Tyler Ulis says Isaiah Briscoe deserves his flowers: “He’s an amazing player.”

When you think of the Kentucky basketball roster in 2015-16, you think of Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray. When you think of the 2016-17 season, you think of De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo.

There’s one player, though, who doesn’t get the credit he deserves on either of those teams: Isaiah Briscoe.

Don’t believe me? Ask Ulis, the Bob Cousy Award winner and consensus first-team All-American himself. The current Kentucky student assistant coach believes Briscoe is the most underrated teammate he’s ever played with.

Well, beyond best friend Devin Booker — now a three-time NBA All-Star and All-NBA First Team member — of course.

“Devin while he was here, but I would say Briscoe,” Ulis said his most underrated Kentucky teammates. “He was so good with the ball and me having the ball for so long every game, so many possessions, it kind of put him out of position.”

Briscoe signed with Kentucky as a consensus top-15 prospect and No. 1 overall point guard in the 2015 recruiting class. Known for his flashy handles and elite finishing ability at the rim, the 6-foot-3 playmaker out of New Jersey was a home-run addition for John Calipari at the time. And it came prior to the Wildcats’ historic 38-1 run, Briscoe seen as the program’s next superstar point guard to follow up arguably the most talented team ever assembled at the collegiate level.

Then Ulis announced his return on April 8, 2015, just four days after Kentucky’s heartbreaking loss to Wisconsin in the Final Four. A little over two months later, Jamal Murray also joined the fold, announcing his commitment on June 24. Those two would ultimately become options one and two in the backcourt, Briscoe left as the third guy playing an off-ball role.

It took away what the 6-foot-3 guard did best and forced him to do things he had never done as a basketball player. And then he came back for a second year and had to do it all over again, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk being options 1A and 1B the following season.

“He was a scoring point guard in high school who never played defense,” Ulis told KSR. “Then he came here and became the lockdown guy, the junk guy, getting in the paint and doing what we needed him to do as a team.”

To be fair, Briscoe still had his opportunities. The Newark native averaged 9.6 points, 5.3 rebounds 3.1 assists and 1.0 steals playing 32.2 minutes per game as a freshman with 33 starts. Then he upped that to 12.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 30.4 minutes per contest and 36 starts as a sophomore.

As Ulis said, his role wasn’t what he anticipated when he committed to the program in November 2014, but he still found ways to produce both seasons in Lexington. And for that, he deserves his flowers.

Because if the timing or circumstances had been any different, Briscoe would’ve been an all-timer in his own right.

“If he came here and I was out of the way, you guys would have seen a completely different version of him. He took it upon himself to play (a different role) and he did it to perfection,” Ulis told KSR. “… In reality, he’s an amazing player and could’ve went anywhere else and probably led the country in points, assists, whatever.”

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