Tyler Ulis is a point guard from Duke University. Ulis is 5’10 and has a wingspan of 6’1. For the year, he averaged, 36.8 minutes per game, 17.3 points per game, 3.0 rebounds per game, 7.0 assists per game, 1.5 steals per game, while shooting 43.4% from the field, and 34.4% from three.
- Can score from anywhere on the court
- Quick, smooth shot release
- Loves to attack in transition
- Floor general
- Court vision
- Great distributor
- Good ball handler
- Knows how to utilize pace during games
- Good defense for his size
- Tremendous basketball IQ
- 100% effort all the time
- True leader
- Controls his emotions well
- Shooting consistency
- Ball dominant player
- Defensive potential at the next level
You have to feel for Tyler Ulis, who has a ton of skills, and is one of the most polished point guard prospects in the draft, but his lack of size is just something many people will not overlook.
On offense, the first thing you will notice about Ulis is his way of controlling the court, and a great ability to run the offense at different speeds, but always at a high-efficiency. His ability to change the pace at ease, always keeps his opponents guessing, and Ulis uses this to his advantage, and can get to the rim quite easily. Finishing at the rim next year will be a huge question mark, as his size will only continue to be a nuisance to himself. Ulis will have to learn to be creative, or develop a nice floater to be effective in the paint at the next level. In terms of his jumper, Ulis has a quick, smooth release, which he can get over taller defenders. The major problem for him is the consistency. He was rather average from mid-range, and the three point line. With the point guard position becoming heavily dependent on a three point game, Ulis will need to increase his consistency from range to even have a small shot at becoming a starter at the next level. In terms of point guard skills, Ulis is the true meaning of floor general. He has the pass first mentality, and knows how to create for his teammates. His passes connect at a high percentage, and he rarely tries to force anything. Ulis has very good ball handling skills, which he uses to create the needed space to get his shot off. From all the reports I have read, Ulis was beloved by his teammates as the leader of the offense, and this usually carries to the next level, so expect the second team, and maybe the starters to fall for him as a teammate.
On defense, Ulis proved to be an effective defensive player at the college level, but his lack of size and strength leave a lot of question marks going forward. He proved to be an effective on-ball defender against smaller guards in the conference, but did get beat up against the bigger guards, who could just shoot over him. This is the main concern when people at looking at him for the next level. On the perimeter, Ulis has good lateral quickness, which allow for his man to have trouble getting an easy shot. He uses his quick hands to get steals, which lead to his furious attack in transition. Rebounding is not a huge perk of Ulis, as you could imagine from a player his size. Even though Ulis was not blessed with elite size, he does give 100% effort on defense, which can never be ignored by a coaching staff.
As an overall, Ulis is a crafty scorer, with true floor general skills. His ability to lead an offense with such precision will likely land him a backup role at the worst, with the potential to be a starter for team. Ulis will bring a lot of concern into the league with his defense, but his willingness to play defense will cause problems for the opposing guards in the league. When looking at draft range for Tyler Ulis, his stock is looking to be late first round to mid-second round pick. Teams who could have interest in Ulis would be the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, and Philadelphia 76ers. Milwaukee and Philadelphia would likely want to only spend a second round pick on him, while Chicago and Detroit are looking for instant improvement, and might not want to spend a first on Ulis at this point in time.
Pro Comparison: Isaiah Thomas
This might come off as a basic comparison based of similar size and athletic abilities, but they possess many other similarities. Both players have a chip on their shoulder, as they have been overlooked for their size, but Isaiah Thomas has found a nice role in the league, where he might be the best player on the Boston Celtics. Ulis has similar abilities to just be as great, he will just need a coach to have confidence in his abilities, and not worry about his size.
On offense, both players must be craft scorers if they want to be successful. Thomas and Ulis do not have the size or length to attack the rim like most players, so they must recognize the easiest angles to make sure they get their shots off. In the mid-range game, neither player is the most consistent scorer, but can get hot real quick. From three point range, neither player blows you away with their percentages, but with a reliable shot, they keep the defense honest. Ulis is the better passer of the too, as he just sees the court so well. Ball handles also go to Ulis. Thomas likes to control the ball too much, and can become turnover prone at ease. Both players are natural leaders, capable of inspiring their teams onto new heights.
On defense, both players give great effort but if a player can shoot over them, there is nothing they can really do to stop it. Neither player is particularly good in the paint, as their smaller frames are able to be backed down easily. On the perimeter, Thomas and Ulis use their quick footwork to keep it difficult for opposing players to get around, and get an easy shot. They also use their quick hands to get steals, and lead a destructive transition attack. Rebounding is not a big plus for either player, as their lack of size is just not suited to bang down low.
Thomas is a great player in the league. He may have had to bounce around for a few seasons before he was trusted with a starting position, but he has shown to be an effective point guard. Ulis might experience the same type of treatment in his early years, but give him time, and he will prove to be an effective player in the league, one who should last 10-12 years if he stays healthy.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17