LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Freshman forward Alex Poythress is somewhat of a mystery in his first year at Kentucky. Early in the season coach John Calipari called him a "beast" and to play like a "beast." Poythress has shown he's capable of that in key games down the stretch. But his inconsistent play is hard to understand.
Poythress scored 21 points and pulled down 7 rebounds against Missouri, then fouled out against Arkansas and Georgia. He came back with nine points and 12 rebounds against Florida.
Fellow freshman Willie Cauley-Stein believes it's a question of maturing. "I don't feel like Alex knows yet. I mean like, ya know coach says, you mature at different rates. I feel like he's just taking longer to mature. Cauley-Stein says Poythress is a great kid, so does sophmore forward Kyle Wiltjer. "He can be amazing and we've just got to get him playing like that every minute of the game. If he's gonna improve like that and each player improves, we can be a lot better team." Cauley-Stein said it's up to Poythress. "It's whether he wants to mature faster and listen and do what coach is telling him to do, I mean it's all up to Alex."
Kentucky opens SEC Tournament play against either Arkansas or Vanderbilt Friday night. Coverage on WKYT will begin with Wildcat Warmup at 7:00 p.m.