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Know the Prospect: Alex Poythress

The kid had a wild four years at Kentucky, but he can get after it on defense.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

If I had to guess, I'd say that former Kentucky forward Alex Poythress worked out with the New York Knicks this week.

Poythress is simultaneously a big name and a peripheral prospect, a result of a wild four-year odyssey down in bluegrass country. At one point Chad Ford had him projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft, as the McDonald's All-American started his freshman year on fire. But Poythress struggled throughout much of his first two seasons, before finding himself as a role player/defensive stopper on the 2013-14 squad that made the NCAA title game. He missed nearly all of Kentucky's 40-0 season after tearing his ACL, but returned for a solid senior campaign. Oh, and he got his degree in three years. The kid has seen some shit.

His stats, courtesy of Sports-Reference:

Poythress is not expected to be picked in either round of the draft. His offensive game is incredibly raw; his jumper is hella shaky, as is his overall decision-making. But the dude can get buckets out of the pick-and-roll.

The intrigue surrounding Poythress comes almost exclusively on the defensive end. He's 6'8" with a 7-foot wingspan, strong enough to guard bigs and quick enough to defend guards. If he discovers enough offensive prowess to keep himself on the court, Poythress could development into a top-notch defensive specialist.

While we've mostly focused on guards here at "Know the Prospect", a player with Poythress' skill set is clearly a need for this organization. The Knicks can never have enough defensive wings, and Poythress has already shown during his Kentucky career that he is a willing role player. I would be ecstatic to see him on New York's Summer League roster.