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July 25, 2013

Looking ahead to Alex Poythress' 2014 season

Over the next three weeks, Cats Illustrated will break down the 2013-14 Kentucky basketball team player-by-player with daily podcasts. You can see the full schedule here.

To get all the latest Cats Illustrated podcasts, subscribe on iTunes.

July 15Julius Randle
July 16Andrew Harrison
July 17Aaron Harrison
July 18Dakari Johnson
July 19Derek Willis
July 22James Young
July 23Marcus Lee
July 24Dominique Hawkins
July 25Alex Poythress
July 26Jon Hood & Jarrod Polson
July 29Willie Cauley-Stein
July 30Sam Malone, Brian Long, Tod Lanter, E.J. Floreal
July 31Season predictions
Alex Poythress
Clarksville, Tenn. (Northeast)

Preview Podcast: Publisher Brett Dawson and staff writers T.J. Walker and Aaron Smith break down their expectations of Alex Poythress.

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Rewind: Poythress averaged 11.2 points and six rebounds per game as a freshman but was seen as something of a disappointment after arriving with lofty expectations. He struggled to find consistency, and John Calipari criticized his effort and mentality. Still there were moments - never more than in a 20-point, eight-rebound effort against Duke - when Poythress showed he can be a dominating presence.

Fast Forward: Poythress has the physical potential to be an All-SEC (if not All-American) performer and a high first-round NBA Draft pick. But the challenge for him will be to bring an aggressive mentality to every game and practice this season. If he does, he'll likely find his way into the starting lineup. If not, he could find himself coming off the bench as a sophomore after starting 31 of 33 games as a freshman.

John Calipari says: "Alex Poythress learned a lot about himself and where he's going to have to take everything to be the player that he wants to be. Now, let me say that, with that being said, he would have been in the first round had he put his name in the draft. He knew he wasn't ready. And again, he was being pushed by some corners to put his name in the draft, but he knew. Again, wasn't delusional. He knew, I have to change. I have to take this to another level. If he does, and the competition brings out the best in him, it is scary how good he can be. He's not close to where he needs to be."

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