After another impressive season with the Kentucky Wildcats this past year, Tyler Ulis is projected to be picked in the first round of the NBA Draft on June 23rd. Ulis has climbed a steeper mountain than others to get there, however. Standing at only 5’9″ tall and weighing an estimated 160 pounds, Tyler Ulis has faced many challenges on the Basketball court his entire life.
His Senior year of High School, Ulis stood just 5’3” tall. Sharing the same unlucky quality Nate Robinson, Spud Webb, and others have learned to cope with, Tyler Ulis never let this stop him.
“Tyler Ulis is the best floor general that I’ve ever coached,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said last month. “What I loved is he grew into that position. You couldn’t speed him up and you couldn’t slow him down unless he wanted to do one of those things. He coached the team this season as much as I did, and I’m proud to say that.”
Despite being projected as a first-round pick, Ulis is not expected to land in the top-5. According to Ulis, if he were just a few inches taller, he’d be a surefire top-3 selection.
Following from Scott Howard-Cooper of nba.com:
“I feel like if I was 6-1, 6-2 I’d be No. 1 or No. 2,” Ulis said. “But I’m not 6-1, 6-2. I’m 5-9. I got what I have, I love it, I feel like I’ve worked for what I got. I’m just going to keep playing.”
In 35 appearances with the Kentucky Wildcats this season, Tyler Ulis averaged 17.3 points, 7.0 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. With the NBA rapidly changing towards a fast-paced style of play, size of a player no longer matters the way it used to. While it’ll likely serve as an obstacle in Tyler’s path, it likely wont prevent him from becoming a very good NBA player in the future.