Despite playing with a cold, Tyler Ulis gave his all in Kentucky’s overtime loss to Kansas, to the point he had to be excused from the postgame press conference to go throw up. Ulis played all 45 minutes against the Jayhawks, and near the end, you could tell he was exhausted. On today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, John Calipari said the staff is trying to find a way to get Tyler some rest during some of these games.
“He’s got to — he and I met on it yesterday — I tried to take him out a couple times [vs. Kansas] and he’s begging me to leave him in, so we’ve gotta get a little more of a rotation going and then, who’s in on that rotation? So, we’re working on that right now, trying to come up with a pretty set in stone plan,” Cal said.
“I think Selden played 44 minutes and he made the plays at the end. Tyler’s a little different in that he has the ball in his hands, and there was a point in the game where he was just carrying us. This kid is, with his weight and size, it’s not normal, so what I do want to do is play him every minute he can be out there playing at his pace.”
Calipari said he’s also trying to get Tyler to recognize when to score and when to facilitate.
“It’s how are they playing, which is what he’s gotta recognize. He’s gotta recognize when they’re collapsing, you’re a facilitator. When they’re not collapsing, you’re a scorer,” Calipari said, bringing up the final play of the game, where Tyler lost the ball on a drive to the basket. “With nine seconds to go, they collapsed and Jamal [Murray] was wide open. So if he would have got the ball with four seconds, my guess is he makes that shot.”
We’ll never know for sure, but one thing is for certain: in dogfights like Saturday’s, Ulis has to get at least a few minutes of rest.