Tyler Ulis is not the typical point guard that commits to John Calipari and Kentucky basketball. However, one thing that Ulis does have in common with other Kentucky point guards is his talent.
Despite not fitting the taller guard role that Calipari typically employs at the point guard position, Ulis stands at only 5'8". Don't let the height scare you away: The kid can play and even more impressively can finish in the paint.
The other notable differences in Ulis compared to John Wall, Brandon Knight, Andrew Harrison and even Ryan Harrow is the fact Ulis isn't a top-20 recruit nor is he a one-and-done player. Ulis is only—and I say that in jest—ranked 33rd according to Rivals.
Will Tyler Ulis succeed at Kentucky?
But to address the question: Ulis will be another great Calipari point guard—no question. The Chicago native plays with no fear and has proven himself against the top players in the country in his class.
This past summer, he went head-to-head against Tyus Jones in the Peach Jam championship and outplayed Jones by putting up 22 points and 17 assists in comparison to Jones' 24 points and seven assists.
Ulis is incredibly gifted at handling the rock, often beating his defender with his deadly crossover or quick first step. It will take time to get used to it, but Ulis is simply a different point guard than those Calipari has recruited.
Ulis isn't a score-first point guard. He constantly looks for the open man and is much more comfortable getting an assist than pulling up for a jumper. However, don't let that fool you. Ulis is strong from behind the arc and will look for his shot when he feels he has a mismatch.
Ulis had an impressive junior year at Marian Catholic in Illinois, where he averaged 22 points, 4.8 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game.
The fact is that Ulis will come to Lexington with a chip on his shoulder of having to prove he can play at arguably the best program in the nation despite being undersized. On top of that, Calipari has found his point guard of the future, having most likely four years to mold Ulis into the player he wants him to become.