McDonald's: Tyler Ulis

CHICAGO — Any player who falls within the 5-9 size range will face skeptics. You can't blame the skeptics, either, as basketball is a sport that prioritizes height immensely.

At the same time, you can't blame Tyler Ulis for taking it a little personally. The Kentucky signee enjoyed a watershed week of practices in preparation for tonight's McDonald's All-American Game and cited suspicions about his lack of height as a prime motivator.

"At my size, people have been doubting me my whole life," Ulis said. "I just want to take everything from that and prove that I belong with the best players in the country."

Consider the job done. Additional data points will filter in prior to our release of the final Class of 2014 rankings, but suffice it so say that Ulis emerged as one of the quickest and peskiest point guards at McDonald's.

As a Kentucky signee, he naturally conducted numerous video interviews simultaneously with the Wildcats' other recruits. But while Karl Towns, Trey Lyles and Devin Booker have been more illustrious names on the travel circuit for a longer period of time, Ulis' charisma caught the attention of everyone who came into contact with him.

And that includes other players at the event as well.

"Oh, yeah, we (Kentucky signees) have been trash talking the Duke and North Carolina recruits," Ulis said. "Just saying how we're going to win the national title and they're out of it."

The camaraderie among UK's signees should ease the transition next season, as the 'Cats once again are likely to face a mass exodus following this season.

"We're all pretty close," Ulis said. "Me and Devin are like brothers and are rooming together."

Ulis also struck a unique posture in interviews due to a toe injury that has forced him into a walking boot while he recovers. He clearly has favored that food but still managed to compete effectively against fellow All-Americans.

But then, he never would have gotten this far in the first place if he weren't tough.


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