This season so far might not have been what Alex Poythress, the former McDonald’s All-American, envisioned when he passed up the NBA to return to the University of Kentucky as a sophomore. He’s averaging just 4.8 points and 5.9 rebounds, both down from last year, and hasn’t started any of the Wildcats’ first 13 games.
Yet there was coach John Calipari on Saturday, after UK knocked off rival Louisville 73-66 for its biggest win to date, calling Poythress “great” and “outstanding” and “unbelievable,” saying he’s “never been like this.”
It’s easy for Poythress to get lost in the shuffle surrounded by so many star freshmen — six new McDonald’s All-Americans — and fellow sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein, who is swatting shots like he’s the second coming of Anthony Davis. But slowly, quietly, Poythress is making progress and finding his own way to help.