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John Calipari says Tyler Ulis should be in the mix for National Player of the Year

Mark Zerof | USA Today

© Mark Zerof

© Mark Zerof

Tyler Ulis is a popular topic on today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference. Kyle Tucker is asking each SEC coach where they think Ulis ranks in the race for SEC Player of the Year, which I’ll share with you a little later, but first, here are Calipari’s comments. Cal said that Ulis shouldn’t just be in consideration for conference Player of the Year, his name should be in the conversation for National Player of the Year.

“I think it’s beyond just SEC Player of the Year, which obviously, his name should be mentioned, ” Cal said. “I’m like looking at Player of the Year. When you talk about what he’s been able to do for us and what he’s done in these games, it’s incredible. Let me say, he’s got numbers that you don’t see but every five to ten years.”

Ulis had 27 points and 12 assists vs. South Carolina, but Calipari said he wanted Ulis to get 15 assists vs. the Gamecocks.

“I told him before South Carolina, it’s a 15-assist game because of how they play, they collapse. Well, he got 12 assists, yet he still scored. He defends.”

Of course, Calipari was in the locker room for 90% of Saturday’s game, but he said he got on the coaching staff afterwards for letting Ulis play 38 minutes in a blowout.

“I got on the staff after the game, I looked at the stat sheet, he played 38 minutes. And I go, ‘you guys are on me the whole game to get him out, to sub him, now you coach the game and you’re up 30 and he plays 38 minutes! How about you sub him. Now you know how it is! You don’t want him off the court.’ He laughed, I told him, ‘why’d you let them leave you in?’ And he just smiled.”

The scariest part about Ulis? He’s still getting better.

He’s getting better. He’s better now than he was a month ago. Not only is he better, he’s shooting the ball better, his efficiencies have gone way up,” Cal said. “Now, I’m just looking for him to continue to grow. Where can we take this thing? How much better can you get on both sides of the ball?”

“I just think he should be in the mix for Player of the Year nationally,” Cal repeated. “There’s probably four or five other guys, but he should be one of them.”

No argument here.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

9 Comments for John Calipari says Tyler Ulis should be in the mix for National Player of the Year



  1. sam.jervis
    1:24 pm February 15, 2016 Permalink

    Could you imagine how scary good we would be next year if Tyler Ulis were to stay? Surround him with next years recruiting class and watch make another big jump in his game.



  2. Sentient Third Eye
    1:26 pm February 15, 2016 Permalink

    I’ve followed UK for 40 years. Ulis is my new all-time favorite player.



  3. Bluegrass7914
    1:59 pm February 15, 2016 Permalink

    #1. Denzil Valentine’s numbers are even better than Tyler’s. Denzil averages 19ppg, 7.7rebounds, and 6.9 assists a game. All three stats trump Ulis.
    #2 Buddy hield averages 54% from 2, 52% from 3, and 90% from free throw. All three stats trump Ulis.

    He won’t win because of those two. This doesn’t even account for Ben Simmons numbers.



    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:16 pm February 15, 2016 Permalink

      Cal didn’t say he should win it, just that he should be in the conversation. Ulis is definitely in the same range as those other players, but he doesn’t get their publicity.



  4. mudcreekmark
    2:10 pm February 15, 2016 Permalink

    I love Cal and I love Ulis but he is not going to win national player of the year. Buddy Hield will be your national player of the year. However, I think he has a real chance of winning SEC player of the year. I know that Ben Simmons in a great player and will be the number one pick but when you watch him play, he doesn’t show the leadership nor the will that Ulis has. Simmons seems to have it in low gear just playing the games out so he can get on with his NBA career. Ulis on the other hand, is engaged in every play in every game and has the heart of a champion. He is the type that will take control of a game and take control of his team mates and will them to win.



  5. Mathlete
    2:12 pm February 15, 2016 Permalink

    “Now, I’m just looking for him to continue to grow.”

    Is that a short joke, Cal?



  6. secrick
    2:57 pm February 15, 2016 Permalink

    Gosh, Guys he said he should be in the mix. He didn’t say he should win it. Not yet anyway.



  7. jfluse
    3:45 pm February 15, 2016 Permalink

    If he leads this squad to a championship, it needs to be looked at closer than just a maybe.



  8. BBNBRIAN
    6:18 pm February 15, 2016 Permalink

    If Ulis hadn’t hurt his elbow….. this would be an entirely different conversation.