Alex Poythress (Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast), No. 17 overall, is the latest super long, elite athlete headed to Kentucky.
Poythress' versatility is what attracted coach John Calipari to the No. 1 player in the state of Tennessee. Poythress will excel in the Wildcats' fast break because he runs the floor like a gazelle and will bring Rupp Arena to its feet with his flashy, above-the-rim finishes. He is also a terrific rebounder, in and out of his area, because of his length, athletic ability and quickness to the ball. If not aggressively boxed out, he is always a threat for a tip dunk.
In the half-court set, he is a potential matchup problem but will need to hone his back-to-the-basket moves. However, he is still very effective by simply elevating and finishing over smaller defenders. On the perimeter, he attacks less-mobile defenders relentlessly to get to the rim, which is a must in Calipari's dribble-drive offense.
Look for Poythress to score with his length and quickness, as well as keep defenders honest with his ability to make open jumpers to the arc. Defensively, Poythress has the ability to defend both forward positions in the Wildcats' pressure man.
He joins slasher/shot-maker SG Archie Goodwin (Little Rock, Ark./Sylvan hills) and mobile, skilled big man Willie Cauley (Spearville, Kan./Olathe Northwest) to give UK fans another special group to cheer for.