Tyler Ulis had a career-high 26 points, eight assists and two rebounds — and never came out of the game — but still put a lot of the blame for UK’s 90-86 overtime loss at Kansas Saturday on himself.
“I didn’t have many openings. I forced a few things late, should have gave the ball up,” he said after ninth game of the season with at least 20 points and five assists, the most at UK since the 1972-73 season (Kyle Macy had seven in 1979-80 and Jamal Mashburn seven in 1992-93).
“Those late turnovers weren’t needed. I should have just gave the ball up late. Turned it over in regulation at the end, and then late in overtime. That’s just not something I normally do.”
No, it’s not and he only had three of his team’s 16 turnovers against Kansas. He’s also the first UK player with at least four assists in 14 consecutive games since Sean Woods in the 1990-91 season.
No wonder senior teammate Alex Poythress says there’s no blame that should be put on Ulis for the loss.
“He has no reason to take any blame on himself. A lot of us can take some blame,” Poythress, who had 13 points and eight rebounds, said. “We didn’t guard down the stretch so he’s not the reason we lost. It’s a team effort collectively.
“We just have to learn how to finish games out. It was close, we had a chance to win it, we didn’t get two late rebounds down the stretch, then we couldn’t execute at the end of regulation. So, it’s just tough.”