In the Calipari Era, few players have connected with the UK fanbase like Tyler Ulis. During his two years in Lexington, the pint-sized point guard became a fan favorite, constantly proving his haters wrong and making believers not just out of the Big Blue Nation, but college basketball fans in general. That’s why it’s no surprise that Ulis is one of five rookies The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor predicts will be fan favorites in the league this season.
“Ulis is an underdog. For all his positive traits, his size is the reason why he wasn’t selected until 34th. If he had Kris Dunn’s body, he would’ve been the no. 1 pick in most drafts. But he’s doesn’t. Ulis is 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds; not a lot of guys make it far at that size,” O’Connor writes. “All this is to say that Ulis will be an easy player to root for to find success. He’s a winner, a leader, and it’s contagious.”
O’Connor predicts that Ulis will start out his rookie season in the D-League because of Phoenix’s plethora of guards, but may not be there for long.
“Even as a rookie, he could make an impact with his presence. But he could eventually get playing time, too, despite the logjam at guard,” O’Connor said. “Eventually, Ulis will vault into a consistent role.”
As he’s taught us time and time again, never bet against Ulis.