Tyler Ulis is simply playing like the best point guard in college basketball right now, so it's only fair he's in the running for the award annually given to the nation's top floor general.
The star Kentucky Wildcats guard has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2016 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The award is named after Hall of Fame guard Bob Cousy, and annually recognizes the top point guard in Division I men's basketball.
There's really no question that Ulis has been one of, if not the best point man in college basketball this season, so him being among these names is a well-deserved honor. Amazingly with UK's history of great flor generals, Ulis is looking to become the first UK guard to win the award.
Standing at just 5-foot-9, Ulis has been one of the top players in the country this season, leading Kentucky to a 16-5 record with wins over nationally ranked Duke and Louisville. Ulis is averaging 16.1 points and a team-best 6.2 assists per game, which ranks second in the SEC. He's now scored 20 or more points in four straight games and eight of his last 10, averaging 20.1 points and 7.1 assists while shooting 51.1 percent over the 10-game stretch.
After notching a career-high 26 points and eight assists at No. 4 Kansas this past week, Ulis has nine games this season with at least 20 points and at least five assists in the same game, the most by a Wildcat in any season since 1972-73.
Ulis' value is probably best represented by his performances in Kentucky's biggest games. He's averaging a team-best 21.7 points and a team-high 7.3 assists in UK's three games vs. ranked opponents. He shot 54.5 percent with a 5.5 assist-to-turnover ratio in those games.
Ulis is the only player in the SEC averaging 16.0 points and 6.0 assists or better. He is one of just five players nationally to achieve that feat (Kahil Felder, Oakland; Kris Dunn, Providence; Juan'Ya Green, Hofstra; Denzel Valentine, Michigan State) and the lone underclassman to do so.
A national committee will decide the five Bob Cousy Award finalists that will be presented to Cousy and the Hall of Fame's selection committee in March. The winner will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on April 8.