Pulliam will forgo senior season to pursue master’s degree


Kentucky junior guard Dillon Pulliam laughs with teammates during Big Blue Madness on Friday, October 13, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Kernel Sports Staff

As next year’s UK men’s basketball roster continues to shape, Dillon Pulliam announced on Tuesday afternoon that he will not return to UK for his senior season of basketball, and will instead chase his master’s degree.

Pulliam is set to graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and computer science. Starting in the fall of 2018, Pulliam will go to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to pursue a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering.

“As a kid, I always dreamed of playing basketball in college. Having the chance to do that at UK has been life changing and has made these years some of the best of my life,” Pulliam said in a press release. “The friendships and memories I’ve made are something I will carry with me forever and they have made all the hard work worth it.”

Pulliam has a 4.0 GPA and will graduate with honors when he walks across the stage in May. Pulliam also minored in mathematics.

Carnegie Mellon is one of the top engineering schools in the country, as it ranks fourth on US News’ rankings for all computer engineering schools. Carnegie Mellon only allows around 4,000 students into its graduate program each year.

“Carnegie Mellon has one of the top engineering and computer science programs in the entire world and there I will have the chance to learn more about the computer systems I hope to one day help design,” Pulliam said in the press release. “Big Blue Nation, I truly appreciate all the support I’ve had and I’m really looking forward to this new stage in my life.”

As a basketball player, Pulliam hardly got the chance to see the court as a walk-on. He made 11 appearances after transferring from Transylvania University, which only accumulated to 11 minutes played.

Pulliam never scored a point as a member of the team, and only attempted one shot during his career at UK. While Pulliam didn’t make any impacts in games, he did help the Cats in practice, according to his head coach.

“Dillon was a great teammate and an important part of what we do in practice every day,” John Calipari said in the press release. “He earned a partial scholarship at different points because of his contributions. Suffice it to say, he was a great student.”

As a native of Pittsburgh, Calipari understands Pulliam’s move to attend Carnegie Mellon.

I know what it means to be accepted into Carnegie Mellon. I also know my application wouldn’t have even made it to anyone’s desk,” Calipari said in the press release. “I’m just as happy for Dillon as I am for our other guys who go on to pursue their genius in other areas, whether it be in the NBA or in the business world. My guess is Dillon will be in the middle of a program to put people on Mars before it’s all said and done. Proud of him.”

Pulliam will be UK basketball’s 18th graduate from the program in the Calipari era.