Tyler Ulis will announce his college decision Friday night, and many recruiting analysts are predicting that the four-star point guard will pick Kentucky.
If Ulis does choose the Wildcats, it could help them land another top prospect in the Class of 2014.
Highly touted shooting guard Devin Booker has formed a close bond with Ulis over the past year. The two players scheduled their official visits to Michigan State and UK at the same time last weekend, and they’ve talked often about playing for the same school.
Ulis grew up in Ohio and plays his high school ball in the Chicago area. Booker grew up in Michigan and now plays for a school in Mississippi.
So how did they get to be so close?
“It just kind of happened,” James Ulis told the Herald-Leader earlier this week. “They played against each other a couple times, and they were on teams at the Nike 100 (camp) last year. They enjoyed playing with each other, and then this year they just formed a bond.
“They’re just two kids who ended up liking each other, and before you know it they started talking (about recruiting).”
The only two schools on both players’ lists are Kentucky and Michigan State. Ulis is also considering Iowa, while Booker lists Michigan, Missouri and Florida.
Booker — the son of former Missouri star Melvin Booker — has official visits to Michigan and Missouri scheduled for next month. He’s also considering an official visit to Florida. His plan is to make a college decision in time to sign with a school in November.
Scout.com ranks Ulis and Booker as the Nos. 29 and 30 overall prospects in the class, respectively. Their skills would complement each other at the college level, Ulis’ father says.
“Speaking for Tyler, you’d like to play with someone like Devin,” James Ulis said. “He’s one of the best shooters in the class. He can do a lot of things with the basketball. If he had his choice, he’d like to pass it to a guy like that. Plus, he’s gotten to know him personally.”
So-called “package deals” are often discussed but rarely realized in the recruiting world. Ulis and Booker have talked about the possibility of teaming up in college, but one player’s choice doesn’t necessarily hinge on the other.
The pair might end up at the same school, but they’ll make their decisions separately.
“Tyler’s not considered a package with anyone,” James Ulis said. “That’s not how we’re handling our recruiting. Tyler wants to play with (Booker), and that could possibly happen. Or it could possibly not happen too. They have to make their decisions for themselves, and I think Devin’s dad would say the same thing.”