Tyler Ulis is a household name in Lexington. He is among the best guards, especially for his size, to play for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Ulis had a multi-year career at the next level as well, playing two seasons with the Phoenix Suns and one with the Chicago Bulls. He ended his career averaging 7.5 points per game.
A top-20 recruit from Marian Catholic high school back in 2014, Ulis played two seasons at Kentucky and averaged 17.3 points per game his sophomore year.
It was announced last December that Ulis would be a student assistant on the coaching staff, and he’s clearly been making his presence felt — especially towards five-star guard Cason Wallace.
Wallace has had to step into more of a leadership role over the last few weeks with Sahvir Wheeler sidelined due to injury.
“I just wanted to try to help him through certain stuff. And just tell him what I see. And just try to help him make certain reads that he may not see at the moment, in the heat of the game,” Ulis said via Kentucky.com’s Ben Roberts.
The addition of Ulis to the team’s coaching staff was encouraging for all parties, and while Calipari was happy with the move, Ulis’ dad seems just as excited for his son’s future.
“And I think he’s where he should be. He wants to stay in basketball. … He’s having fun. And he’s home, too. Kentucky is home for him,” James Ulis said.
It’s not just that Kentucky is where he should be, but it is where his story will be best told, his dad noted. “And his story resonates with people.”
Ulis battled injuries, which derailed his NBA career, and adversity along the way. Being back in Kentucky was a home run for Calipari and his staff, but it seemed like the best decision Ulis could have made as well.
Expectations are rightfully high for both sides, especially with DJ Wagner set to join the roster next season. But, if there’s one thing the 5-foot-10 guard has been able to do throughout his basketball career, it is to exceed those expectations.