Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: Does John Calipari have his four year PG in Tyler Ulis?


Mar 9, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari coaches his team during the game against the Florida Gators in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Florida 61-57. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Kentucky hasn’t had a point guard that has stuck around in school for four years in the John Calipari era. When you look at the 23rd ranked player by Sporting News in the 2014 recruiting class, you can see where things might shape up for the Kentucky Wildcats to produce a four year player in the 5-9 point guard Tyler Ulis. Tyler recently chose the Kentucky Wildcats on Friday over Michigan State and Iowa. Here is what the young man had to say when he chose the Cats:

"“I’ll be going to the University of Kentucky,” Ulis said, to no one’s surprise. “Kentucky is a top basketball program … and it’ll help me out working hard every day, playing against the top-flight competition and with the top-flight competition. And Coach Cal (John Calipari) does a good job developing players.”"

Tyler proved himself the most to coaches after his terrific performances in summer tournaments from North Augusta, S.C., to Las Vegas. Ulis averaged 19.2 points and 6.8 assists at Nike’s EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam. His team did lose, however, to a sought out recruit in Tyus Jones. Tyus put up 24 points and 7 assists to Tyler’s 22-point, 17-assist game. Tyler Ulis has shown people around him and coaches everywhere, that his size doesn’t compare to his skill set that he can bring to a team. Tyler sure did convince college coaches that he can play and excel against the best, and here is what he had to say to Sporting News following his dominant performance, as it seems like he has a chip on his shoulder about his size:

"“They don’t worry about my size any more,” he said. “They just tell me once I get there, they’ll put weight on me. They don’t care how tall I am.“"

The issue concerning size is evident in college basketball. In the last two decades, the only players under 6-feet tall that took their team all the way to the promise land are Ty Lawson (2009 North Carolina), Khalid El-Amin (1999 Connecticut), and Tyus Edney (1995 UCLA). Kentucky does have the ability, unlike any other team, to put other stars around their players. If John Calipari can continue to sell his idea to high school All-Americans, then Tyler should be fine. I mean, this kid has the potential to break assist records with his ability. Supplying him with other stars can broaden him up a bit. Tyler continued to share his role as a point guard to Sporting News:

"“Just from watching the game, watching guys like Chris Paul, I just picked it up,” Ulis said of his passing ability. “I’ve always played point guard, so it just comes pretty natural.”"

I think the Kentucky Wildcats made an intriguing move in going after a potential four-year player in Tyler Ulis. The positive impact that it has is that Kentucky could build on consistancy in the back court. Utilizing Tyler’s skill set can vitalize the Kentucky Wildcats in their game. Tyler knows how to share the ball, and as well as put points on the board. I think I see what Calipari is going for, and I love his move. If Tyler can prove to be a strong force on the court for four years, then the Kentucky Wildcats have themselves liability in the point guard position.