Poythress coming back for junior year

Alex Poythress

Kentucky's frontcourt for 2014-15 got even more formidable on Wednesday when sophomore forward Alex Poythress announced that he'll return to the Wildcats for another season.

Kentucky's frontcourt for 2014-15 got even more formidable on Wednesday when sophomore forward Alex Poythress announced that he'll return to the Wildcats for another season.

The 6-foot-7 combo forward had considered placing his name in this year's NBA Draft after a strong showing in the NCAA Tournament, but elected to play at least one more year at UK in order to improve his game. He averaged 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, primarily off the bench.

"Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine, but I want to make sure that I'm NBA-ready before I make that jump," Poythress said in a statement released by the school. "By coming back, I'll be so much closer to earning my degree in business, and it will give me another year to prepare my game and my body for the next level."

Poythress had been projected by most NBA mock drafts and scouts as a second-round pick, which would not include a guaranteed contract.

"I'm excited for Alex and the decision he's arrived at," UK coach John Calipari said. "I'm proud of the work he committed to this past season, on and off the floor, and think he's ready to take that next step and lead this team next season."

Kentucky previously announced that sophomore center Willie Cauley-Stein and freshman forward/center Marcus Lee would be back for another season with the Wildcats. The UK front line is expected to be one of the best in college basketball next season with Cauley-Stein, Lee, Poythress as well as incoming freshmen Karl Towns Jr. and Trey Lyles, both McDonald's All-Americans.

It could get even stronger before the April 27 NBA Draft declaration deadline. UK has yet to confirm the plans for freshman center Dakari Johnson.

The Cats are also awaiting word on twin freshman guards Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison.

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