Sports Illustrated’s Brian Hamilton is already previewing the conferences for next season, and says that Kentucky is poised to take the SEC’s reins back from Florida, and they have the league’s top freshmen in Tyler Ulis:
Tyler Ulis, Kentucky. Between them, Kentucky and Florida will welcome six of the top 35 prospects in Rivals’ Class of 2014 rankings. Odds are the best newcomer in the league will come from one of these two rosters. And yet none of the freshmen will be expected to take dominant, leading roles, which makes it difficult to identify which one will emerge as the best of the bunch. So we’ll go the most intriguing one: Kentucky’s Ulis, a 5-9, 150-pound pure point guard who can help push the pace while perhaps pushing Andrew Harrison to a higher level. Ulis can come off the bench and change the game defensively by jumping the opposing point guard, and he can facilitate at the other end selflessly. He may be a point guard the likes of which John Calipari hasn’t had during his tenure in Lexington. The great Kentucky “tweak” of 2013-14 revolved around Andrew Harrison becoming more of a distributor. The good news for Wildcats fans is that he shouldn’t soon forget those lessons, not with Ulis pressing in a backup role.
Of all the freshmen coming in, I’m most excited to see Ulis. During the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic, he was fascinating to watch, and a downright pesky defender. He’s got the speed we’ve been missing the past few years, and he’s also short, which I can appreciate.