By LARRY VAUGHT
When Tyler Ulis saw coach John Calipari get ejected at South Carolina, he had no reason to panic. Instead, he wanted to play even better for a coach who was fighting for him.
That also led to him taking charge of the offense with the blessing of assistant coach Kenny Payne.
“I had to. Guys couldn’t really hear calls from the sidelines and the coaching staff, they gave me the green light to just call what I wanted to call. I just tried to get guys set and just try to get the win,” Ulis said. “For the most part, they just gave me the green light like I said to call my plays. They had us in double fits, Robs (John Robic) gave some suggestions, and it all worked out for the best.”
He said Payne’s emphasis was on having them fight and rebound.
“He said on offense just push it up and play free, and that’s what we did,” Ulis said.
It helped that both Ulis and Jamal Murray continued their recent hot shooting from 3-point range.
“We do a drill (in practice) that just gets us running up and down the court, shoot 3s and just get things going in transition. When Jamal is hot running down the court, I’ll flip it back to him and he’s just knocking that down. So we look for him in transition. With Isaiah (Briscoe), when he gets the ball in the lane, I try to spot up and just try to help him out,” Ulis said.
Ulis said a renewed emphasis on team defense and has helped the offense.
“Offensively they just give us the green light. We’re just out there free. With the drill that we do, we just out there, run up and down and if we don’t have something, then we grind it out,” Ulis said.