Mike Anderson on Ulis: “He’s quietly had a pretty good year”


Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

First, a big hand to Courier-Journal beat writer Kyle Tucker. It seemed like he asked every coach on the SEC coaches teleconference today what they thought about UK sophomore guard Tyler Ulis being the SEC Player of the Year.

It’s easy to consider it a two-player race between Ulis and LSU freshman Ben Simmons, the likely No. 1 draft pick in June.

Or at least it’s easy for everyone except Arkansas coach Mike Anderson.

“I think he’s doing a good job of commanding their team. He’s quietly had a pretty good year,” Anderson said.

Pretty good year? He must be talking to Dan Dakich.

“I’m sure he’ll be one of those guys that are mentioned. But we’ve got some pretty talented players in our league. I think he will be one of those guys that will be considered,” Anderson said.

Other coaches, including UK’s John Calipari, were a lot more generous with their praise.

“When you talk about what he’s been able to do for us and what he’s done in these games, it’s incredible. And let me say: He’s got numbers that you don’t see but every five to 10 years,” Calipari said.

“Second thing I would tell you: He’s getting better. He’s better now than he was a month ago. Not only is he better, he’s shooting the ball better, his efficiencies have gone way up. I told him before South Carolina: it’s a 15-assist game because of how they play – they collapse. Well, he got 12 assists, yet he still scored. He defends.”

Of course, Calipari got ejected early from that game — he said he was not allowed by league rules to discuss officiating — and he couldn’t resist a friendly poke at assistant coach Kenny Payne who used  Ulis for 38 minutes.

“ I looked at the stat sheet, he played 38 minutes. I go, ‘You guys (on the coaching staff) are on me the whole game to get him out, to sub him, yet now you coach the game and you’re up 30 and he plays 38 minutes! How about you sub him?’” Calipari said.

“You don’t want him off the court. He laughed. I told him (Ulis), ‘Why’d you let them leave you in?’ He just smiled. He’s a great kid, and now I’m just looking for him to continue to grow. Where can we take this thing? How much better can you get on both sides of the ball.”


More with other coaches on Ulis later after I go back and listen to the whole teleconference replay. But again, kudos to Kyle Tucker for asking 12 coaches about Ulis — and setting a one-day SEC teleconference record for most questions by one media member.


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  1. Mike Anderson is a clown following in Nolan Richardson footsteps..If Ulis is having a GOOD year.I am Elmer Fudd.

  2. could we please send out this message to the country? Tyler for President!! He would fix all of our problems and make the world right again.

  3. Amen bbcricket!!!

  4. What he is doing is just plain amazing. He and Murry remind me of the Ed and Rex show. He deserves all the accolades he receives and more.

    1. I just made the same comparison to my wife a couple of days ago. Ed was one heck of a ball player. And Rex – well everyone knows about Rex. But Ed wasn’t as good as Tyler. He was a crafty PG that ran the show for a long time at UK. I can only imagine what kind of numbers Ulis would put up in 4 years. I hope I get to find out. He’s incredible on both ends of the floor. I have to be honest that early in the year I worried about his ability to guard the big guards we see today. But he’s such a master pickpocket he has overcome the height thing completely. Count me as a huge fan of the kid. I still love it that the first thing he did at UK was go nose to nose (chest really) with DMC. That’s just crazy.

      1. That was my favorite guard tandem until now King. When my wife and I met him at the BBM camp out his freshman year (got a great pic or him, Booker and Lyles with her) I told him then he was the best pure pg of the Cal era and he just smiled and said thanks. Lyles kind of smirked but I bet he gets now what I saw then (during the Bahama trip) .



  5. Donald Trump is quietly going through the debates.

    1. Best line of the day Grant

  6. Draft order is based primarily on long term NBA potential, but SEC POY is based on what a player accomplishes THIS YEAR.

    Even if one is impressed that Simmons has enough potential to merit a #1 draft choice, in a weak NBA draft year, there can be no argument about Tyler Ulis being the SEC POY for 2016. That there is even a debate is so telling about the UK jealousy that permeates the SEC.

    1. You hit that nail right on the head Prof. If Simmons gets the nod it will be because the rest of the conference is tired of losing to UK all the time. They thought they finally had us when Clyde was running things. Cal made them wish for the days when Rupp was around because he makes them look bad in an era where they actually care about looking good at basketball.

  7. We are so use to seeing bigs do well on the court, Cousins, AD, Towns,etc and we have had our share of marvelous point guards. Knight and Wall. I didn’t particularly care for a couple of the ones we had. They just did not impress me and left me ‘bored’ sometimes. Their egos were more important to them than the team. However, with Ulis we are watching history being made. I can’t think of one other point guard I have enjoyed watching play more than Tyler other than Pistol Pete.

    We know why he isn’t getting the respect he deserves. We know why he is being ‘over looked’. However, if one person can find one reason why to not consider him for POY this year, give them my number and let me talk to them.

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