Tomorrow’s game is especially big for Tyler Ulis. The Lima, Ohio native moved to Chicago in high school to play for Marian Catholic, where he was a two-time Illinois All-State selection and the SouthtownStar Player of the Year. Ulis is Marian Catholic’s career leader in points (2,335), assists (578) and steals (283). Tomorrow, he’ll be playing in front of a lot of friends and fans, something we’ve learned is not always easy for Kentucky freshmen.
“It’s hard. He’s going home. It’s a hard deal,” John Calipari said yesterday. “The one thing I think we can expect him to do is play hard and compete and battle, because that’s who he is. He’s like the energy bunny. But the other parts — making shots or doing the things that he’s doing in a free-flowing game — we’ll find out where he is right now.”
Cal brought up Trey Lyles’ homecoming to Indianapolis for the Kansas game and how he struggled, putting up only four points and four rebounds in 19 minutes. “It’s just hard. It’s a hard deal,” Cal said. “It was hard for Trey. Think about it. You’re talking young kids, 18 years old, going home in front of family and friends.”
Tyler told reporters he can’t wait to go home, and several of his teammates have given him their extra tickets to give to more friends and family. “I can’t wait to get back home, play in front of the home crowd. Everybody’s there. My family is going to be there watching, lots of my hometown friends and stuff like that. It’s going to be exciting,” Ulis said. So, no pressure? “Not really because I’ve been playing around them my whole life. It’s just another game.”
I have a feeling Ulis will handle it just fine. Also, I’m shocked no one has done a photoshop of Ulis as the Energizer Bunny yet.
UPDATE: Just like that, the BBN comes through. Courtesy of