Tyler Ulis has been John Calipari’s confidant all season, and the sophomore guard offered valuable guidance to his coach before Kentucky’s 88-79 win over Florida on Tuesday night.
Calipari wondered: Should I start Skal Labissiere for the first time in more than two months?
Ulis was quick to answer: “Do it.”
So, Calipari made the “tweak” he discussed on Monday and subbed in Labissiere for Marcus Lee. The results surprised Kentucky fans, as the Haitian 7-footer held his own in the paint.
“If he can do that every game we would love that, but from here on out just gotta build on it,” senior Alex Poythress said (CoachCal.com). “I mean, I think he can. He played well today. I’m proud of him.”
Labissiere finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in the Wildcats’ dominant victory, after which Calipari said his presence could make Kentucky “better.”
The freshman was plenty happy with his night.
“It’s a huge confidence booster,” he said afterwards. “I just have to build on it, like Alex said. We don’t have a long season left, it’s almost tournament time, so hopefully I can do that in tournament time.”
Up next: Saturday vs. LSU (2 p.m. ET, CBS)