LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT)- UK coach John Calipari is praising the play of Alex Poythress again. The sophomore forward put together another solid game Tuesday as Kentucky lost in overtime at Arkansas.
"Alex was great again." said Calipari. "He's like, he's growing leaps and bounds. He's doing things that no one else on our team can do right now."
One of those things was getting a hand on a rebound with time running out in overtime Tuesday night. Poythress was able to get it back out to the perimeter and James Young nailed a jumper to tie the score. "I don't know of another player in the country who could make that play and I know no one on our team could have made it." said Calipari. Last season Cal said it wouldn't have happened. " No, he never would have gone after the ball, he would never attempt it."
Poythress acknowledges he's a better player. "I just realize what I can do, just realize it starts at practice and if you do it in practice... it's going to in games, just go hard every day."
"Ya know it's great that he's building his own self esteem, his own self confidence, it's all him." said Calipari. "It's not me saying, because they know when you're b.s.'ing, you can't b.s. players. They know, 'you're telling me I'm great and I stink.' They look in the mirror and they know."
Calipari says a big difference for Poythress is he's now in shape. "It all started with that base foundation, get in shape. Mentally get yourself right. And you can't get mentally right until you can push through comfort levels and get yourself to where you've never been and that's what he did."
UK hosts Tennessee at Noon Saturday on WKYT. Game Time Wildcat Warmup will begin at 11:30 p.m.