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Tyler Ulis had a good weekend

Over the weekend, Tyler Ulis played in the Mac Irvin Back to School Jam in Chicago, and put together quite an impressive stat sheet. UK’s latest commitment led his team to four wins on Sunday, with over 20 points and five assists in each. He is known primarily as a pass-first point guard, but showed a different, take-charge mentality in his first set of games since committing to the Cats. Check out his highlights above.

This kid is going to give some defenses fits.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

48 Comments for Tyler Ulis had a good weekend

  1. Kaboom
    11:13 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    I love this kid, he will make a perfect Cal point guard whether for one year or three. Kid is tough and gritty and doesn’t succumb at all. More excited to see what he can do than Teague or Harrison, hope he can lead up to a championship as well.

  2. Parvenu
    11:25 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    His ball-handling skills are really amazing!

  3. James
    11:27 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    The more I watch Ulis’s mixtapes, the more I see a resemblance to Chris Paul. If he can grow 2-3 inches before he gets on campus, then we have our version of Chris Paul. Paul was ranked around 13-15 in his class, which is ludicrous. These recruiting services discriminate against these shorter players and don’t give them the respect that they deserve. Ulis is so smooth with the ball, and has a very high basketball IQ, which makes up for his lack of athleticism. He’s also a good shooter to boot; which is evident in this video.

  4. ukfan
    11:29 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    This kid has potential to be one of Cals biggest recruits.. he will be here for 4 years, by the time he’s a sophomore we could possibly be setting ourselves up for a John Wall Eric Bledsoe type back court each of his remaining years. I’m more than thrilled that he came here, kid is a stud!

  5. DaveBiloxi
    11:32 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    I can’t see him making much of a impact to next year’s team. He wont take Hawkin’s spot who is much bigger and stronger. Hawkins will also have a year up on him. That’s even if Cal doesn’t get another PG.

  6. Spud Webb
    11:34 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    I trust Cal, so I’m in. He just looks really small and the level of competition in this video doesn’t seem to sniff what he will be facing when he gets here. I do hope he grows a bit. But he doesn’t have to be “All World”, and it will be nice to have some continuity & depth (Hawkins) from the PG position.

  7. DH
    11:41 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    I agree, Spud. He looks like he has good handles, but I’d like to see him play against better competition. It didn’t look like there was a player over 6′ tall in that whole video.

    11:42 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Hard not to think of Ryan Harrow when watching this kid. Harrow’s mixtapes showcasesed very similar moves, but of course we didn’t see any of it at UK. But if Calipari sees something then who am I to disagree. I know it’s a broken record, but if he were 6 feet tall with these kind of skills then things would be different. Time will tell.

  9. J in Orlando
    11:47 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    8 Harrows problem was mental…he just didnt handle the spotlight well…being at a smaller program is in his best interests.

  10. M
    11:47 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Watch his tape against Tyus Jones, and watch how he plays defense and got under Jones. Then tell me if he reminds you of Harrow.

  11. DaveBiloxi
    11:48 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Ryan Harrow 2.0. Harrow’s problem was he was too small and light to drive the ball. He would get pushed off balance when driving or didn’t have the strength to get pass the defender’s forearm. All the handle in the world means nothing without strength and size. The ball looks huge with this kid dribbles. Not good. Note: We also trusted Cal when he was resruiting Harrow.

  12. JPhelps
    11:55 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    8. 9. 11. All good points. That said, I trust Cal. If Ulis is a 4 year player, Cal will get other PGs to challenge him. I have the same reservations about this kid. Ball looks ginormous in his hands, a 6’4″ PG with defensive capabilities could give this kid fits. And I don’t think he can body up against a college PG, thats an iso waiting to happen. But all is good boys, even with these concerns, we’re Kentucky. We get what we want MOST of the time and if there are concerns, Cal will address them.

  13. Boogie
    11:56 am September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Ryan Harrow was as soft as they come. Ryan Harrow’s size wasn’t the major problem, he simply didn’t see the court well at all. He missed so many easy passes because he was selfish and scared. You don’t have to be 6’4 to be a dominant point guard. But you do have to be assertive and smart to be a dominant point guard.

