DES MOINES — The Kentucky-Indiana series has dominated headlines this weekend, but another storyline has also been run into the ground over the past couple days: Tyler Ulis vs. Yogi Ferrell.
Both All-American point guards have been peppered with questions about their matchup Saturday (5:15 p.m. ET, CBS), with neither offering up anything for the bulletin board.
Ulis and Ferrell traded compliments Thursday and Friday while insisting that their highly anticipated showdown is nothing special.
Said Ferrell: “This is a team effort.”
Said Ulis: “We’ve got to prepare as a team.”
You get the picture.
Their coaches answered questions about the matchup, too. Indiana’s Tom Crean was highly complimentary of Ulis while also stating, “I love coaching Yogi. I wouldn’t trade him for anything.”
Ditto for Kentucky’s John Calipari, who has used Ulis as an on-floor assistant coach since last summer.
The Wildcats coach provided some insight as to why Ulis has not been embracing the “Ulis vs. Ferrell” storyline this weekend.
“If we lose a game, there will be one guy crying and that’s him,” Calipari said. “We’ve lost some games this year and he’s tearing up now. So as much as you think it’s the mono-mono with him, he wants to win.”
The aftermath of Kentucky’s Final Four loss last season was proof enough that Ulis places winning high on his priority list.
“He was bawling!” Calipari said. “He was one of the few, but he and one of two of the others guys were crying. You know, he wants to win.”
Fans will no doubt be keeping a close eye on Saturday’s point guard battle, so we compiled a “tale of the tape” to break it down.
Tyler Ulis vs. Yogi Ferrell
- Height: Ferrell (6’0″) over Ulis (5’9″)
- Weight: Ferrell (180 lbs.) over Ulis (160 lbs.)
- Experience: Ferrell (senior) over Ulis (sophomore)
- NBA draft projection: Ulis (30th, DraftExpress.com) over Ferrell (90th)
- Points: Ulis (17.2) over Ferrell (17.0)
- Rebounds: Ferrell (3.9) over Ulis (3.2)
- Assists: Ulis (7.2) over Ferrell (5.5)
- Player Efficiency Rating (PER): Ulis (24.5) over Ferrell (22.9)