The 6-foot-8 Poythress was averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game starting as the "3" in the first platoon for No. 1 Kentucky (10-0). His 80 career games played are the highest total by any Wildcat.
"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,” UK coach John Calipari said via a statement released by the program. “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.
"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."
Kentucky plays host to No. 21 North Carolina (6-2) on Saturday at Rupp Arena. Options to replace Poythress in the starting lineup include sophomore guard Dominique Hawkins, sophomore swingman Derek Willis and freshman forward Trey Lyles, the latter who has been playing the "3" for the Cats on the second platoon.