It's official. After a few weeks of bubbling speculation, 2014 point guard Tyler Ulis from Chicago Heights (IL) Marian Catholic committed to the Kentucky Wildcats. Ulis announced his decision live on High School Cube News, a local sports news program. The Wildcats won out over two other finalists, the Michigan St. Spartans and Iowa Hawkeyes.
The whirlwind recruitment of Ulis happened very quickly. He received an offer from Kentucky head coach John Calipari in the middle of August following an unofficial visit to Lexington. After taking official visits to Michigan St. and Iowa, Ulis returned to Lexington on Monday. He watched the UK Alumni Charity Game as part of his third and final official visit. Ulis then set an announcement date on Wednesday, culminating in tonight's good news.
The dynamic playmaker becomes Kentucky's second commitment in the 2014 class, joining five-star center Karl Towns, Jr. from Metuchen (NJ) St. Joseph. Towns committed the Wildcats last December, leaving about nine months in between commitments.
Ulis is considered a four-star recruit by most recruiting services. He ranks 38th nationally according to the 247 Composite rankings.
Though he stands at just 5' 9", Ulis is considered one of the best point guards in the country. He possesses excellent handles and promises to be a very good passer and offensive facilitator. His small stature will be a concern in college. In order to serve as an elite point guard at the next level, Ulis will have to show not just a credible, but a dangerous, jump shot to prevent defenses from simply sagging off him. He shows a smooth midrange game but will also need to improve his ability to finish inside against stronger and faster big men.
With 2013-14 starter Andrew Harrison projected to go in the lottery in the 2014 NBA Draft, Ulis will likely battle with incoming freshman Dominique Hawkins for starting point guard duties in 2014-15. The Wildcats are also still recruiting five-star point guard Tyus Jones from Saint Paul (MN) Apple Valley, with Jones scheduled for an official visit to Lexington in late September. However, Ulis' commitment practically shuts the door on Jones' recruitment.
That is not a bad thing, as Kentucky has regained recruiting momentum going into the fall. For now, enjoy a couple of Ulis' highlight reels. Welcome to Big Blue Nation!