  14. M
    12:01 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    One problem Harrow faced, other than not having an aggressive, tough personality is that the team didn’t have consistent 3 point shooting to force opposing defenses to respect the shooting. If Ulis gets to play with Booker, Blackmon, and Towns it will create more lanes for him which will reduce the amount of contact he has to take. If Ulis can’t handle being undersized, which I think toughness can overcome, Cal can run Blackmon at the point more, and the following class can address any issues.

  15. caliparty
    12:05 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    1) What the hell are you smoking?? Teague, Harrison, Bledsoe, Wall any point guard Cal has brought to UK so far (minus Harrow of course) eats this kid alive. IF this kid starts his first year think about the other elite point guards in the college game he will have to face? Defensively he is a liability because Cal likes to switch and he cant guard past the point. I mean to be real this kid is 5’8 150 he cant even guard his own position in th college game! No im not a UL fan im a realist. Answer this question. Do you really see this 5’8 150lb Freshman pg leading a team to a final 4 or even an elite 8??? Hell no

  16. BBN85
    12:12 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    His highlights remind me of a less athletic Ryan Harrow.

  17. Cat Fan in Vegas
    12:13 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Maybe you’re right #5, and many other people seem to share your opinion. But, although this kid is shorter and smaller in stature than Hawkins, he has unbelievable passing skills and court vision. He also seems to be fearless about driving to the basket and scoring. I see him hanging around for 2-4 years. And, with a couple years of experience, and time to add a bit of muscle, I see him evolving into a Kemba Walker like player. We don’t see many small point guards anymore that have big success. So, I think most people are a little skeptical until these guys prove themselves to the world. I think Ulis will do that.

  18. flipdunkking
    12:23 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    This kid is at least 2 inches SHORTER than Harrow. All of those layups he made in this video will be in the 12th row when he gets to college. He does appear to be more aggressive than Harrow, but when you are playing a bunch of horrible people (like in the video above), you know you can do what you want and go ham. You can watch that video against Tyus Jones all you want. He most certainly fouls him every time when he “gets under” him and bodies up. Ulis has great handles and speed, but I hope he can shoot the floater. I hate to say it but he actually reminds me of a less athletic Siva. I see Ulis playing behind Hawkins next year. Cal will solve it though. Play Blackmon, Young, or someone at PG.

  19. Rockfield, KY
    12:24 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Ryan Harrow was 3-4″ taller that Ullis, but was as tough as a wet napkin. To be a little point guard, you have to have great handles(check), be able to knocked down jumpers off the dribble(check), and you have to have a hug chip on your shoulder. Think Devan Downey. He was a tough competitor and wouild kill you by himself, unless he had a cold shooting night and then he wasn’t very effective.

  20. The Weekend is Over
    12:27 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    “Tyler Ulis had a good weekend.” He is not faring well on this board, however. The term “cut to ribbons” comes to mind.

  21. M
    12:28 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    It’s interesting that other elite players in his class, that have played with him or against him think he can succeed. It’s interesting that Cal thinks he can succeed. It’s interesting that he plays well against solid competition playing against players larger than him. Then it’s interesting that people that have never seen him play, and have only seen a mixtape or two know that he won’t cut it. He put up 22 points and 17 assists against Tyus Jones. I guess his committal is going to scare the elite players away? Somehow Booker loves playing with him, and our chances with Okafor increase by signing him. I don’t know how he’ll do until he gets here, but for now I’m going to trust players that he’s gone against, and a coaching staff that has watched him play multiple times.

  22. Stop whining.....
    12:30 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    It’s all about your mentality. It’s not about size. I’m 5’11”, not too athletic, and not especially fast, but I can get to the basket on anyone I’ve ever played against. If your mentality is ‘I’m getting to the basket, no matter what it takes’ you will get to the basket.

  23. Sam
    12:41 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    My only question for Cal is when on a defensive switch Tyler find himself guarding a much taller player, what happens then? Is the tactic to switch back quickly so he doesn’t get obliterated in the post?

