CHICAGO – De’Aaron Fox is supposed to be the next great point guard under John Calipari at Kentucky, which makes something he said Monday especially surprising. Which of the current Wildcats would Fox like to see come back and play with his No. 1-rated recruiting class next season?
“I’d really like to play with Tyler,” he said, as in Ulis, the sophomore who most expect will turn pro after earning SEC Player of the Year this season. “Just because he’s one of the best point guards in the country and every day in practice he would do nothing but make you better, playing against him.
“He could teach you to run a team. To me, in my eyes, he was the best point guard in the country this year.”
Right, but Fox is the No. 1-ranked point guard in the Class of 2016 and if Ulis leaves school, the starting job at UK is all his. So as he prepares for Wednesday night’s McDonald’s All American Game, shouldn’t Fox be rooting against a return to Lexington for the 5-foot-9 dynamo who Calipari considers an extension of himself on the court?
“Everyone says that,” Fox said, grinning, “but Coach Cal made it work with him, Jamal (Murray) and Isaiah (Briscoe). Three guards on the floor, that helps. And I’m long; I could guard the three. Me and Malik (Monk) could guard the three. It won’t hurt.”
Ulis played his way into the first round of most NBA draft projections this season, making it highly unlikely he’ll come back to Kentucky. Calipari all but said he’s gone – and that the Cats would have a new point guard next season – on multiple occasions over the last few months.
But what if the unthinkable happened?
“Man,” said Monk, the nation’s top-rated shooting guard, “he would make us even better. It would be a great experience – if he comes back. He would teach us a lot. Whoever comes back would be a great fit for us, because they’ve been there before and we haven’t been there, and they could teach us something we’ve never learned or never seen before.”