Wrapped in John Calipari’s arms, Alex Poythress soaked in his coach’s bear hug, the crowd’s applause and a relieving – if not must-have – victory at Rupp Arena on Saturday with one final grin that said it all.
“That’s the first time he smiled all year,” Coach Cal said.
It wasn’t quite the only smile of the year from Poythress, but to say it was the first isn’t a tremendous exaggeration for the “stone-faced” freshman who has often been the focal point of Kentucky’s inconsistencies and frustrations this year.
Poythress was the savior in Kentucky’s 75-70 victory, posting his first career double-double on Saturday with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Counting smiles, it may have been close to a triple-double effort, but it was undoubtedly a career high in the smile department.