clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

John Calipari reminds us Tyler Ulis going to NBA this year; Avery Johnson calls him a pro

New, 11 comments

As if Tyler Ulis' amazing play wasn't enough, John Calipari reminded everyone UK will have a new point guard next season. Avery Johnson also thinks Ulis will be a great pro.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly every year under John Calipari, the Kentucky Wildcats have had a new starting point guard.

John Wall, Brandon Knight, Marquis Teague and Ryan Harrow all led UK for just one season, and Andrew Harrison only guided the Cats for two years.

It doesn't look like Ulis will be part of the latter group, and you could argue he's playing better than any of the former group who also left after one year of guiding Cal's offense.

As if Ulis' amazing play as of late wasn't enough, Calipari reminded everyone UK will have a new point guard next season. Following Tuesday's win over Alabama,

"Sorry guys, we don't have a 4-year point guard, but we’re going to have another point guard next year," Cal said referring to Ulis.

Calipari has alluded to Ulis being gone after this year several times, but he's rarely been this direct about it as UK. He's also consistently talked up Ulis as being a pro guard.

"I think he's going to be a really good pro," Cal said. "I think he'll have a long career."

While Cal has coached a lot of great point guards, Alabama head coach Avery Johnson was a star point guard in the NBA before coaching several years there. Johnson spent 16 seasons in the NBA as a player and another eight seasons as a coach, was NBA champion in 1999 with the Spurs and was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2006.

In other words, Avery knows NBA talent when he sees it, and he sees it in Ulis, even though Ulis sports a 5-9 frame.

"He’s a pro," Johnson said. "He can play on the professional level. He’s probably better than a lot of the guys who are there now. He’s good, man. He can do everything. Now when I was playing in the NBA, there was guys like Spud Webb and Muggsy Bogues, but you know he is much better than those guys were offensively.

"And boy, he’s a pure point guard who can hold his own. He takes charges. He throws his body. What does he weight, about 160? Wet, maybe? (crowd laughs) So, he gets his body in there. As a coach you don’t like playing against him, but I see a lot of the things I did as a player in him. He’ll probably have a long, long career."

When told of Johnson’s comments, Ulis said it meant a lot to him coming from a guy with as strong of a pro background as Johnson.

"It’s great to hear," Ulis said. "When a guy of his stature, a head coach at another school and a guy who actually coached and played in the NBA says something like that, it’s a great thing to hear."

Enjoy every moment left you have to watch Ulis in a Kentucky uniform.