Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Ulis and Harrison Both Productive


Those of us following UK basketball more closely than other fanbases and the occasional writer know that Kentucky does not have a problem at the point guard spot.  But the major storyline outside of this fanbase coming out of Louisville was the battle between Tyler Ulis and Andrew Harrison after Ulis clearly outplayed Andrew.  But it is incredibly short-sided to argue that Tyler should be starting over Andrew for a few reasons.  First, STARTERS DON’T MATTER ON THIS TEAM.  The 2 platoons have been equally successful.  Overall, is there more talent on the first platoon?  Maybe.  But the overall production of the 2 platoons has not been different, thus it really doesn’t matter which point guard plays on which platoon.

Secondly though is that despite the fact that Tyler outplayed Andrew on Saturday, throughout the season, the 2 guys have both played at a high level.  It is true that the one area where Tyler clearly has an advantage is assist/turnover ratio as Andrew is certainly more turnover prone.  But that is more about playing style than anything.  Andrew is going to drive the hoop more often, which naturally leads to more turnovers.

Take a look at the plus minus for each guy per game this season.  Those in green are games in which Ulis had a better plus minus.

Grand Canyon: Ulis +25, Harrison +22
Buffalo: Ulis +20, Harrison -1
Kansas: Ulis +15, Harrison +11
Boston U.: Harrison +30, Ulis +5
Montana St: Ulis +50, Harrison +10
UT-Arlington: Harrison +29, Ulis +18
Providence: Harrison +15, Ulis +5
Texas: Ulis +6, Harrison +5
Eastern Kentucky: Harrison +17 (Ulis didn’t play)
Columbia: Harrison +10 (Ulis didn’t play)
North Carolina: Ulis +10, Harrison +6
UCLA: Harrison +28, Ulis +21
Louisville: Ulis +16, Harrison -9
TOTAL: Ulis +191, Harrison +171

All total, Ulis had a better plus minus in 7 games, Harrison in 3 games and then Tyler didn’t play in 2 games.  That is not domination in my opinion.  And the overall plus minus is Tyler +20.  Take away the Louisville game, Andrew’s worst, and Andrew actually has a better plus minus this year.  Now, I will admit that Ulis’ would be better if he had gotten to play against EKU and Columbia, but the overall point still stands.  The gap between the 2 guys is not wide.

And again, ON THIS TEAM IT DOES NOT MATTER.  Let’s say that Ulis is better, which I honestly think he is.  What is the point with him being on the 1st platoon when he’s practiced with the other group of guys all season?  Why make 2 fairly equal point guards begin playing with a new group of guys in the middle of the season?  It makes no sense.  STARTERS DON’T MATTER.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

21 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Ulis and Harrison Both Productive

  1. sylvar
    9:11 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

    It makes me question my life when I am in agreement with BTI….but this is the exact point I have been trying to make.

  2. J-Dub421
    9:15 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

    The only thing that matters is that both Andrew and Tyler are way better than Chris Jones.

  3. Bicycle Seat Sniffer
    9:28 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

    We have the luxury of having two point guards that are terrific players. I agree with BTI (for once). It doesn’t matter who starts but in crunch time I want Ulis on the floor. The fact that he has posted a positive +/- in every game he’s played (as a freshman!) is pretty astounding. Kid is a baller.

  4. cokiejay
    9:29 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

    Are you saying that arguing for Tyler is “short-sided” because you would be siding with the short guy? Nah, I don’t think you were being clever, I think you just misspelled or misunderstood the idiom “short sighted.”

  5. david8577
    9:30 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

    The bottom line is that we cannot do “this” without both of them.

  6. The Original WTF Guy
    9:45 am December 30, 2014 Permalink


    Then why do you keep bringing it up, you borderline illiterate douchebag?!

  7. Cr1spy
    10:00 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

    If I may….

    Let me state that I am not in the Tyler Ulis should start crowd. But, this is lazy. The comparisons are inequitable due to the variation in minutes played by each player. If you take those same numbers and divide them by total number of minutes played by each player, you get a totally different story.

    AH 171 / 291 (mins) you get a +.588 pts/min
    TU 191 / 219 (mins) you get a + .872 pts/min

    Leaving a .284 pts/min improvement from AH to TU. That is significant! Projected over 40 minutes it is +11.36 pts per game.

    Even this is way oversimplified, but at least it is attempting to compare apples to apples.

  8. Numero Tres El Rey
    10:02 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

    I ranked the players on the day Alex Poythress tore his ACL. The following list is final and not up for debate. If you disagree with anything on it, you are wrong:

    Top 10 players:
    1. Tyler Ulis
    2. Willie caulie stein
    3. Karl Towns
    4. Trey lyles
    5. Devin booker
    6. Dakari Johnson
    7. Aaron Harrison
    8. Marcus lee
    9. Being hit by a car
    10. Andrew Harrison

    • JoeMoney333
      10:14 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

      “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” (- George Bernard Shaw) and you’ve got plenty of both.

    • theSkinny81
      10:14 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

      Rick Bozich? Is that you?

