Last night, new WBN writer Brandon Curry made his debut with a story on how much the Harrison twins will improve next season. And while Andrew Harrison will be the clear starting point guard next year, freshman Tyler Ulis is going to get playing time. Ulis definitely has the talent to carry on the Calipari PG lineage and if the Harrisons had departed for the NBA, Ulis would have been the leading candidate to start next year. Ulis will get playing time this year, but what kind of impact will he have with Andrew Harrison returning?
Instead of trying to make the precision plays that had eluded him all year, Harrison pinned his ears back and started attacking the lane with abandon. The result was plenty of shots—and offensive rebounding chances for a team that excelled in that department—but also plenty of turnovers. Even with his improved passing numbers, his assist-to-turnover ratio for the NCAA tournament landed at a painful 1.25.
That’s a hole Ulis is perfectly suited to filling, taking pressure off Harrison and improving the entire offense in the process. The newcomer’s drive-and-kick skills will also bolster the Wildcats’ much-maligned long-range shooting, especially as Harrison himself (who hit 35.1 percent of his rare three-point tries) can spot up if the two are on the floor together.
Ulis is destined to be a fan favorite at UK because at 5’9 and 150, he represents a new type of player in the Calipari era. Ulis has had to fight for everything he has gotten so far and he will win you over during his time at Kentucky. It’s hard to not root for him.
The criticism of those who have been told “Yes” from day one of their basketball lives is that they do not know how to initially handle adversity. This is not a knock on the person, but an indictment of the flaw of the system. Gregg Doyel wrote one of the best articles I have read in a long time titled “System works for Harrison Twins, media projections were way off.” The truth of the matter is some players develop later than others. Many of Coach Cal’s uber recruits have not run up against players as talented as they were, and the adjustment period is evident.
Ulis has broken through and become a major recruit, headed to Lexington to play for point guard guru John Calipari. At this place in anyone’s career, to have Coach Cal want you to play for him means you have made it and it is only a matter of time before you are signing an NBA contract. However, Ulis will continue working as hard as he possibly can to get better and to better the Wildcats. Ulis’ desire to win and to disprove the naysayers are going to help produce something special in Lexington for the next several years. Enjoy it, Big Blue Nation. I know I will on a personal level.
The Kentucky baseball season is over but AJ Reed is still a contender for the Golden Spikes Award. Fan voting will count for part of the official voting and for that portion, Reed has a small lead over LSU’s Aaron Nola. As of this writing, Reed led 49-46% over Nola and that margin is far too close. Granted, this is not a huge part of the voting, but do your BBN duty and head over to vote for AJ.