Alex Poythress returning to Kentucky for his junior season

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Sophomore forward Alex Poythress will return to Kentucky for the 2014-15 season.

“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,” Alex Poythress said. “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.”

The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in helping lead the Wildcats to the NCAA title game. He shot better than 68 percent from the field in the NCAA Tournament, including an eight-point, seven-rebound performance in the Final Four against Wisconsin. However, his production declined across the board during his second season. The former McDonald’s All-American had a much better rookie campaign.

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“I’m excited for Alex and the decision he’s arrived at,” head 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.”

Alex Poythress tallied a double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds) in UK’s season-opener against UNC Asheville and pulled down 12 rebounds two games later against second-ranked Michigan State.

Other “upper classmen” returning to Lexington next year include Willie Cauley-Stein and freshman Marcus Lee. They also welcome in the second best recruiting in the nation with Devin Booker, Karl Towns, Tyler Ulis and Trey Lyles.

Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a frequent guest on national talk radio. Banks is a former contributor to NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, who’s been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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