- Alex Poythress
- Hometown (Last School)
- Clarksville, Tenn. (Northeast)
- 2014-15, 2015-16, 2012-13, 2013-14
- September 6, 1993
Alex Poythress was born September 6, 1993, in Savannah, Georgia, to Regina and Antoine Poythress. He won the Gatorade Player of the Year for Tennessee in 2011–2012 in his senior year of high school and was the TSSAA Class AAA Mr. Basketball his senior year. He was a 5 star recruit out of Northeast High School in Clarksville, Tennessee during 2011–2012. He earned Parade and McDonald’s All-America honors and was the seventh overall player and the No. 3 small forward by Scout.com. He was rated eighth overall and No. 2 at his position by Rivals.com. ESPNU recruiting ranked him 13th overall and No. 3 at his position.
Poythress reportedly received at least 15 scholarship offers, including Duke, Connecticut, Ohio State, Tennessee, Louisville, Florida, Memphis, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky and Texas before committing to Kentucky on November 11, 2011. He joined five-star shooting guard Archie Goodwin and four-star center Willie Cauley in a class that ranked among the top five in the country. “(Kentucky) was just a place I felt comfortable with,” Poythress said. “Coach Calipari is a good coach. I like their offense very well. I just felt like I can get better there.”
As a freshman, he appeared in all 33 games, making 31 starts. Poythress ranked second on the team with 11.2 points, while also hauling in an average of 6.0 rebounds per outing. He tallied nine points and career-high 12 rebounds in a win over Florida. He tallied his first career 20-10 game against LSU with 20 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. He became the first Wildcat to have four-straight 20-point games since Jodie Meeks in the 2008-09 season and the first UK freshman to record four-straight 20-point games since Dwight Anderson in 1978-79 season. He scored a career-high 22 points against Lafayette and tied his career-high 22 points against LIU Brooklyn while grabbing nine rebounds.
As a sophomore, he appeared in all 40 contests for UK and served as the team’s sixth-man averaging 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Poythress delivered eight points to help UK move past Michigan in the Elite Eight. He scored six points in the final five minutes of the game to help UK secure a comeback win over Louisville in the Sweet 16 and scored eight points and pulled down seven rebounds in 29 minutes of action to push UK past Wisconsin in the Final Four. He recorded a season-high 16 points, including shooting 8-of-9 from the charity stripe, and pulled down five boards in UK’s win over Texas A&M. In 27 minutes of action vs. Michigan State, he scored seven points and pulled down 12 rebounds. He registered a double-double effort with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds in a season-opening victory over UNC Asheville.
As a junior, Poythress was named an SEC Academic Honor Roll member for the third time in his career and earned his undergraduate degree in business marketing from UK in just three years. Alex missed the final 29 games of his junior season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a practice in early December.
Poythress returned to Kentucky for his senior season and averaged 10.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. As of the 2020–21 season, Poythress remained one of only five players to play four scholarship seasons under John Calipari at Kentucky. He was named to CoSIDA’s Academic All-America Second Team and was one of four finalists for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Player of the Year Award. He was one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. He averaged double figures for the second time in his career while earning a career-best 19 steals. His .601 field-goal percentage ranks as the fifth best in the John Calipari era. He was nearly unstoppable vs. Georgia in the SEC Tournament with 20 points and seven rebounds on 7-of-8 shooting. He scored a career-high 25 points at Alabama on 8-of-10 shooting and a 9-of-11 day at the free-throw line. That 25-point performance vs. Alabama was the most by a senior in the Calipari era at Kentucky. He had a career day against Eastern Kentucky with 21 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. Alex finished his career with 112 games played and 62 starts. He averaged 10.2 points, most among UK’s frontcourt players, and a 6.0 rebounding average which tied for the team high. He posted four double-doubles, tied for the second most on the team and led the team in rebounding eight times. He finished his career with 966 points, 597 rebounds and 77 blocks, becoming just the 12th player in program history with at least 900 points, at least 500 rebounds and at least 70 blocks.
Poythress may not have expected to stay at Kentucky long enough to participate in senior day, but he enjoyed the moment all the same. “It was just great to be a part of this and everything,” Poythress said. “It just meant everything.” In addition to Kentucky’s normal senior day festivities, Poythress was greeted by video messages on the Rupp Arena monitors from former teammates Kyle Wiltjer, Aaron Harrison and Karl-Anthony Towns while he stood at center court surrounded by family.
“A lot of memories I remembered when I was out there,” said Poythress, who was not informed of the messages before the ceremony. “Really loved Aaron’s little speech.”
The Rupp Arena crowd made good on the “Roar for 22” motto established after Poythress’ season-ending ACL injury as a junior by giving him a resounding ovation during senior day festivities, starting lineup introductions and his last exit from the court at the end of a 94-77 win over LSU.