<
>

Kentucky forward Derek Willis arrested, charged with public intoxication

BURLINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky senior forward Derek Willis has been released after being arrested on charges of public alcohol intoxication.

The Boone County Jail website says that Willis was arrested Saturday and later released after posting $50 bond.

Willis was found lying in the street and had "a lot" to drink when he was arrested for public intoxication, according to the Boone County Sheriff's Department.

The arrest citation obtained Monday by The Associated Press says that a deputy observed Willis lying outside the open driver's side door of a car and had to awaken him Saturday morning in Union, Kentucky. The citation adds that the deputy noticed a "strong odor" of alcohol coming from Willis and the car and said he had extremely slurred speech.

A Kentucky athletics spokeswoman said the school is aware of the situation and gathering information and won't comment.

The 6-foot-9 Willis, who turns 21 next week, became a bigger part of Kentucky's rotation last season and finished with per-game averages of 7.7 points and 4.0 rebounds. He's the second-leading scorer returning to a Wildcats squad that lost three players to the NBA draft, while Marcus Lee and Charles Matthews have transferred. Forward Alex Poythress has completed his eligibility.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.