It’s not unusual to hear NBA scouts rave about Kentucky Wildcats basketball players. It has been come as common as the rising of the sun to hear NBA personel analyze, dissect and drool over John Calipari’s latest crop of incoming freshmen. It is kind of unexpected to hear the NBA praise heaped on 5’9 freshman Tyler Ulis but yet it happened.
I did not ask about Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis, but the scouting director brought him up anyway. And sure, it’s just one opinion, but since he runs an entire scouting department for an NBA franchise, his thoughts carry considerable weight.
“Tyler Ulis is really, really terrific,” said the scouting director, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss prospects. “He will be a much better college player than any of the perimeter players [Kentucky] had this past year. He’s just a better basketball player. He’s not particularly an NBA prospect, but he’s a really, really good basketball player in a way these other kids have not been.”
Granted, no one is saying that Ulis will play in the NBA, but the fact that the NBA scouts know who Ulis is and like is game only speaks volume about the talent on this Wildcat team. It’s going to be scary good.
With the 2014 class now in Lexington, John Calipari and company are now working on the 2015 and 2016 classes. An offer has gone out to Thon Maker and Tyus Battle could be next in line to get an offer for 2016. Battle will be doing the Louisville/UK visit tour over the next couple of days and he has been piling up the big offers lately.
Tyus Battle picked up scholarship offers from Florida and Michigan, his father told SNY.tv Sunday.
“Today he got offered from Michigan and Florida, which was a big deal,” Gary Battle said by phone.
Stanford and Cal-Berkeley also called to express interest.
The 6-foot-6 2016 Gill St. Bernard’s guard is also at Louisville Sunday and Monday and will then head to Kentucky later Monday and on Tuesday. He recently visited Michigan and Villanova.
“He’s probably going to look at the campus [Monday] with [assistant] Kenny [Johnson],” Gary said of Louisville.
The Battles opted to stop in there Monday prior to visiting Kentucky.
“Calipari called [Sunday] and said he was looking forward to seeing him on campus [Monday],” Gary said.
“Coach Cal produces guys so it’s an honor,” Tyus said recently of Kentucky’s involvement.
Battle averaged 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game last season at Gill St. Bernard’s.
I know that it seems like a horrible mess and that there seems to be no good resolution in sight, but eventually, this Rupp Arena deal will get settled. Mitch Barnhart thinks it will be a good resolution still.
In this murky whodunit atmosphere, UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart injected a bit of optimism early last week. He suggested that a project of such scale requires careful consideration. But there can be a happy ending.
The ultimate impact will be felt “for the next 25 to 30 years,” Barnhart said. “You want to make sure we’re working through that at the right pace, and thinking our way through it. So it’ll be fine. Everybody will get to a spot where we’ll be fine.”
When asked if a new on-campus arena might be a viable alternative for UK, Barnhart re-stated the school’s preference to continue to play home games in downtown Lexington.
“We want to work to that, if we can,” he said. “It’s probably best for Lexington at this point in time.
“But it’s hard.”