Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kentucky’s Alex Poythress Suffered a Torn ACL (UPDATED)
Kentucky junior forward Alex Poythress suffered a torn ACL on Thursday.
The 6-foot-8 junior from Clarksville, TN is averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 20 minutes a game while shooting a team-best 86 percent from the line for the No. 1-ranked Wildcats (10-0).
“When you’re coaching other people’s children and these children have high aspirations and unlimited potential – not only to do things for themselves but for other people – I can’t begin to tell you the feeling when someone gets hurt,” head coach John Calipari said. “My own son, Brad, tore his ACL last year. All I can tell you is I was physically sick when it happened to him. I feel exactly the same way now that it’s happened to Alex.”
A date for surgery has not been set yet. The normal timetable following ACL reconstructive surgery is six to eight months, putting Poythress back sometime next summer.
“Our team was devastated for Alex when I told them,” Calipari said. “There were tears throughout the room because this hurt them to the core. How they will respond I really don’t know, but I will do my best to be there for each of these kids.
“I told them, this is a big blow to our team. No one will be able to replace Alex and what he did for this team. I go back to last year’s NCAA Tournament. Without Alex, we don’t win those games. No one will be able to replace him, but now everybody has to do a little bit more as we try to circle the wagons.”
A college basketball player who does not participate in more than 30 percent of his team’s games may apply for a medical redshirt. Poythress has played in eight of the 31 games on Kentucky’s schedule (26 percent).
Former Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf suffered an ACL tear in December 2007, 10 games into his junior season. He ended up receiving a medical redshirt for the 2008-09 season.
Poythress had been projected as the No. 36 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.