Alex Poythress has decided to come back to Kentucky for his sophomore season. With a loaded recruiting class coming in, Poythress was under plenty of speculation whether he would want to be apart of a deep team. The fight for playing time and for your position was enough to send Archie Goodwin to the NBA. Poythress’ potential is through the roof with his big, strong body. He has a decent outside shot, but needs consistency. At 6’7”, he also needs to improve his rebounding efficiency to be successful at Kentucky and beyond. He’s way too big and strong to be pinned under the basket and made ineffective.
Poythress’ decision to come back was probably the best for him as a basketball player. He may already have an NBA body, but he doesn’t have an NBA mindset. His situation reminds me a lot of Terrence Jones. Jones’ lackluster freshman campaign had a lot of fans questioning his heart, drive, and motor. When Jones decided to come back for his sophomore season, he became a vital part in bringing #8 to the ‘Cats. Not only was he physically stronger and even more imposing, he became an immediate threat to attack the glass and throw down a hammer dunk. I can envision another year for Alex Poythress having the same type of improvements if he puts in the dedication and gets his mind right.
The bigger difference between Jones and Poythress is the team that surrounds them. Terrence Jones had plenty of talent around him, along with experience. Jones was without a doubt going to be a starter, and the featured big man outside of Anthony Davis. Poythress will not have that luxury, especially if Kentucky lands a commitment from Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins and Poythress essentially could play the same position, and Wiggins would more than likely start over Poythress. Will Poythress be hindered by more competition? Or, will he raise his game and soar above the rest to claim his starting spot?