A lot of things went wrong during Kentucky’s epic collapse at Tennessee, but Tyler Ulis’ play was not one of them. Ulis continues to be the one player John Calipari can count on on any given night, a rarity with this Jekyll/Hyde squad. Judging by his body language, no one was frustrated more by Kentucky’s meltdown than Ulis. Ulis is part point guard, part coach on the court and, try as he might, he couldn’t stop his teammates from making poor decisions down the stretch.
“He was just upset because we kept breaking down, losing plays,” Calipari said. “‘Why would you do that? How did you lose him?’”
The friction was palpable, so much so that Tennessee’s Kevin Punter took notice.
“I definitely heard Ulis yelling at his teammates because those guys, I feel like, I don’t think they know where to go and I heard him getting on his guys about some of the play calls. I felt the tension and frustration,” Punter said.
Punter finished with a game-high 27 points, and had plenty of praise for Ulis, who finished with 20 points and five assists, his tenth game of the season reaching those totals.
“I couldn’t beat him off the dribble because I couldn’t get lower than him,” Punter told Wes Rucker. “It wasn’t possible.”
There’s no doubt Tyler Ulis is tremendous, but he can’t do it alone.