University of Kentucky senior-to-be Alex Poythress, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Dec. 10, has not yet begun practicing but is running sprints, Coach John Calipari said during an ESPNU college basketball podcast on Tuesday.
“He’s cleared, but he’s not practicing. He sprinted yesterday for like the first day and he felt good,” the UK coach said.
Calipari also said during the podcast that the 6-foot-8 Poythress would play the power forward or “four” position this season. Previously, Calipari played him at small forward or “three.”
Why change now?
“When I recruited Alex ... in the NBA, he had to be a three, couldn’t play a four. What’s happened now, the NBA has gone to small ball, and he’s way big enough to be a four,” Calipari said. “As a matter of fact, some teams are playing fives (centers) that are his size. It’s crazy. So now, he’s more natural. We were trying to push him to the three, even though it wasn’t the greatest thing for our team, it’s what was right for him. Well, the thing has just changed. It’s been in flux, and now all of a sudden he can do it.”
Poythress played in eight games before his injury last season, averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game. As a sophomore, Poythress average 5.9 points and 4.5 boards in 18.4 minutes. His freshman year, when he played 25.8 minutes per game, Poythress averaged 11.2 points and 6.0 rebounds.