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Calipari not happy with lack of rebounding from Alex Poythress


When he When he was deciding who to take out of the starting lineup Saturday against Lipscomb so he could start point guard Ryan Harrow, Kentucky coach John Calipari debated whether to sit Alex Poythress or Kyle Wiltjer.

“I thought, well, let’s go with Ryan, and let’s play Alex to see if he’ll compete those first four or five minutes and what will happen. He did okay,” Calipari said even though he took Poythress out less than two minutes into the game after he missed an inside shot and had a turnover. “Still, again, I believe that Julius Mays outrebounded him for the game. You can take that however you want to take it. But those numbers don’t lie.”

Guard Julius Mays did have six rebounds while Poythress, UK’s power forward, had four along with two turnovers in just 25 minutes. He finished with 11 points in the 88-50 win.

“Then in the second half I switched it up because he didn’t rebound. So I said, okay, let’s go with Kyle. Kyle had five and a half or something like that, or six (rebounds),” Calipari said.


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  1. Rex

    Alex is a lot like Terrence Jones, only more talented. At times they show they can be one of the top players in the country. The problem is they don’t have the motor of an MKG. Very frustrating. Let’s hope this is able to change because he has so much ability.

    1. Jim Boyers

      Completely agree. But I think Alex is far more talented than even Jones. That is why it is so incredibly frustating to watch him totally disappear for most of every game. If he EVER starts playing up to his potential he will be one of the greatest players in the game this season. He is powerful, quick, agile and explosive. How anyone, with that kind of ability and potential, can mope around and not play as hard as he can, is absolutely beyond my means of comprehension. I hope Cal gets through to him and quickly, or this will be one of the biggest wastes of pure talent I can ever remember.

      1. Larry Pup

        Alex needs more fire in the belly. I for one don’t think he is more talented than TJ was at this stage. I think the potential for greatness is off the charts, but he don’t seem to want it right now. If he ever gets it in gear, look out.

        1. Jim Boyers

          I wasn’t trying to say he is better than Tj right now. I meant he WILL BE better, IF he ever puts his mind to it. He is far, far from anything resembling what he truly can be. I think it is a terrible shame that he isn’t buying in or whatever the problem is. Right now he is just wasted potential, until HE decides to turn it around.

  2. Bill Ryle

    Jim, I completely agree with you. Alex has the capability of being the best player on this team. I think he just doesn’t know how good can be. Hopefully it will click with him during practice during the next ten days. We need you Alex!

  3. UK 24 7

    Poythress is projected to be a top 5 draft pick. I think he’s under the assumption “why should I play any harder”. He’s playin as hard as most of them in the NBA do now. UK or team obviously mean nothing to him. We have an NBA training camp here folks. You can twist it, sugar coat it or whatever Calipari and UK suggest but it is what it is.


    I think we all are concerned about Alex since we want him to succeed not only for himself, but for the team’s sake. However, there are legitimate areas in his game that need to be addressed by him solely. One particular thing that stands out is his handle…unless he is one bounce and a hop away from the basket, he is really limited with his ball handling skills. Secondly, his movement without the ball is almost none existent…just standing on the three point line won’t cut it-move. Lastly, his court demeanor needs to be seriously addressed…the sulking, lack of focus and intensity are not viewed favorably by scouts…it can cost him a lot of money. Because he is intelligent and so physically talented, he can work on these things as this team comes together…we all want to see your best Alex. Let us see it!

  5. Hank Rippetoe

    Those who believe Poythress is better than Terrence have nothing to show for that belief. He hasn’t done anything to impress me. He may, indeed, have more talent, but he’s not shown that so far. First, he has far more turnovers than assists. Second, he doesn’t rebound. Third, he shows no desire to be “the man” on offense and Fourth, he guards his opponent no better than Wiltjer who we all know could not guard Lou Holtz. It is clear to me that he is not having fun. He really needs to lighten up, listen to his coaches and just play ball.

    1. larryvaught

      Hank, great last sentence about Alex. He is not having fun. Not sure if he is overthinking, lacking confidence, etc. or what. But they have to get him going to have a chance to be a top 20 team this year and compete for SEC title

  6. TrueBlueJohn

    We have to remember that even last year that Jones would disappear in some games, remember the first Indiana game). He started playing like a beast when we got into conference play. Very few times are you going to get talent and a motor. I bet you could count on one hand the number of possessions that Kidd-Gilcrest took off last year.

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