Father of Kentucky Recruit Relieved Cal is Staying; Report Says Harrisons’ Return Influenced Cal to Stay
James Ulis, the father of incoming Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis, says he’s relieved that John Calipari is staying at Kentucky to coach his son, and isn’t surprised that an NBA franchise like the Cleveland Cavaliers would want Calipari to coach.
“I’m just glad he’s going to be there [at Kentucky],” James Ulis told SNY.tv. “I just think he’s going to bring out a better part of Tyler because of the way he develops point guards.”
Yahoo! Sports reported that Calapari and the Cavs were “deep in discussions…on a seven-year, $60 million-plus contract” that would’ve made him president and coach.
“If you’re successful, I think organizations are going to want you to run their team,” James Ulis said.
The Yahoo! story said that the return of freshmen guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison helped sway Calipari to remain at Kentucky, where he recently signed a $52.5 million extension through 2021.
“There is a strong belief that he would’ve landed in Cleveland had those key players decided to turn professional this year,” the report said.
That is especially interesting considering some had thought Calipari might try to push the Harrisons into the NBA partly in an effort to make room for Ulis and incoming shooting guard Devin Booker.
Kentucky figures to be the preseason No. 1 team in many polls, and Calipari will have a loaded roster once again. But he will have to find a way to play Ulis and Booker alongside the Harrisons, as well as get time for all of his talented frontcourt players, including returning players Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee, as well as newcomers Karl Towns. Jr. and Trey Lyles.Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.