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NBA draft analyst Ed Isaacson on Kentucky’s Alex Poythress, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee

Kentucky's Alex Poythress (22) shoots near Texas A&M's Dylan Johns (45) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 68-51. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Kentucky’s Alex Poythress (22) shoots near Texas A&M’s Dylan Johns (45) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 68-51. (AP Photo/James Crisp)


This is the final part of the analysis by Ed Isaacson (@nbadraftblog on Twitter) of  NBADraftBlog.com on his thoughts on what impact the 2014 NBA draft could have on Kentucky.

Question: What are your thoughts on Alex Poythress? Has his improved play shown you he is NBA ready yet or not?

Isaacson: “I like that Poythress has finally seemed to embrace his role on this team, and being the guy who crashes the boards and runs the floor suits his strengths perfectly. He’s certainly not NBA-ready, and it’s tough to find any college player with such a narrow role who is. As many have said all along, the raw tools are there for Poythress to be a complete player, though not what was envisioned of him two years ago.”

Question: What potential do you see in Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee?

Isaacson: “I’ve said it before, but how Dakari Johnson was ever considered a five-star prospect is beyond me. It’s great that he seems to be hustling more than many when he’s out there and he has good size, but he is just very awkward on both ends of the floor. Still, with his size and the fact that he seems to want to work to improve, he may turn out to be a serviceable post player next year. But he is in the group with the Harrisons in that he just needs to stop with the whining every time he commits a foul or makes a mistake.
“Lee seems to me like he could be an interesting player, but he’s in a tough situation where he just isn’t getting enough court time to really improve. That really puts it on him to do double the work during the off-season to put him in position to compete with the new players next year. But long and athletic players are always valuable, and if coached correctly, he can be turned into a player.”

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/nba-draft-analyst-on-poythress-johnson-and-lee/


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  1. Kokamo Joe

    What if this man is right and all of these players are not drafted. Will that derail the Calipari recruiting express? How will the four super stars feel about playing behind this year freshmen and Poytress? What about Carl Towns Jr? Would a gaggle of superstars be a benefit or a liability. Would any of this year’s studs or next year’s studs consent to be a four year player? And what about the players that Calipari is still recruiting? Will they back off because they don’t know what will happen with this bunch?

    1. Larry Pup

      I say it’s a good problem to have, more depth. It becomes a numbers problem in available rides maybe depending on who stays and who goes.

      I don’t know why Lee has not seen more mins. I still think he could be a good player for the CATS. I also think Dakari will improve dramatically if he returns. I think Towns will see the floor a lot next year. I say Julius goes pro.

  2. Phillip Barker

    Don’t always agree with Ed Isaacson but feel he is very accurate with his assessments of these three players.

  3. JC

    It is not just Lee with what happened to him…Hawkings???? He just all of a sudden quit playing. Did coach Cal forget he was on the team or what. He had some really solid games and now he never plays?? I thought Lee was going to be a star, he is not even a mop up player . Looks like some more transfers in the pudding. Coach Cal is going to look down the bench one night and there won’t be anyone to put in!

    1. Anonymous

      JC..I agree. The only thing is, we don’t see them practice or know the whole story at times. It is a mystery.

    2. Kokamo Joe

      I wished that I could think that Hawkins and the other Kentucky bred boy will see playing time. I just can’t see it. If the Harrisons come back you can forget about Hawkins. Either the two new comers will play ahead of the Harrisons or they will play behind the new comers. This means that either the Harrisons and the new comers will be on board for 2015-16. And if the Harrisons hang on for another year don’t expect Calipari to stop recruiting guards. Will Lee and our two Kentucky boys transfer? If they want to play they had better think about it.

      1. Larry Pup

        Pure speculation on your part.

      2. Mike

        Kokamo you dont know that. Suggesting they should think about transfering is insane because they were brought here knowing they would be 4 year players and they also knew that the chances for major playing time this year would be slim. They did not come here trying to get in the NBA right away and understand they will be major players as juniors and seniors and they will contribute next year more than this year.

        Why should they be playing a lot right now? Willis may be a good shooter but outside of the blue and white game he has missed almost all of his 3 pointers in any games since. Even though our team struggles to guard the ball, Willis is WAY to much of a liability on defense and extremely slow at moving his feet and he is not strong enough. Hawkins may be able to guard really well, but he gives us NOTHING on offense. Do you remember how much respect Mississippi State gave his offensive ability? They left him UNGUARDED and even turned their backs on him every single trip. No one was within 10 feet of him. Sorry, you cant play players like that this year.

        Now they are going to have a lot of time to work on those things over the summer and should improve a lot. They will get better and better and like I said, they will be major players their junior and senior years.

  4. Kokamo Joe

    Poytress….Was he not a legitimate first round draft pick last year? Did he hurt himself for coming back?

    1. Mike

      Kokamo, coming out of high school we was considered to be a lottery pick and even was as high as #1 on the mock draft after he scored 20 or more points in his first four games. As the season went on he started stuggling drastically and serious holes that were hidden by dominating in high school were seen. His lack of energy, his lack of ball handling or any offensive go to moves, his suspect defense ect. By the end of the year he had fallen out of the first round. As you know, there is no for sure money for 2nd round picks like 1st round picks. So while he may have hurt his immidate NBA future by coming back, in the long run he will be a lot better off because he can continue to improve and carve out a niche in the NBA after next year or the year after. Had he left last year he would be in the D-League quickly and eventually end up over seas.

  5. Little Baron

    Many thanks for an outstanding series of articles about the CATS who get the most playing time!

    1. larryvaught

      Thank Ed Isaacson for taking the time to share with us as often as he does. Check out his blog or let him know on Twitter we appreciate him

      1. Anonymous

        Will do!

  6. Tom

    There’s nothing wrong with Lee or Hawkins, they are freshmen and they aren’t close to NBA ready. Nothing wrong with that. The attitude that all UK guys have to contribute and leave in eon to two years is stupid. Those guys will develop into players but right now they have too many limitations to play instead of the guysa head of them.

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