    And what if he’s playing a guy at his position like an Andrew Harrison or Mudiay? That’s like 8″ difference. Wouldn’t the offensive game plan be to isolate the taller PG against our guy? How would Cal respond?

    If I’m the coach and running the offense I would go straight at the 5′-8″ PG and make the UK defense stop my taller PG.

  24. DaveBiloxi
    12:42 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Him being able to hold his own or being able to compete is not our concern. Him guiding UK to a championship is our concern. That is not something I can see happening. Opposing coaches and players are not dumb. PG’s are not going to try to dribble around him. As soon as he touches the floor PG’s are going to take him straight to the post. They will eliminate any quickness advantage he may have leaving him with nothing but strength vs strength. The same thing happened to Wiltjer last year. As soon as he touched the floor coaches went right at him like a wounded animal. Basically little people with quickness get exposed by these elite college coaches. Second, offensively if you dont try to crowd Ulis but just contain him he will become useless. If you prevent the drive and make him shoot over you at 5’7, his game will become ineffective. That is the reason why 5’7 guards no longer exist. Unless you have a major, and I mean major jump shot(Curry), height matters.

  25. bb
    12:42 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Archie “got to the basket”. Then what? Hope he’s awesome but i see 4 year guy if he lasts and i am pro everything when it comes to Cal.

  26. JimmyWall
    12:47 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    He’s still 5’9″

  27. RealCatsFan
    12:52 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Have not seen him dunk on any of his mix tapes. Can he? Not saying it is a requirement, but at his size leaping ability would be an asset. Someone made the comparison to Siva, and although similar in size, Siva had hops, no doubt about it. I too am concerned about what happens when he has to face a taller, more physical opponent, both on offense and defense. Of course, I have not been impressed with the physical talent of Tyus Jones either. I guess maybe Cal has spoiled me with the likes of Wall, Bledsoe, Teague,

  28. M
    12:57 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    If an opposing point guard has a strong post game, and takes him to the post, Cal will rotate Blackmon to the point. He won’t sit there and allow a player to get abused. A lot of point guards aren’t strong in the post regardless of their height and will feel uncomfortble in that position. However, if there’s a guard that does it well Cal will have to adjust it’s that simple. I wonder how often we’ll see Andrew Harrison in the post this season? My guess is not that often.

  29. ThatsAShame
    1:19 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    The people that are talking about opposing PG taking him in the post please note…

    When was the last time you saw a college PG with strong post moves and was effective? Its doesn’t happen because 1) college PG’s have not developed a post game 2) there is no defensive 3 seconds in college which means your big and linger in the lane.

  30. ukfan
    1:26 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    EVERYONE ON HERE WHO IS COMPLAINING needs to just shut up and go sit in a corner because GUESS WHAT??? Tyler Ulis is still going to come here and play four years of college ball whether you want him to or not!!! So if I was you I would just SHUT MY MOUTH AND START TO SHOW SOME SUPPORT to our future PG! He is a member of the BBN now, treat him like one!!!

  31. KevinM
    1:27 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    We’re not having this conversation if Tyus Jones somehow finds a way to want to play for Cal.
    Simple isnt it?

  32. Awwwwwww
    1:33 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Everyone keeps talking about the one AAU game that Ulis played against Tyus Jones… look at the tape, Jones wasn’t even guarding Ulis for most of those plays. Besides, Jones dropped 25pts and 8assts on Ulis and got the WIN.

  33. Nawwwwwww
    1:38 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Instead of looking at an edited tape of highlights, I think I’d rather trust the evaluations of the UK coaching staff, and other players that Ulis has played with/against.

