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.