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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: UK’s history with Short Players

During the broadcast of Kentucky’s 6 Bahamas games, a common graphic used when talking about Tyler Ulis was that he will be just the 6th UK scholarship player under 6 feet tall since 1970.  The problem was they never told you who the other 5 guys were.  I racked my brain trying to remember who those other 5 guys would be.  So I did a little research and figured out who the 5 were.  How did those 5 guys do at Kentucky?  Well, there were mixed results to say the least but a couple of the guys had very good careers in Lexington and hopes should be very high that Ulis will do the same.  Here is my question: with the limited amount of action we have seen from Ulis, do you think he could be better than all of these guys listed?

 

Ronnie Lyons (5’10”, 1971-74)
-Sophomore: 13.2 ppg, 44.5% FG (3rd team All-SEC)
-Junior: 9.2 ppg, 42.9% FG
-Senior: 7.8 ppg, 46.8% FG

Somebody older will have to explain Lyons career to me because in his first season on the varsity squad he was a 3rd team All-SEC player, but then his production dropped each year after that.  I don’t know if injuries were a factor or what, but Lyons still had a productive career in Lexington and just missed out on the Final Four team of 1975.

Dicky Beal (5’9”, 1980-84)
-Freshman: 2.5 ppg
-Sophomore: 3.3 ppg
-Junior: 4.2 ppg, 2.5 apg
-Senior: 6.3 ppg, 4.3 apg (1984 Regional MOP)

Beal came to Kentucky from Covington and was never a high scoring guard but he developed into a very nice role player for the Cats and was a key figure in leading UK to the Final Four in 1984, being named MOP of the regional that year.

Tony Cooper (5’9”, 1989-90)
-Freshman: 0.5 ppg

Cooper was one of those “probation” players who most fans probably don’t even remember being at the school.  And for Cooper’s sake that is understandable as he provided no impact in the 1989-90 season and then transferred out.

Travis Ford (5’9”, 1991-94)
-Sophomore: 3.4 ppg, 2.1 apg
-Junior: 13.6 ppg, 4.9 apg (1st Team All-SEC, Regional MOP, SEC Tournament MVP)
-Senior: 11.3 ppg, 5.6 apg (2nd Team All-SEC, SEC Tournament MVP)

Ford’s career is quite interesting at UK.  From Kentucky, he chose to play at Missouri for a season before transferring to Kentucky.  His first year, as a member of the Unforgettables, Ford was a late reserve on the team not making much of a serious impact.  But his junior year he exploded for a 1st Team All-SEC performance and becoming a fan favorite.  There was even some All-American talk coming into his senior season, but an inconsistent season was a factor in UK’s worst Tournament finish under Rick Pitino in 1994.  Ford has remained relevant in UK land since that time having success at EKU, UMASS and Oklahoma State, which has some fans wondering whether he might be a good hire at UK.  Only time will tell on that.

Brandon Stockton (5’9”, 2002-06)
-Freshman: 1.3 ppg
-Sophomore: 1.0 ppg
-Junior: 0.8 ppg
-Senior: 2.5 ppg

People who hate Tubby Smith will often bring up Stockton as one of the many recruiting failures, especially at the end of the Tubby era.  Stockton came to Kentucky as a Mr.Basketball scoring phenom but it never seemed to work at Kentucky.  More talented players put him on the bench for most of his tenure, although he became a regular reserve at times, especially his senior season.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

30 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: UK’s history with Short Players



  1. Axe Cop
    9:04 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    Interesting, but of course in true BTI fashion, all the pictures are a jumbled mess at the top instead of being placed individually with each paragraph.



  2. Dr Pendyke
    9:05 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    While you’re tinkering with this nonsense another site’s reporting the UK football team’s been told Pat Towles will be the starting QB. On to important matters please.



    • And....
      9:21 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

      Got a link there bud?



    • Dr Pendyke
      9:25 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

      And, look it up yourself there bud. Not going to do the work for you.



    • nuke99m
      10:03 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

      What a jerk. If you don’t like the site don’t come on here. You want KSR to report on a post on another board that comes off of HOB. It was an “according to sources” post at that. If KSR had reported it before it was official I bet you would be on here telling everyone that KSR stole the info like it was their own. Bud!



  3. B-Lord
    9:07 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    Leroy Byrd?!?!



    • B-Lord
      9:08 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

      Was he a walk-on? I was a bit too young to remember that.



    • STEVE!
      9:12 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

      I thought of Baby Magic”, too. He didn’t play much, but transferred from UNLV, so I assume he was a scholarship player.



    • bbr
      11:56 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

      Byrd was shorter than all of these I believe



    • coolinjector
      12:42 pm August 18, 2014 Permalink

      i was at several Rupp games in which Baby Magic played. the kid was electric and the arena went crazy when he was on the floor. i didnt realize he was a walk on.



