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Alex Poythress will not enter NBA Draft, will return to Kentucky

Apr 2, 2013, 8:25 PM EDT

Alex Poythress AP

Freshman forward Alex Poythress will not enter the NBA draft and will instead return to Kentucky for his sophomore season, the school announced in a release Tuesday evening.

Poythress, a 6-7, 239-pound native of Tennessee, averaged 11.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game this season for a Kentucky team that missed the NCAA tournament and lost in the first round of the NIT.

“This year didn’t end like we wanted it to,” Poythress said in a statement. “I want to come back and do what we said we wanted to do and that’s win a national title. I want to develop more as a player and the competition coming in next year should help me do that.”

(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

But consider this: One of the biggest reasons that Kentucky was able to win a national championship in 2011-12, aside from the fact it had a National Player of the Year in then-freshman Anthony Davis, was because Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones had returned for their sophomore seasons. Their year of experience, plus senior Darius Miller, were important to the Wildcats’ run.

We could see a similar situation play out next season in 2013-14.

It is already decided that guard Archie Goodwin will leave for the NBA and it is likely that center Nerlens Noel will too, but Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein will return to Lexington. Those two in combination with the stellar recruiting class that is set to come to town at the start of the year could make Kentucky forget about this past season rather quickly.

The nation’s top player, Andrew Wiggins, is still deciding where he will play his college basketball. He will choose either Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, or Florida State. If Wiggins commits, it would give Kentucky six of the Top 15 players in the country, according to Rivals.com.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

  1. ukraiders - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Next years class is ridiculous. Wiggins will probably be added. But one difference (even though every says WCS and Poy is like Jones and Lamb) is that the latter went to the final four. So while Talent and experience is coming back……tournament experience is not. But obviously I’m happy and hope we get #9

    • kingghidora - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      Wiltjer won a title and he’s coming back.

  2. jthammerstix - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    ^8==D

  3. ukraiders - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Thanks

  4. tjjohnson98 - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    So 8 superstar players for 5 starting spots? No one ever accused these kids of being too bright. But hey, they can ball!

  5. cranespy - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    This years Final Four provides an interesting parallel to last years champ and their current “formula”. Coach Pitino has built a championship contender….filled NOT with blue chips but with players who have “bought in” for the long haul. Coach Cal on the other hand prefers to capitalize on the infamous “one and doner”. While no one can argue with last years results…..Cal’s other classes at UK have not fared as well. Time will tell…..perhaps this next batch of future NBA draftees will mesh……unfortunately it will depend not on Cal’s ability or lack thereof to “coach em up” as much as it will for each of them to put aside personal agendas for the sake of the team. Last years group did that……this year and those before did not. Sure makes one wonder if somewhere in the Bluegrass state there are those who long for the days when coaches built teams and we got to know players over their 3 or 4 years in the program. Louisville is enjoying that position right now with a coach who invested in players for the long haul as opposed to the “blow it up” bring in a new batch next year method employed by Coach Cal. Time will tell…..one thing is for certain I bet Cal doesn’t start next season with an All Access TV special that has next years crop dancing in the spotlight on ESPN BEFORE they win anything!

    • kingghidora - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Not fared as well???? You mean that Final 4 team and the Elite 8 team that was 35-3? You know. The #1 seed that lost because they couldn’t hit a wide open 3 against WVU. The team that was ranked #1 much of the season. Yeah they didn’t do so well. And people think UK fans expect a title every year. I think you must expect UK to win every year.

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