    • American Errorist
      10:34 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

      Beware of JoeMoney333’s false judgments for he is a Matt Jones sycophant. Seriously you guys are totally wrong about Matt’s being wrong, and frankly Matt’s right about him being right. Not only that remember my great idea that Matt had last week? I love it, we think it’s great

    • cats paw
      10:36 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

      JoeMoney333 December 30, 2014 at 7:02 am | Permalink
      Like It (3)
      One last thing cats paw. Stop using quotation marks. They don’t work like you want them to work. Using quotation marks for emphasis is the epitome of grammatical ignorance.

      LMAO @ JoeMoney…..( )” ( )”.

    • BigBlueBoom
      11:33 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

      cats paw clearly doesn’t understand quotation marks. Please attend elementary school, apparently your mom’s home schooling sucks.

    • Numero Tres El Rey
      1:59 pm December 30, 2014 Permalink

      Joe Money must think Karl Towns is better than Willie Caulie. Sorry, Joe. Not yet! That is literally the one and only thing on this list anyone could possibly question.

  9. chris47601
    10:18 am December 30, 2014 Permalink

    Typical, BTI – lazy, lazy,lazy……Just like Cr1spy, I support both players. But just eyeballing the +/- numbers tells me that Andrew is FAR more inconsistent than Tyler (which is a duh, right)?

    Tyler has yet to have a negative impact, while Andrew has done so twice. Tyler has the higher score in 70% of the games in which both players played.

    To say that is not domination is silly. To dismiss the chatter as ridiculous is retarded. It is valid in more ways that not. Still, both players are keys, and I believe Andrew will win games for us in March.

  10. JimBobCooter
    12:02 pm December 30, 2014 Permalink

    BTI, did you study statistics? I’m curious bc your articles are usually number-centric, but you keep missing a step or two.

    Your conclusion was that they are the same, reached by totalling their +/- for the season… without taking in account that Andrew played two more games than Tyler. How can that be accurate?

    If you divided their sums by games played, Tyler is +17.36, and Andrew is +13.15. Which still supports your conclusion, but Tyler clearly has more impact while in the game. Also, what about the time they play together?

    One reason Tyler has more impact, I think, is that Tyler is with the 2nd platoon who are faster. So after the twins and WCS have established a pace and worn down the opposing starters, Tyler & Co come in and knock them off balance. We’ve all seen a steady PG just get flustered by Tyler’s defense and suddenly panic at changing the game plan.

    It is working as is, so obviously nothing will change unless Andrew doesn’t recover, and experience has shown us that he recovers very well.

    It’s a blessing to have a team so deep. If anyone is allowed to be frustrated it would be Marcus Lee, and so far he is playing like a humble and strong team player he is.

    12:10 pm December 30, 2014 Permalink

    I can careless about these numbers. My EYEBALLS tell me that Andrew Harrison is not on the same level as Tyler. The only thing saving Andrew from more public scrutiny is that the team is loaded and blowing opponents out, so Cal does not have to justify starting Andrew and giving him more minutes. If this was a typical year with a more Mortal UK team Fans, Sports Writers in the Media, pretty much everyone will be SCREAMING for Tyler to start. I said it before the only thing Andrew has over Ulis is size. Ulis is better in every other category and has way more poise. Sometimes Andrew has no composure out there, it’s like he’s nervous or scared. In the big games he becomes a T.O. machine. Andrew needs to focus on getting better if he wants a career after college. Right now he is D league player. For UK’s sake we need him to better his draft stock or he will be back in school regardless if they go unbeaten or not.

  12. CottonMash
    12:37 pm December 30, 2014 Permalink

    I noticed the big gap in the Montana State game above and looks like Tyler gets a big bump from that 86-28 game. Not knowing the formula (besides, math makes my head hurt), what is it in that game that created such a huge margin- i see a few points and a couple of assists?

    What would the stats look like if you throw that game out- it’s not like there was a lot of pressure to perform in that one???

    From Above:
    Montana St: Ulis +50, Harrison +10

    Form the box score:
    05 Harrison, Andrew…. 1-3 1-2 1-2 3 3 4 0 4 3 2 0 2 19
    03 Ulis, Tyler……… 3-3 2-2 0-0 0 2 2 2 8 5 1 0 2 16

  13. Bluebloodtoo
    1:36 pm December 30, 2014 Permalink

    Without looking at the actual data, one thing that would stick out to me is that the idea of plus/minus won’t actually work well for the platoon system because the plus/minus is attempting to normalize all other players and show how one player affects the team in general. The reason this won’t work as well with the platoon system is that in a vast majority of cases, that one player is put on the court with 4 completely different players. There is no way to normalize when you substitute 5 players at the same time on a consistent basis. Obviously, games after Poythress was injured would work more closely to isolate one player, but the games early in the year wouldn’t isolate that one player very well at all.

  14. Bill Bradsky
    1:05 am December 31, 2014 Permalink

    I’m fine with being critical when we are losing, but not when we’re undefeated and smashing everybody. Andrew had one bad game. One. Why on earth would anyone criticize a player who’s +/- is as high as Andrew’s? The answer is because a lot of Kentucky fans will never be happy. They thrive on picking teams apart because they have to complain about something. We are truly in the golden years of UK basketball and if you can’t sit back and enjoy it without bitching about which player laces their shoes the best then please – find a hobby.