    • JVice
      1:40 pm August 18, 2014 Permalink

      Came to the comments section specifically to mention Leroy! Glad to see that many folks around here still remember him.



  4. STEVE!
    9:14 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    Brandon Stockton was a “great” player. Tubby started him over Rajon Rondo many times. sigh



    • arlo
      10:00 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

      thanks a lot. i had almost forgot.



    • Adam from Awesome Trot
      10:41 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

      Anytime anyone tries to defend Tubby, I always use the Stockton over Rondo point. Ten Loss Tubby robbed me and thousands of other students at the time from a Final Four, I won’t ever forgive him.



    • bigbluetruth
      2:34 pm August 18, 2014 Permalink

      Don’t care if you want someone to defend Tubby or not he was a great coach who had a winning record of 6-4 against slick rick with his own players. The reason Tubby started Stockton over Rondo is the same reason he had trouble getting some recruits to sign and the thing I respected him for the most. He didn’t put up with any crap out of smart mouth, bad attitude players. So, good for him and I still miss him, not that I don’t love Cal but would still take Tubby over the Slime Bag Slick Rick.



  5. STEVE!
    9:22 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    Ronnie Lyons’ production dropped due to the arrival of Mike Flynn and Jimmy Dan Connor, who took the bulk of the minutes during Lyons’ Junior and Senior years.



    • bigbluetruth
      2:35 pm August 18, 2014 Permalink

      Another reason for the drop in Lyons production was he was a player under Rupp his 1st year and he and Joe B never meshed.



  6. Leroy Byrd
    9:24 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    I was a transfer but still the shortest at 5’5″ and 145lbs, but I still should be on that list!! 🙂



    • JVice
      1:41 pm August 18, 2014 Permalink

      being a transfer has nothing to do with it. Ford was a transfer too.



  7. HumanGrowthHormone
    9:25 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    Why not try me? A couple of inches could be worth millions.



  8. Jeff
    9:26 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    Matt did you ever Hear of Louie Dampier ?



    • Hey
      9:27 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

      Louie was 6′.



    • 3 inaccuracies in one sentence!
      9:36 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

      Jeff,
      I’m impressed. Your 8 word sentence was wrong on 3 accounts. First, Matt didn’t write this post. Second, Dampier was six feet tall. Third, he played before 1970, which was one of the criteria listed in the opening paragraph. Good grief.



  9. bung
    9:30 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    wasn’t it ” Leroy Byrd the Third ” …2 b exact…?



  10. Bill in LA
    9:35 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    Louie Dampier was before 1970.



  11. bung
    9:40 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    Lyons would make that backwards bounce pass assist to a trailing player on the break just before he ran out of bounds under the basket..



  12. Han
    11:14 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    Stockton, like Carrier and Carter, was an example of how Tubby would try to keep fans happy in recruiting with KY kids and yet miss the mark in evaluation and development. Especially when missing out on some guys like Lofton and some others who might’ve said yes to UK if the coaching staff had been interested in recruiting.

    But Brandon will always be remembered as the guy Tubby would play over Rondo when trying to make a point to the future NBA star. Tubby’s version of BCG’s Coury Flurry.



  13. go cats go
    11:23 am August 18, 2014 Permalink

    Wasn’t the whole point of this,do you think Tyler Ulis can be better than the five players listed? In my opinion,from what I have seen this early,and it is early,there is no doubt. He was,to me,the most pleasant surprise of the six games. His awareness of what’s going on around him and basketball IQ is phenomenal for a freshman in august. He has the luxery of playing with another point guard and not being thrown to the wolves like the past few years. This can only help. Knowing we probably have him the next four years makes me feel better. Not to show my age but I do remember the other five. The reason Travis Ford didn’t play his first year at U.K.,Eddie Sutton didn’t recruit him. When Ricky P came he jumped at the chance to transfer,he wanted to be here all along.



  14. Dr. Bill Denton
    1:35 pm August 18, 2014 Permalink

    I was born and spent my early years in the same hometown as Ronnie Lyons. He might have been 5’10” if he was on his tiptoes. But he was an awesome shooter and passer. They tried to change his shot-bad mistake. Incredible scorer. I moved into southern Ohio and we got to scrimmage Mason County. He was like a little Harlem Globetrotter. Led the team in free throw shooting, captain of the team, but maybe spent a little too much time at Keeneland for the Baron’s liking! lol



  15. charlie warrior
    1:43 am August 19, 2014 Permalink

    I join a select group in noting the absence of LeRoy “Baby Magic” Byrd from your list. Probably more exciting than any other player you listed!!! 🙂