Kentucky sophomore guard Tyler Ulis was named the Southeastern Conference Co-Player of the Week on Monday after leading Kentucky to a pair of victories last week, including a 74-63 victory over No. 5/4 Duke in the Champions Classic in Chicago.
Ulis shared the award with Georgia’s Kenny Gaines.
The UK guard was the catalyst behind the Wildcats’ 2-0 week. Ulis averaged team highs in points (19.5), assists (5.5), steals (2.0) and free-throw percentage (.889) to lead Kentucky to a 4-0 start to the season.
Returning home to Chicago in one of biggest games of the nonconference season, Ulis dazzled on the big stage vs. Duke. Against the defending national champions, Ulis scored a game-high and career-high 18 points while dishing out a game-high six assists with no turnovers in 40 minutes of play. In doing so, Ulis became the first Wildcat since Kyle Macy on March 1, 1980 to post at least 18 points and at least six assists in a top-five Associated Press matchup.
Ulis followed that remarkable performance with a game-high and career-high 21 points and a game-high five assists in the victory over Wright State. He became the first UK player to score 18 or more points in consecutive games since Devin Booker had 18 vs. Montana State and 18 vs. UT Arlington in November of 2014.
Ulis was solid from the free-throw line in the two games, hitting 16 of his 18 foul shots. He’s tied for the team lead in scoring for the undefeated Wildcats at 14.0 points per game and leads Kentucky in assists with eight.
It’s the second weekly SEC honor of Ulis’ career but his first SEC Player of the Week award. Ulis won SEC Freshman of the Week honors last season on Dec. 29.
It’s also the second straight week a Wildcat has picked up an SEC honor. Freshman forward Skal Labissiere was tabbed SEC Co-Freshman of the Week last week.
After a three-day break, UK returns to action Tuesday at 9 p.m. vs. Boston University in Rupp Arena. That game is set for an SEC Network telecast.