John Calipari finally has a point guard for the class of 2014. Chicago point guard Tyler Ulis has committed to Kentucky over Michigan State and Iowa. Ulis received his offer from the ‘Cats after Emmanuel Mudiay decided to stay home and play for SMU. 247sports has Ulis ranked as the No. 12 player in the 2014 class, and fourth best player from the state of Illinois.
Early in his recruitment, Tyler Ulis was rumored to be headed to Michigan State and bringing 2014 shooting guard Devin Booker with him. Ulis had a cousin who played in East Lansing, and the rumor was he was going to continue the family tradition. That was all before Emmanuel Mudiay’s decision to not play for the Wildcats. Essentially, Calipari had to regroup and offered Ulis after an impressive showing at the Nike Peach Jam on the AAU circuit. Calipari was in attendance as Ulis faced off against then No. 1 point guard Tyus Jones. Ulis scored 22 points in the contest, but Jones countered with 24 points and got the win for his team in overtime. Despite the loss, Calipari was impressed enough to extend the offer.
With Ulis on board, he joins Karl Towns in Kentucky’s 2014 class. John Calipari looks to do a lot more work to replace the mass exodus expect after the 2013 season. If it holds true, Ulis has been in continued talks with Devin Booker of being a packaged deal to a college. Booker is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Mississippi, and is ranked by 247sports as the 11th best shooting guard in the 2014 class and No. 1 player in his state. Kentucky still has high hopes to land Stanley Johnson, James Blackmon Jr. and Trey Lyles. John Calipari has recently offered Texas product Myles Turner, who could stand beside Karl Town at the center spot.
It’s also worth mentioning that Ulis has publicly said he wants to play college basketball with 2014 No. 1 center prospect Jahlil Okafor. Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor are a rumored packaged deal, and Duke has always considered to be the leader for the combo. I don’t know how much influence Ulis can have, but it’s worth keeping your eye on. Ulis plays on the same AAU team as 2015 top player and UK target Charles Matthews.
Tyler Ulis is not a prototypical John Calipari point guard. He only stands at 5-foot-8, compared to incoming guards Aaron & Andrew Harrison who are both listed at 6-foot-6. Ulis’ fearless ability to get into the lane, seek the contact and finish is why he’s coming to Kentucky. Calipari has always said he recruits players that play bigger than they are in height. That statement is the most true for Ulis. I also expect him to stick around in Lexington for a couple of years, rather than being one and done. You’re up, Devin Booker.