Kentucky freshman forward Marcus Lee will return


Kentucky head coach John Calipari will have to sort out a loaded frontcourt next season now that freshman forward Marcus Lee announced that he will return to Lexington for his sophomore season.

The 6-foot-9 Lee announced his return to Kentucky on Friday afternoon in a release from the school.

“I’ve really enjoyed my college experience and I’m looking forward to continuing to develop as an all-around player,” Lee said in the release. “Playing in the Final Four was such an amazing feeling, but I want to come back and help win that final game this year.”

Lee’s playing time — and production — fluctuated during his freshman season at Kentucky, but a breakout performance against Michigan in the Elite Eight should have Wildcat fans excited at potential things to come. Lee finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks off the bench in the win after sophomore center Willie Cauley-Stein went down with an ankle injury. Lee, a California native, even made the Midwest Regional’s All-Tournament team.

“I’m excited for Marcus and think he’s barely scratched the surface of what he’s capable of,” head coach John Calipari said. “In addition to his athleticism and the energy level he brings, the experience he gained in the NCAA Tournament this year will be immeasurable for us next season.”

Lee, a former McDonald’s All-American, joins Cauley-Stein as players returning to Kentucky next season and they’ll be joined in the frontcourt along with incoming McDonald’s All-Americans in New Jersey native Karl Towns and Indiana native Trey Lyles.

Kentucky and Calipari still are still awaiting 2014 NBA Draft decisions from freshman guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison, freshman center Dakari Johnson and sophomore forward Alex Poythress for next season.

Even if Johnson and Poythress decide to go pro, the Wildcats will have more than enough frontcourt depth for next season as they attempt to make another run at the Final Four.