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UK announces Poythress will return for sophomore season

Freshman forward Alex Poythress will return to the Kentucky men’s basketball program for the 2013-14 season, head coach John Calipari announced Tuesday.

“I’m really happy that, after talking with his family and evaluating his options, Alex has decided to return for his sophomore season,” Calipari said. “Alex is a great kid with a lot of potential and I’m excited to be able to work with him next year. I believe we have only scratched the surface with Alex, and another season in college will get him closer to reaching his dreams.”

Poythress earned Southeastern Conference All-Freshman team accolades following his first season for Kentucky. The Clarksville, Tenn., native started in 30-of-32 games in his freshman campaign. He ranked second on the squad in points (11.4) and rebounds (6.2) per game. He began his career by scoring 20 or more points in four of his first five games. The four-game stretch of 20 or more points was the first for any Wildcat since Jodie Meeks did it during the 2008-09 season.

“This year didn’t end like we wanted it to,” Poythress said. “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.”

Joining Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer as announced returnees, the trio combined for 949 points, 40 percent of UK’s offense in 2012-13. The trio also accounted for 515 rebounds, or the equivalent of 41 percent of the team’s total rebounds.

Additional announcements regarding remaining players will be made at a later date.

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  1. Karen Sprinkle

    I’m beyond excited to hear that. I really like Alex, and I think he’ll have sufficient motivation to play to his capabilities next year. I really think that, of all the freshmen, he was just overwhelmed by the college experience. Ben Roberts tweeted earlier that one of the Harrisons said that players would have to come ready to practice or be killed. I’m assuming he meant that metaphorically. :-)

  2. Judi Cole

    VERY good news! I think Alex will be so much better after another year of playing with such high caliber talents who will challenge him. Another year of coaching will improve his game and draft status too.

  3. LindaS

    So happy a player paid attention to his heart and to what coaches were telling him. Glad the dollar signs did not win out. I can see it now torn Commodore hats, broken horns, busted alligator skin boots, hog bar b q, feathers flying, elephant foot trash cans, tiger tails hanging from antennas, dawg teeth laying on the floor, old rebels lying on the floor decapitated, we gonna make mince meat out of all of them. WE ARE UK!

  4. Kent

    Randle will help Poythress game. I can only imagine the battles they will have in practice. GO BIG BLUE!!

  5. Anonymous

    I love keeping any kid with good grades around as long as possible. We’ll see many more scoring opportunities for our returning players next season even if they lose some playing minutes. Show us that great leaping ability next year, Alex, assert yourself!

  6. coldspringmike

    Let the Revenge Tour begin. Kick $ss and take names. Paybacks are hell. 2013-2014 is going to be a season for the ages and AP is gonna be a big part of it, Get in the gym and weight room with Wiltjer this summer and be our leaders next year. Practices are going to be a war.

  7. TrueBlueJohn

    This is going to be unbelievable this coming year. From watching their videos, the incoming class have the toughness that was lacking this year, and the returnees will benefit from practicing against them every day. I can see them matching the 2012 team’s record. It is almost impossible to go undefeated these days, but i think they will come close. Especially if Wiggins signs.

  8. hawaiibillT

    The depth will rival the 96 team and if Noel comes back I double dare any sports writer to say they aren’t the best team on paper ever.

  9. Larry Pup

    Great news!!!!

  10. Larry T Clemons

    I just don’t know what the Sports Writers, Kentucky Bashers, Nay Sayers and Coach Calipari Critics are going to talk about all Season, ” With No One & Done ” mass exodus…Maybe, they’ll concentrate on the Quality Coaching and Impact Program, that truly has it’s Young Men’s best interest at Heart ! And maybe they won’t…

  11. Scott

    I was in the Georgia Dome last fall and saw Alex attacking the glass and throwing down dunks on people’s heads. I’m firmly convinced that this was the real Alex, and that we’ll see plenty more of that next season.

  12. UKFMLY

    Pack your bags and book your room for Dallas now! !

  13. Yvette

    GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. JCC

    A tad surprised to be perfectly honest. I figured him to be gone for sure. After NN went down it appeared a couple of those guys were working on their stats rather than working on winning. Glad to see him back. When does NN have surgery? When does he have to commit to the Draft? It would be sick to see that entire group and the new recruits for next season. WOW!

    1. Karen Sprinkle

      It’s my understanding Nerlens had surgery the week of the SEC tournament. I’ve seen tweets from a national sportswriter indicating that the rehabilitation process is going well, and that Nerlens is ahead of schedule. Most experts I’ve read indicate that Nerlens should go in the top 3 of the draft. If so, I would expect him to put his name in the draft. The NCAA deadline is April 16, but I suspect we won’t hear anything about whether he’s declaring for the draft until the NBA draft deadline which is at the end of April.

  15. JCC

    How many scholarships are available for next year?

  16. GrampyBlue

    Glad Alex is returning. The competition on next year’s team will be off the charts! The Blue White game next season will be the most competitive exhibition game by far. #BBNFamily

    1. Karen Sprinkle

      I would imagine tickets to the Blue/White game will be as hard to acquire as the tickets to Big Blue Madness.

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