Heading into the Big Blue Bahamas tour, the question burning hotter than any other was will Alex Poythress reach his potential and play like the #1 pick he can be? We’re halfway home and Poythress has not disappointed.
Poythress has been an absolute brute inside. When things haven’t gone his way instead of disappearing on the court, he’s responded by increasing his physicality. He’s playing like the vocal leader this team needs, leading the team in points (13.7) and rebounds (8).
Yahoo Sports’ Ricky O’Donnell is the first to warn the nation of a more powerful Poythress.
Two years can feel like an eternity at Kentucky with the way Calipari recruits every summer. Make it back for a third and there’s a good chance you’ll be going pro in something other than basketball. That’s not the case with Poythress (or Cauley-Stein, for that matter), though. At 6’8, 240 pounds and with top-level athleticism, Poythress has the makings of a first round pick.
Of course, Poythress is only back for his junior season for a reason. Had he come out last year, he likely would have been a second round pick. He needs to develop a jump shot and improve his handle if he’s going to transition to becoming a full-time small forward. It’ll be a challenge for someone who has mostly played the four throughout his career, but the size and versatility to defend either forward spot is part of what makes him unique.
REMEMBER: this is just the warm-up tour. #ItsOKtoGeek