LAWRENCE, Kan. — Tyler Ulis gave four short answers before ducking out of his postgame press conference.
Kentucky’s point guard was upset after a pair of crucial miscues in the Wildcats’ 90-84 overtime loss at Kansas on Saturday night, but he was also dealing with literal sickness that forced him away from the interview room.
“Those late turnovers weren’t needed,” the sophomore managed to spit out. “I should have given the ball up.”
Ulis’ words were consistent with his body language in the game’s final minutes. He’s known for being hard on himself — but mistakes aren’t usually in his arsenal during crunch time.
That’s why his errant pass with 2.2 seconds remaining in regulation and a dribble turnover in overtime should be counted as anomalies.
“He has no reason to be down on himself,” senior forward Alex Poythress said. “A lot of us are to blame going down the stretch. He’s not the reason we lost.”
For the first 35 minutes or so, Ulis was in typical All-American form.
The 5-foot-9 floor general had 26 points — including 23 points on 10-for-13 shooting at one juncture — and finished with eight assists on the day. He also contributed a crucial steal before half that led to a buzzer-beating layup by Jamal Murray.
“I couldn’t get him a break,” coach John Calipari said. “I was going to take him out, but the game was so close he said, ‘Leave me in.'”