The questions surrounding the 2013/2014 Wildcats are being answered. With the announcements of Ryan Harrow’s transfer, Archie Goodwin’s jump to the pros, and the declaration of Willie Cauley-Stein’s and Kyle Wiltjer’s return, we are left to wonder about Alex Poythress and Nerlens Noel.
My belief is that Nerlens Noel will put his name in the NBA draft and nothing has changed my mind thus far. I am surprised that he has delayed his decision but, in the end, I think Nerlens will look at his injury and think that it is in his best interest to jump to the next level in order to prevent any more unwanted setbacks as a college player. I will be gleefully surprised if he decides to come back and prove me wrong.
Alex Poythress is the other player that seems to be taking his time to decide on his future. Poythress is a first round draft pick according to most of the draft services, but his heart and desire have been questioned, and those are the intangibles that one has to have in order to make it in the NBA. We have seen multiple players with all of the skills that one could want (Hasheem Thabeet, Kwame Brown, etc…) but lacked the want and the will to succeed. Poythress could be one of those players and it is probably in his best interest to stick around and try to find the edge that he lacks.
But playing time may be an issue as Andrew Wiggins looks to be leaning towards Kentucky and Aaron Gordon is set to announce a “shocking” decision tomorrow as his college choice.
Wiggins will play small forward at Kentucky and Julius Randle will no doubt start at power forward, both positions that Poythress has played this season. John Calipari stated after the Robert Morris game that minutes will be hard to earn wit the incoming class and that if a player wasn’t willing to compete at practice, then he will struggle to play even five minutes.
If Wiggins commits then he becomes a player that must be on the court at all times. Poythress may be waiting to see what the soon-to-be freshman phenom will do before he declares one way or the other.
It is a shame that Poythress played himself into this position. He went from a preseason sure fire top 10 draft pick to a questionable first rounder. Whatever he decides to do I hope he thinks long and hard and makes the best choice for him and his family.
The Kentucky recruits (Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson, James Young, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison and Marcus Lee) have been having a blast the last few days as they prepare for primetime on Wednesday. They are doing their best to sell the idea of playing together with Andrew Wiggins but have also done their best not to pressure him as they know how reserved he has been about his recruitment.
Julius Randle told Wiggins that if he comes to Kentucky that he will feed him the ball. You have to like how Randle is willing to give up shots to Wiggins, knowing how great of a player he is. The two have played against one another, so Randle knows first hand how good Wiggins is:
Andrew Harrison also said that he hopes Michigan wins the NCAA tournament because he “hates Louisville”. Welcome to the BBN, young man.