Monday, March 28, 2016

Tyler Ulis Named NABC Second Team All-American

Kentucky sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis has picked up three of the four NCAA-recognized All-America honors after being tabbed to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-America Second Team on Monday. 

Ulis has now been named an All-American by the Sporting News (first team), the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (second team) and the NABC (second team). The Associated Press, the fourth NCAA-recognized All-America team, has not been released yet and will determine if Ulis is a consensus All-American.

The Chicago native was tabbed to the NABC All-America Second Team alongside Providence’s Kris Dunn, Kansas’ Perry Ellis, Iowa State’s Georges Niang and Utah’s Jakob Poeltl.

Ulis is the eighth Wildcat to be named an NABC All-American during the John Calipari era. Willie Cauley-Stein was a first-team selection, while Karl-Anthony Towns was named to the second team last season.

Located in Kansas City, Mo., the NABC was founded in 1927 by Phog Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men’s basketball coaches. All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values (advocacy, leadership, service and education) of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today’s student-athletes. 

Ulis posted one of the greatest all-time individual seasons for a point guard in school history while leading the Wildcats to a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship, the SEC Tournament title and a 27-9 overall record in 2015-16.

En route to becoming one of the nation’s elite players, Ulis ended the season with 246 assists, setting the new single-season school record previously held by John Wall. Until the season’s final game, Ulis had a streak of 28 consecutive games with four or more assists, the longest streak in school history since at least 1972-73.

Later this week he will be in Houston as one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy, awarded annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to the nation’s most outstanding player of the year.

Among the honors Ulis has already received this postseason:

·         Sporting News All-America First Team
·         USBWA All-America Second Team
·         NABC All-America Second Team
·         SEC Player of the Year (Coaches/AP)
·         SEC Tournament MVP
·         SEC Defensive Player of the Year (Coaches) 
·         All-SEC First Team (Coaches/AP) 
·         SEC All-Defensive Team (Coaches) 
·         USA Today All-America First Team 
·         CBS Sports SEC Player of the Year 
·         USBWA District IV Player of the Year 
·         USBWA All-District IV Team
·         NABC District 21 First Team
·         Naismith Trophy finalist
·         John R. Wooden Award finalist 
·         USBWA Oscar Robertson finalist
·         Bob Cousy finalist 

About Mr. Fab-ULIS: Ulis finished the season averaging 17.3 points and an SEC-best 7.0 assists. Following his final game, he ranked seventh nationally in assists and sixth in the country with a 3.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. 

He was the only player in the SEC averaging at least 17.3 points and 7.0 assists or better. He was one of just four players in the nation (Kahil Felder, Oakland; Denzel Valentine, Michigan State; Juan’ya Green, Hofstra) with those numbers and the lone underclassman entering this weekend’s action.

Ulis completed the year with the single-season school record for most 20-point, five-assist games with 14, and according to the SEC Network, his three 20-point, 10-assist games this season are the most of any SEC player in the last 20 seasons.

In league play, Ulis averaged 8.4 assists with a 4.5 assist-to-turnover ratio. He played 672 of a possible 725 minutes in SEC games, committing a turnover every 19.8 minutes per game.

Ulis’ value was probably best represented by his performances in Kentucky’s biggest games. He averaged a team-best 24.4 points and a team-high 7.6 assists in UK’s seven games vs. ranked opponents. He shot 54.2 percent with a 3.8 assist-to-turnover ratio in those games. Those numbers are even more impressive when you consider he played 291 of the possible 295 minutes in those games, including the entire 45 minutes of all three overtime contests.

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