  34. PR
    1:43 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Haha #24 I don’t think you have a clue what your talking about. First off if you want to win a championship, him being able to hold his own and being able to compete is a BIG concern. This takes no crap from no one on the court. Ya’ll say if he was 6 ft, we ll Tyus Jones is 6 ft andcwhat happened when he played against ulis. 22pts and 17assists happened. I could see if it was jus 17assists but the kid had 22 points which means this kid can score. N who said he doesn’t have a major outside shot. Even I can tell he has one just by watching mixtapes. You think a kid of his size would no try to add a knock down shot to his game? Of course he would. When you play against taller players you have to. Dang thumbs up to all who is supporting this kid. Hes gonna give players some problems next yr. Everyone who hss ever played ball or knows it, knows that bigger guards have a big problem when shorter guards are guarding them. Thats one of things is part of driving the ball is getting low and driving on your opponent. But if you have someone getting lower than you guarding its very hard to do what you want. Thats why tyus had a hard time with this kid. Very excited to have him. To all of you who on here down talking the kid, you need to get a clue before you come saying stuff. Sad but typical y’all are never satisfied. This kid would been better off going to mich st. Bc they probably wouldve been very appreciative. N I’m a big uk fan saying that.

  35. PR
    1:55 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    32. Doesnt matter even jones said that ulis was the hardest point guard he’s played against all summer. Look it up.. I’m wit 33 ill take what coaching staff and everyone else says about this kid. N which they all say he is a heck of a player for 5′ 8 guard. I’d this kid decides to decommit I wouldnt blame him. The way he’s being talked about on here. Good lord. I’m rooting for this kid and Go Cats!!!

  36. Cmart0907
    2:03 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Why is everyone saying he will be a 4yr pg? Because of height? Not ranked in the top 20 nationally? I believe the pg spot is all mental and heart. A will to win thats exactly what Coach Cal and the staff seen in him. If Tyler gets his turn and be successful he will bolt for the NBA. Look at Nate Robinson. Not a great comparison but close enough. Nate has nothing but heart and a will to win. Thats all it takes. Let Tyler hit that weight room and be around atleast 180 i believe he will just be fine. All takes time. He just have to get adjusted guarding bigger pgs and being guarded by bigger pgs. Once he learn that part he will be awesome. Just how fast it takes him to catch on.

  37. stubbs
    2:09 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Ulis will be great. He’s tough, a solid scorer and great passer. He will also be fine defensively for us.

    There is always the risk of a small PG being taken to the post. In the college game, however, this is unlikely since most college PG’s aren’t good in the post (as has been said) and there are a lot of options on defense to mitigate it. It’s pretty trivial to hide a player who is a liability on defense in college, especially if you have a shot-blocker. They even do it in the NBA – there are successful sub-6′ PG’s playing in the NBA RIGHT NOW. This is not to imply there are not hurdles to overcome with a kid this size, but they certainly can be overcome or at the very least mitigated. It’s really a routine thing.

    To use our friends down the road as an example – the cards just won a national championship with TWO 6′ starters. Both Russ Smith and Siva are 6′ or shorter. Go check out some tape and see how they dealt with the size disadvantages. Also, Peyton Siva was DRAFTED, for goodness’ sake.

    He will also probably grow at least a couple of inches before and/or during his freshman year.

    And for those who think Dominique Hawkins will start over him – that’s a possibility, but unlikely in my mind. Hawkins is great, I’m glad to have him, but remember: he’s not actually a point guard. Ulis has the passing skills and court vision to run plays that DH can’t. People are even talking about Polson being ahead of DH on the depth chart and Polson (bless his heart) can barely throw a pass at all.

  38. theSkinny81
    2:16 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    24 – You just made that up as you went, didn’t you?

  39. DavidBiloxi
    2:28 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Ok, he’s not Bledsoe, he’s shorter and weighs less than Harrow. Harrow’s problem was that he lacked college PG strength. Look at his highlights and you can see that he has/had plenty of confidence. College BBall was just a rude awakening. The moves he made in AAU didn’t work at the college level. Another thing, college PG’s dont need a large variety of move to score over a 5’7 pg. You simply shoot over top of him. And what’s this obsession with 4 year players? Explain to me how they help your team. Everyone says experience, experience, experience. How many experienced teams did our 2012 team blow out the gym? They beat 4yr players by 30 and 40 points. Experience means nothing if freshmen come in more talented. I’ll take the MKG’s anyday over the Darius Miller’s of the world.

