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.