Alex Poythress will return to Kentucky for his sophomore season, reports the Courier-Journal's Kyle Tucker (via Twitter). Yesterday, we heard that Poythress was leaning towards entering the draft. As Tucker points out via Twitter, Poythress' decision means the Wildcats will have at least eight McDonalds All-Americans and 10 top-40 recruits on the roster next year. Both of those numbers could go up by one if the Cats land Andrew Wiggins, who many believe is the front runner to be the No. 1 pick in 2014.
"I want to come back and do what we said we wanted to do and that's win a national title," Poythress said, adding, "I want to develop more as a player and the competition coming in next year should help me do that."
This decision is a curious one largely because Kentucky's roster is so insanely loaded next year. Per Tucker, John Calipari is quoted in the press release that he has "only scratched the surface" with Poythress. Yes, the 6-foot-7 forward could certainly improve under Cal for one more year. But those improvements may only be visible behind closed practice doors, as Poythress is likely to be buried on the bench unless he significantly improves, as Tucker points out.
According to Jeff Goodman of CBS, Poythress was told by NBA scouts he was a lock to be a first-round pick and could have even gone in the lottery had he come out. With that said, Goodman likes the decision, tweeting that even if Wiggins does commit to Kentucky, it only means that Poythress will stay for three years. Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com agrees with the draft assessment of the NBA scouts, tweeting that Poythress' projection was the middle of the first round. Poythress's announcement comes only one day after teammates and fellow freshman Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer communicated their intent to return to Lexington.