  40. Awwwwwww
    2:43 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    #34 I think you are forgetting that Cal didn’t even bother offering Ulis a scholarship until it became clear he was going to miss on Mudiay and Jones. “In Cal We Trust” doesn’t mean we’re blind to who he actually wanted. If you seriously think Ulis is better than Jones because of one streetball-esque AAU game where JONES DIDNT EVEN GUARD HIM then you’re out of your mind. There is a reason Jones is top-5 and Ulis was ranked in the 60’s in June. Yeah he’s up to 38 now but is that who we want starting as a freshman?

  41. bunny
    3:19 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks for the video, Mrs TT. I’d like to see Tyler use his left hand more – particularly around the basket. He’ll be forced to use it in college…Also, he needs to get a lot stronger…

  42. Nawwwwwww
    3:25 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    I never said Ulis was better than Jones, I said he held his own against him. I’m aware it was just one game in the same context I’m aware that Hawkins has nothing on Andrew Harrison, but did play really well against them. Obviously we needed a point guard, and his ideal gets would be Jones or Mudiay. Cal thought he had Mudiay locked-in, and when that fell through they went for Ulis. Cal could have went after Perkins late, although the timing was cutting it close, but he didn’t. If Jones didn’t attempt to guard Ulis at all then maybe he’s not as competitive as I thought. The reason Ulis isn’t top 10 is because he’s 5’8. It’s my opinion, but I believe when you pair him with guys that can shoot-Blackmon, Booker, and Towns, he’ll do well. If he doesn’t Cal will figure it out.

  43. BigBlueVein
    4:37 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Tom Izzo…I’ll say it again.. Tom Izzo wanted this
    kid bad…last I checked Izzo is still one hell
    of a good coach….I’ll trust Cal on this one…Tyler will
    do well here.

  44. Delk for 3
    5:09 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    Any of you kids knocking this kid IN ANY WAY are simply jackasses who really have very little knowledge of basketball. Just because you watch UK doesn’t mean you understand what makes a good player. Obviously you don’t, because this kid is a stone-cold baller and it is clearly evident. This kid has been relatively short his entire life but he overcame that to become ONE OF THE VERY BEST HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS IN AMERICA AND TO EARN A SCHOLARSHIP TO BECOME JOHN CALIPARI’S POINT GUARD. This kid is a top-notch ball handler, has an attitude on the floor, can get buckets, and can get teammates involved. I can see why Cal offered him. I feel sorry for you idiots who can’t. This kid will be a special player and I wouldn’t put it past him to become as good as any PG’s that Cal has had. If you think otherwise, you simply don’t know and are just guessing. This kid can become as good as he wants to be.

  45. Delk for 3
    5:12 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    40 — You are an idiot. I’d like to see you go tell that to Tyler’s face you punk ass beotch.

  46. Catcounsel
    6:48 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    From the video it is evident that this player has the offensive side of the ball well in hand! However, the video does not really show him playing any defense at all. If this player has game on that side of the ball as well, I am very happy with Kentucky’s future point guard!! GO BIG BLUE!!

  47. bigcatstanding
    8:47 pm September 23, 2013 Permalink

    #8 )( #24 ) ( it blows my mind to see people compare them to someone that played for kentucky just because of there size, if those comparisons were true let’s just fine every 7’2 men and we will have ourselves a Shaquille O’Neal makes me laugh to read this bullcrap. The only time I believe size really makes a difference is when you put a whole team of undersized players out there, you can get by at 1 position just not at all 5. I can already imagine having four great players around him, could possibly average 8 assist a game it’s going to be awesome. BBN ILF#9

  48. bigcatstanding
    12:01 am September 24, 2013 Permalink

    #40 So your point is that Coach didn’t start recruiting him until recently, that’s pretty much right basically because no one even knew who he was until recently. This kid didn’t even crack the top 100 until 3 months ago. So hate on down the road numb nuts. As for everyone talking bout Jones / Ulis in a head to head pretty much owned Jones, scoring 20 some points with 17 assist / ya your right he’s not any good??