and a lot of it is mental. You have the potential, talent, etc. you just now have to unleash that potential.
    Go Big Blue

  29. The Loco Pollo
    3:56 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Tell him to do what’s best for himself.

    However, it seems simple to me. If Alex plays with the intensity that we’ve seen he’s capable of, he controls his own destiny at UK. Be the beast he is (consistently) and he’s playing 25+ minutes per game – no question – and rockets back up the NBA draft boards to mid-to-late lottery in 2015.

    It’s really all up to Alex as to what he wants to do, but he controls his own destiny when it comes to PT. There’s no Julius Randle ahead of him next year and unless Alex doesn’t want it badly, the Fr don’t pose a threat to him like some think. I hope he’s back for his Jr year and another drive for 9.

  30. billybobthorton
    3:59 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    get a job

  31. kyle heavy
    4:11 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Cal is the KING of marketing. He’s doing this with his players to market their individual brands. Smart people know that Alex is not going anywhere. Willie was a potential lottery pick so him coming back overshadowed Alex’s return. However, this will be a much bigger story (than it should be) with the media that he chose to come back and start at the 3 this year. Players First.

    • Give me a break
      4:30 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      Is it that “smart people” can read minds or just that they agree with you? I tend to think he’ll come back myself as much to finish his degree as anything else but please don’t act like guessing what a kid will decide to do is so easy for “smart people”.

  32. UK student
    4:16 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Hearing he will transfer.

    • no you're not
      5:59 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

      no you’re not… Not from a credible source anyway…

  33. theWilkman
    4:18 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I’d tell him to walk across campus and try out for the football team. Kid may or may not pan out in the NBA, but he would be an outstanding tight end in the Jimmy Graham mode. Plus, “run this route, jump and catch the ball” is more his athletic style. Can’t overthink that!

  34. SoCalCat
    4:26 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Certainly no demand for him at the moment. He would need to vastly improve to get first round status. 4 years may get him there.

  35. Dale
    4:32 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Finish your degree. NBA can wait 1 maybe 2 more years. You can be a great player and win a title with UK. He would be D League bound at this point. Not a place where he would be happy.

  36. Faitha Bryan
    4:35 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Alex has the ability to be a great player but He needs more time to hone his skills. I sure hope he stays and gets his degree. I would like to see Ky. win the NCAA in 2015.

  37. Sully
    4:40 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I’d tell him to download a video of Len Bias at Maryland to see what Alex could be. The sky is the limit for Alex if he will put in the work to be a great player–not just a player, but a great player.

  38. Bigshot Bank President
    4:54 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    July 1, 2015–“Mr. Poythress, thank you very much. We don’t often get 8 figure deposits from individual customers. We will work hard to keep your business.”

  39. “Stay cuz I want #9!”

  40. See Blue
    5:00 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Pay attention to what your coach and your family has to say about the situation and nobody else. Cal will be honest and tell you what the NBA teams have to say. If 9 scouts tell you they aren’t interested and 1 scout says he is, beware because that scout may want to get you in late 2nd or 3rd round where nothing is guaranteed. Can’t go wrong with coming back to school. The NBA is always going to be there and you have the rest of your life to grow up. Your game improved by leaps and bounds this season and will probably do the same next year. No matter what you choose, the BBN will always stand behind.

  41. He gone
    5:03 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    He gone!

  42. CatBlue in LR
    5:31 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    His hands need a lot of work, in addition to general ball-handling skills. I would spend a lot of time on quick-cals type of drills and hand-eye coordination drills, such as tossing tennis balls rapid-fire to each side of him. There were any number of times he wasn’t ready for passing he should have caught for easy buckets.

  43. CoachStoops
    5:45 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Come be a hero. #WhyNot

  44. bradsd
    5:59 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Id say come back and work on a jump shot individual moves to the basket and ball handling and to top it off intensity. Do this and go top 12 next year with a degree within easy grasp

  45. Bill
    6:20 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Alex moves at his own speed in everything. Alex, your upside is largely unexplored but the flashes we’ve seen are brilliant. Whatever you do, you seem to have enough integrity and drive to do it right. We sure would love to see you back next year, but it’s your choice and there is no question you’ll make the right one for your own future.

  46. Trackcat
    6:21 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I’d tell Alex to look at things a little selfishly… Cal needs a specific plan for Alex that will help him improve. What things will they do for him offensively to display what he needs to make the team better and improve his stock. Also a specific training regime to improve his shooting and ball handling.

  47. Melissa Gentry
    6:24 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I would say please stay! A-Poy, as we refer to him has amazing talent and potential. He is very intelligent, Soooo close to his degree, and exciting to watch. I really hope he stays one more yr!! 🙂

  48. bobolopolis
    6:34 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    Poythress is a ridiculous athlete with springs for legs. Athletically there is no question he can play in the NBA. I really think his combine stats will be unbelievable. But the combine doesn’t make or break players at the next level like it does in the NFL. Plenty of flat footed, short, below the rim players have stuck over more athletic dudes (Dejuan Blair, Glen Davis etc)

    But he’s got to show them some skills. His defense got better at the end of the year but he got burned against faster players at the start of the year. He still doesn’t trust his jumper. He has no post moves. Part of the problem is that the coaching staff can’t seem to decide whether he’s a three or four. He’s a step slow for a three but you can tell in HS he played facing the basket. I didn’t get to see him much last year because I was deployed but looks like he was a converted slasher to post player this year.

    He would get more easy baskets off of putbacks and dunks in the NBA because not many teams play zone but that’s not a calling card on offense.

    He could use a year where he averages double digit points and expands his offensive game and pulls down about six boards. Then he’d be a first round pick easy.

    But really even if Poythress is taken in the second round you can’t really begrudge kids making hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think his NBA development time would be hastened if he came back. In the pros the way the games are scheduled you improve in the offseason. You can’t really try to improve during an 82 game season during the season. Fatigue of the body and mind by the end of the season starts having its effects on your game.

    • That's day one stuff bro...
      12:50 am April 22, 2014 Permalink

      Much more difficult to block out effectively, in a zone defense, compared to man to man defense.

  49. Carol
    8:25 pm April 21, 2014 Permalink

    I sure hope that Poythress comes back! I think he can help his status in the draft by coming back…