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Anthony Davis’ coach says Kentucky fans will like Tyler Ulis


Many Kentucky fans will get their first chance to see 5-foot-9 point guard Tyler Ulis, who signed with Kentucky in November, play when Chicago Marian Catholic plays in the McCracken County Festival of Hoops on Saturday night.

Cortez Hale, Anthony Davis’ former high school coach in Chicago, thinks UK fans will like what they see.
“He is the leader of his team. He takes control of his team, which is the best trait a point guard can have,” Hale said. “He never seems to get rattled. I saw one game where his team was down at half, but he was always cool and collected. He brought his team back because he doesn’t get rattled.

“I think he’s going to be fine at Kentucky. He will more than make up for his size. I don’t see him going inside and banging with the big boys and trying to rebound. But he’ll use his quickness, he can outsmart people and he can shoot floaters. His 3-point shot is good. I saw him make some deep 3s. A lot of times even when he was double teamed he hit a 3.”

Hale said one plus for Ulis is that he plays against good competition regularly.

“There’s good competition in the Catholic league. It’s a different level than the public league here. The play is tougher, more gritty in that league. He’s in a very good league and that will help him a lot at Kentucky.”

Ulis recently scored 14 of his 28 points during a four-plus minute span in the first half to lead Marian Catholic to a 75-58 victory over Thornton and was named the tournament’s most valuable player for the second year in a row. During a 13-possession span, he had 14 points, four assists and turned a four-point deficit into a 30-21. He made three 3-pointers and also created plays with his defense.

Hale was surprised that Ulis did not receive more big-time recruiting attention earlier than he did.

“I was asking friends why they thought he was not being recruited by more high major schools earlier because I knew this dude could play,” Hale said. “Once I found out Kentucky was watching him play AAU, I knew he would be good for (John) Calipari.

“His court vision is so good. Sometimes he’ll throw passes that teammates are not expecting and that causes them not to see them. He can make unbelievable passes to teammates that not a lot of point guards can make or even try to make. There not forced, either. They are all good decisions. Since he’s double-teamed a lot, he had to become a good passer and that’s really going to make UK fans like him.”

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  1. Gene

    Only time will tell just how this kid “fits” into the Kentucky/Calipari scheme of things but I will say that coming from the Chicago Catholic League is stating from an advanced position as compared to most other high school platforms.

  2. Phillip Barker

    With the new rule changes preventing hacking, grabbing, etc., I believe Cal has found the perfect fit at point guard. I’ve watched Tyler’s high lite features several times and his total skills’ set is arguably the best in his class. While he doesn’t fit the NBA profile of a guy like Mudiay, and the league’s football style of play, he couldn’t be more perfect for the college game and it’s new rules. Here’s a list of the skills I’ve noted from his high lites:
    -plays with a chip on his shoulder and really, and I mean REALLY hates to lose.
    -quick on quick, with ridiculous handle.
    -smart, sees the floor like a chess board and has a wide array of passes that generally hit
    their target.
    -excellent répertoire of shots- nice, quick, accurate jump shot, great floater, and knocks
    down high percentage of free throws.
    -think he will be great at pick and roll because of all of the above skills and a deadly step
    back shot.
    And finally the best part, I believe he will be a three to four year player since he will need to build his body and strength for his pro aspirations and thus we won’t have to break in a new player for the toughest position on the floor for several years. I realize his height will be a liability in that bigger and taller offensive players can post him up and shoot over him, however Cal’s front courts generally have great length and can lend assistance and we can pull him on defense and put him back in on offense in last minute close game. Frankly, if Cal can add Myles Turner to this class, I would like it better than our current class, since everyone of this 2014 group can flat out SHOOT. Add Willis to those five and you could conceivably have the best shooting group ever assembled at U of K–something to think about!



  4. Tom Hatton

    I am looking forward to watching this young man for the next few years. Cal will have his point guard of the future, and he can quit worrying about his point guard going pro every year. This young man is going to be a lot of fun for the Big Blue Nation to watch!!

  5. doug

    If you think Cal won’t recruit point guards every year, you are nuts. He will continue to try for the best point guard in the country every year!

  6. Capurnicus

    We might be loaded with guards next season. I don’t exactly see the twins being one and done at this point. If we finish the year really strong then i suppose that could change.

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