Poythress emerging as top 2012 target

Alex Poythress, a rising forward from Clarksville, Tenn., is making a move up the recruiting rankings this spring. A potential Top 25 2012 prospect, Louisville is expected to turn up the heat on the 6-foot-8 Poythress.

Former Louisville assistant Tim Fuller initiated Louisville's recruitment of rising 2012 forward Alex Poythress. The Cardinals are expected to intensify their recruitment of the 6-8, 220-pound Clarksville, Tenn., native now that Richard Pitino has returned from Florida.

"Louisville is in the mix," Poythress said last week. "Coach Fuller was recruiting me when he was there and Coach [Richard] Pitino was recruiting me when he was at Florida. I guess when he changed he decided to recruit me at Louisville and told me he still wants to recruit me. I have a good relationship with him. He came to visit me at my school and came to one of my games."

Poythress, an athletic and skilled forward, is drawing a lot of recruiting attention this spring. Already a four-star prospect, Poythress is making a move toward the Top 25.

"It's early [with his recruitment] said Norman Parker of the Georgia Stars, Poythress' AAU team. "Louisville wants to recruit him. I sense that they like him. There are numerous schools recruiting this kid."

According to Poythress, Florida, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Memphis, Miami, Alabama, Texas, Stanford, Minnesota, Louisville, Marquette, Cincinnati are the programs showing him the most interest.

"I don't have a top five or anything like that yet," Poythress said. "I'm really not sure when I'm going to narrow the list down. I'm going to try to pick a college before the start of my senior year. The coaching staff and how they develop their players will be an important factor."

Ranked the No. 9 power forward prospect nationally, Poythress is working hard to make the transition to small forward this offseason. Poythress is regarded as an outstanding rebounder and solid three-point shooter, who needs to improve his handle and overall skill level to make a full-time transition to the wing.

"I'm trying to make the transition to a full-time small forward," Poythress said. "I'm trying to improve my ball handling and getting my shot more consistent."

"Alex is playing on the perimeter, playing the three," Parker said. "He can play the four but his preference is small forward. He's a very skilled, athletic young man. He's got a beautiful, soft stroke, it's just unbelievable how he shoots the ball from outside. He's a pure shooter but he's 6'8.

"He's very quick. He can put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. I've had several players come through this program that went on to play in the pros. I think we have 12 current NBA players. If he doesn't get hurt he'll be playing in the NBA one day. He's got great character and that's what impresses me most about him."

So what does Poythress think about Louisville? Is the rising forward interested in Rick Pitino's Cardinals?

"It's a good school," Poythress said. "They play in the Big East and that's a good conference. Coach Pitino is a good coach, he's one of the best out there."


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