Barring something extreme happening the rest of this season, Alex Poythress’ career at Kentucky is going to be a wild variety of opinions. On the one hand, he has been a part of 2 Final Four teams (although injured for one) and we’ll see what this team ends up doing. He has been a popular figure for fans, never in trouble, the kind of player that many love because of his effort. He has some of the best highlights of anybody the last 4 years. On the other hand, he is the only Calipari 5-star player (out of 27 total) who will have stayed for 4 years. He’s been in and out of the starting lineup these last 3 years. He’s scored under 10 points in nearly 75% of his career games. Many will point to him on why Kentucky is great some nights and bad others, depending on how Alex plays.
How he finishes the year and how the team finishes will probably define his legacy. But what is interesting for Alex is despite his inconsistencies in the box score, he has and can make quite a mark in the UK record books. What Alex has that many players don’t is VERSATILITY. He can score in bunches, rebound great at times, and has the athleticism to block shots. That is a combination not a ton of guys have had at UK. Take a look at Alex’s current career statistics in those categories:
UK has played 16 games this season and I think it is reasonable to expect them to play at least 20 more. That would get them 5 postseason games combined with the SEC and NCAA Tournaments. I think that should be a minimum. If UK does play 20 more games, Alex would need to have the following averages to reach 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, and 75 blocks:
I certainly think we should expect Alex to reach those numbers easily for the rest of the season. The points will likely be the longest shot but if Alex can’t average 9.7 points per game then this team could be in trouble. Now, what does this all mean? Well, if Alex does reach those milestones above, he actually will join a pretty select company in UK lore. Take a look:
1,000 Points + 600 Rebounds (24 players)
Dan Issel, Kenny Walker, Goose Givens, Jamal Mashburn, Tayshaun Prince, Cotton Nash, Patrick Patterson, Melvin Turpin, Cliff Hagan, Pay Riley, Johnny Cox, Winston Bennett, Rick Robey, Mike Phillips, Mike Pratt, Frank Ramsey, Jim Andrews, Sam Bowie, Scott Padgett, Tom Parker, Chuck Hayes, Terrence Jones, Jamaal Magloire, Bob Burrow
1,000 Points + 600 Rebounds + 75 Blocks (8 players)
Walker, Prince, Patterson, Turpin, Bowie, Hayes, Jones, Magloire
Part of this is due to the fact that blocks were not an official stat until the 1980’s but even still, there are not many guys who have shown the ability to accomplish what Alex might be able to do. I am not sure that I will ever call Poythress’ career here, at least individually, a success. He did have a season derailed by injury but I’m not sure he was on the verge of becoming an All-SEC player anyway. But, you can’t deny that Alex hasn’t been a total bust either. He’s been consistently decent and when you are consistently decent for 4 years, you get the stats that he has.
Here is to hoping Alex finishes strong these last 20 or so games and firmly plants himself into UK lore.