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Tyler Ulis makes John R. Wooden Award Top 20 List

Tyler Ulis' emergence now has him firmly in the running for National Player of the Year awards.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Despite what Dan Dakich may say, there's no debating that Tyler Ulis is one of, if not the best point guard in America.

But with UK struggling this season and needing everything they can get from Ulis, he's given them 110% night in and night out as the season has progressed and is now playing like one of the best players in America.

That's why Ulis will begin garnering consideration for National Player of the Year honors, and that's exactly what he's getting from the Wooden Watch List. Ulis is one of 20 players on the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list, announced Wednesday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

The Wooden Award is presented annually to the top player in college hoops, and Ulis has firmly established himself among this sport's best. The 5-foot-9 guard is averaging 16.2 points and a team-best 6.4 assists per gam, which ranks second in the SEC to go with an SEC-best 3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Ulis scored 20 or more points in nine of his last 13 games, averaging 19.5 points and 7.3 assists while shooting 50.6 percent over that stretch. That includes a double-double with  18 points and 11 assists in an 80-61 win over Florida.

The Chicago native is the only player in the SEC averaging at least 16.0 points and 6.4 assists or better. He is one of just five players nationally to achieve that feat (Kahlil Felder, Oakland; Kris Dunn, Providence; Juan’Ya Green, Hofstra; Denzel Valentine, Michigan State).

The 10-man Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament, and the 40th annual presentation of the award will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show, which will take place the weekend of April 7-9.