UK Men's Basketball

Kentucky's Alex Poythress wants to prove 'I'm not just potential'

Kentucky forward Alex Poythress put up a shot against Florida in February. Poythress has decided to stay at Kentucky for his sophomore year, and he said recently, "I got to prove that I'm not just potential." Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff
Kentucky forward Alex Poythress put up a shot against Florida in February. Poythress has decided to stay at Kentucky for his sophomore year, and he said recently, "I got to prove that I'm not just potential." Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff Herald-Leader

This past season, heralded freshman Alex Poythress came to symbolize the antithesis of Kentucky's signature reliance on so-called one-and-done players. He was more like one-and-not-close-to-done.

He acknowledged this unfinished basketball business when speaking to reporters Monday.

Question: What do you, personally, have to prove next season?

Answer: "I still got to prove I belong. ... I got to prove that I'm not just potential, that I can do whatever I need to do to help this team win."

Q: What can you take from last season to make you a better player going forward?

A: "I'm not a freshman no more. I'm a sophomore, so I know what to expect and how hard it is to get there."

Q: What are your off-season plans?

A: "I'm going to get with (strength coach) Rock (Oliver) on the weights, hit the weights hard, and I'll be on the treadmill and work in the pool. Just trying to stay fit and everything and just prepare for the season. ... To improve my game, just everything. Just the little things. There's room for improvement in everything you do, shooting, ball handling, everything."

Q: Will it be hard to watch the NBA Draft?

A: "No, it won't be hard. It'll be easy. I know a lot of people going in the NBA Draft and it'll be good to support them."

Q: What was your main reason for staying?

A: "I just wanted to get better, just preparing myself and working on my skill set and improve as player. ... When your season ends so early and you're just watching games, it's kind of sickening because you're not playing anymore. ... You don't want to end your career like that."

Q: What's your response to those surprised that you chose to return?

A: "I just tried to make the best decision for me. They weren't making the decision. I was. ... You can always use another year in college and that always helps in the long run to help tighten yourself mentally, physically, all that stuff."

Q: What do you tell these incoming recruits?

A: "I'm excited for them to get here. It's going to be hard work, but once we get here and get things clicking, I'm real excited for what we can do. It's time for me to step up. Me and Willie (Cauley-Stein) and Kyle (Wiltjer), we just got to step up and do what our team needs us to do."

Q: What is UK's potential for next season?

A: "The potential is unlimited."

Q: You faced that potential last year ...

A: "Yeah, yeah. We haven't done nothing yet. We still got to prove ourselves because people will be doubting us from the beginning like they doubted us last year. You still got to prove yourself. We haven't won anything yet, so we still got to prove ourselves."


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Kentucky's Alex Poythress talks to media about his decision to return for his sophomore season.

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