Poythress believes he’ll be ready for start of season

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Kentucky freshmen Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray are both projected to be selected in the top-5 of next June’s NBA Draft, but the Kentucky’s 2015-16 season could depend on the status of a senior.

Alex Poythress, the former McDonald’s All-American, started the first eight games for the Wildcats last season before tearing the ACL in his left knee, ending his junior season. The 6-foot-8 forward expects to be ready for the season opener on Nov. 13 against Albany, according to Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal.

“He’s got to get where he’s completely comfortable just letting it go,” Calipari told reporters. “There’s going to be a tentativeness. The mental part of that, for a while, it will be there. … You just want this to work for him. Obviously, I want our team to win, but I want this to work for him.”

“How quickly can he start being who he is? A lot of what we do, it will center around Alex.”

Poythress, who was aiming to be cleared by August, has returned to practice, but still hasn’t participating in all drills.

Poythress averaged 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game.