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Kentucky’s Cauley-Stein, Poythress explain why they’re coming back

Apr 22, 2013, 6:55 PM EDT

Willie Cauley-Stein, Lucky Jones, Mike McFadden

After a disappointing season, a majority of Kentucky’s 2012 team that were considered possible NBA Draft picks decided to make the decision to stick around for at least one more year.

On Monday afternoon, center Willie Cauley-Stein and forward Alex Poythress told Kyle Tucker of the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal their reasons for coming back. Not surprisingly, they included a disappointing 2012-13 season, which they capped with a loss at Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT.

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

Poythress, who finished the season averaging 11.2 points and six rebounds per game while shooting 58.1 percent from the field, echoed that sentiment.

“I didn’t want to leave with a bad taste in my mouth. It was a tough loss for us. You didn’t want to end your college career like that.”

Apparently, Cauley-Stein’s decision wasn’t too tough either, just flat out calling it “easy”. He said his meeting with coach John Calipari was short, and pretty blunt.

“I could leave this year, go late first round or come back next year and have an opportunity to go really early (in the NBA draft).”

Cauley-Stein added that he didn’t think he would be a one-and-done, anyway. He averaged 8.3 points and 6.2 rebounds this past season and stepped into a more prominent role when center Nerlens Noel went down with a torn ACL in February.

Poythress was, at least to some extent, expected to be a candidate for the one-and-done route that so many stud players have taken under Calipari. Now that he’s not, he was asked if he was surprised when people expected him to leave.

“I just try to make my best decision for me. Really, they weren’t making the decision I was. Wherever I felt like was best for my situation, that’s what I made.”

This seems to be the message that all those players who could’ve tested the waters are repeating right now. Goodwin along with Noel, are the lone players to leave early off this season’s team. Goodwin finished his one-year career with the Wildcats averaging 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Noel averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds this season prior to injury.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

  1. jaygott87 - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Archie Goodwin is the lone player to leave early this year??? I bet this is news to Noel.

    • David Harten - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:35 PM

      Ug. That’s on me. Error. Fixed it. Thanks. I’m an idiot.

  2. jaygott87 - Apr 22, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    Thanks :)

  3. cranespy - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Glad to see the two staying another year…..however….. with the long list of potential one and doners scheduled to play this Fall… will take a monster season from WC Stein and Alex P to crack the lottery list! My guess is Alex will and WCS will not.

  4. imforbigblue - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Glad they stayed and Goodwin left he was one of the main reason uk was so out of wack last year and no PG

  5. barkleyblows - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    Is it to early to say your National Champion Kentucky Wildcats??

    • jthammerstix - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      It was too early last year when you all did it, so why not do it again

      • kingghidora - Apr 28, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        Who all did it? You have an active imagination if you think anyone thought UK would win it all with a shallow bench, a transfer PG, and no returning leadership. I think everyone expected them to be better but some things happened that caused a lot of the problems. Most notably the father of that transfer PG had a stroke with no one at home to take care of him. UK had a player that was totally and completely distracted and they only had a walk on to fill in for him. He was distracted the entire year. Then there was that injury to one of the nation’s best players. You remember that I assume. Maybe I should have said “Even you remember that.” Add a problem attitude to that mix and you see what happens. No one is all ticked off and calling for Cal to be fired or anything. Outsiders always want to do our thinking for us. It’s wishful thinking really. I suppose if I was a fan of a college basketball team not called the Kentucky Wildcats I’d probably be hoping things went wrong with the juggernaut the Cats have built. Don’t feel too bad. Maybe Cal will retire in 15 years or so. But remember it is UK. They just pick up another great coach when one goes away. You and Vitale can get together and have a “boo hoo” session because no one listened to Little Dickie when he told coaches to stay away from UK.

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