Tyler Ulis may be the most critical returning player in the nation

Tyler Ulis - photo by Walter Cornett
Tyler Ulis – photo by Walter Cornett

At Kentucky, it is always about the freshmen. The bright, shiny new pennies are understandably intriguing, what with their talent and promise.

It’s more of the same this season, as coach welcomes a class ranked second in the country. It is not last season’s mighty crew, nor next season’s potentially (latest) greatest of all time, but it is not exactly meh, either.

Except if history — or at least the short version of it that covers the one-and-done era — has proven anything, it is that while we may lose ourselves in the newcomers, it’s often the veterans who hold the secrets to success. Even — or maybe more accurately, especially — at Kentucky, where the turnover is great and the pressure and limelight even greater.

And perhaps for the first time in Calipari’s tenure at Lexington, the returnees might just be more critical than the freshmen. Seven players said their goodbyes to Big Blue Nation at the end of last season, meaning that essentially Calipari would be starting from scratch again.

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