One of the country’s most interesting recruitments could be coming to a close as early as this week.
Tyler Ulis, a 5-foot-8 point guard out of Chicago, finished up his final official visit on Monday night, attending Kentucky’s Alumni Game down in Lexington. His father told the Lexington Herald-Leader that Tyler will be making a decision between Kentucky, Michigan State and Iowa soon, possibly this week.
“Tyler and I had a good conversation last night on the drive home,” the elder Ulis told the Herald-Leader. “We’re going to talk again later today or early tomorrow. I know it’s coming. … I think he’s ready for it to be over.”
(UPDATE: He will be announcing his decision Friday night.)
Ulis’ recruitment took off this summer, as he played some terrific basketball on the EYBL circuit and proved himself to be, pound-for-pound, one of the toughest players in the country. He’s cracked the top 40 on some recruiting lists, and is widely considered to be a four-star recruit. Ulis is not a one-and-done player and he’s not the kind of point guard that can take over a game, but he’s a floor general in every sense, he can create off of the dribble and he’s an excellent defender.
Iowa and Michigan State were initially the favorites, but with Emmanuel Mudiay picking SMU and Tyus Jones appearing to be a Duke lean, Kentucky came on late and offered Ulis a scholarship.
With the lack of available talent at the point guard spot, Ulis has become a priority recruit for both Tom Izzo and John Calipari.
His skill set probably fits in with the Spartans more than the Wildcats, but the allure of Big Blue Nation and the pipeline of Coach Cal’s point guards to the NBA will be hard to pass up.
The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.
The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.
It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.
Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.
The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.
Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.
“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”
It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.