UK Men's Basketball

Kentucky’s Ulis named SEC Player of the Year

Tyler Ulis on his SEC honors

Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis talks about being chosen SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year by the league coaches.
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Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis talks about being chosen SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year by the league coaches.

University of Kentucky sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year by the league’s coaches on Tuesday.

Ulis also was voted the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Ulis led the Wildcats to a share of their 47th SEC regular-season championship in 2015-16. Kentucky opens play in the SEC Tournament in Nashville on Friday night.

As player of the year, Ulis was named to the All-SEC First Team, where he was joined by freshman guard Jamal Murray. Murray also was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.

Billy Kennedy, who coached Texas A&M to a share of the SEC championship, was named Coach of the Year. LSU standout Ben Simmons was voted Freshman of the Year.

8 The number of Wildcats all-time named SEC Player of the Year by the league’s coaches

At 5-foot-9, Ulis is the shortest player ever to be named SEC Player of the Year. He becomes the eighth Wildcat to win the award voted on by the coaches. Previous winners were Anthony Davis, John Wall, Keith Bogans, Tayshaun Prince, Ron Mercer, Tony Delk and Jamal Mashburn. Ulis is the fifth Wildcat to win the top defensive award, joining Willie Cauley-Stein, Nerlens Noel, Anthony Davis and Chuck Hayes.

Ulis played a league-high 36.8 minutes per game and averaged 16.6 points, 7.4 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals this season.

Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis says the Cats are playing at a high level after 94-77 win over LSU.

Murray averaged an SEC-best 22.4 points per game against league foes and is averaging 20.0 for the entire season. Murray ranks first in the league in three-point field-goals made per game (3.2), third in scoring (20.0), third in minutes per game (34.9), fourth in three-point field-goal percentage (.421) and ninth in field-goal percentage (.451).

With 619 points this season, he trails only Brandon Knight (657 points in 2010-11) for the most points by a freshman in school history.

Murray is the first Wildcat to reach double figures in 29 straight games since Jodie Meeks did it 32 times in 2008-09, and he’s currently on a 10-game streak of scoring 20 points or more. That’s the longest such streak for any UK player since Kevin Grevey topped 20 or more points in 12 straight games in 1974-75.

All-SEC teams

FIRST TEAM

Retin Obasohan, Alabama — G, 6-2, 210, Sr., Antwerp, Belgium

Jamal Murray, Kentucky — G, 6-4, 207, Fr., Kitchener, Ontario

Tyler Ulis, Kentucky — G, 5-9, 160, So., Chicago, Ill.

Ben Simmons, LSU — F, 6-10, 240, Fr., Melbourne, Australia

Stefan Moody, Ole Miss — G, 5-10, 179, Sr., Kissimmee, Fla.

Michael Carrera, South Carolina — F, 6-5, 214, Sr., Anzoátegui, Venezuela

Jalen Jones, Texas A&M — G/F, 6-7, 220, Sr., Dallas, Texas

Damian Jones, Vanderbilt — C, 7-0, 245, Jr., Baton Rouge, La.

SECOND TEAM

Moses Kingsley, Arkansas — F, 6-10, 230, Jr., Abuja, Nigeria

Dorian Finney-Smith, Florida — F, 6-8, 220, Sr., Portsmouth, Va.

J.J. Frazier, Georgia — 5-10, 155, G, Jr., Glennville, Ga.

Yante Maten, Georgia — 6-8, 240, F, So., Pontiac, Mich.

Kevin Punter Jr., Tennessee — G, 6-2, 190, Sr., Bronx, N.Y. A

lex Caruso, Texas A&M — G, 6-5, 186, Sr., College Station, Texas

Danuel House, Texas A&M — G, 6-7, 212, Sr., Fresno, Texas

Wade Baldwin IV, Vanderbilt — G, 6-3, 194, So., Belle Mead, N.J.

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

KeVaughn Allen, Florida — G, 6-2, 183, Fr., Little Rock, Ark.

Jamal Murray, Kentucky — G, 6-4, 207, Fr., Kitchener, Ontario

Antonio Blakeney, LSU — G, 6-4, 190, Fr., Sarasota, Fla.

Ben Simmons, LSU — F, 6-10, 240, Fr., Melbourne, Australia

Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi State — G, 6-4, 202, Fr., Canton, Miss.

Kevin Puryear, Missouri — F, 6-7, 236, Fr., Blue Springs, Mo.

Tyler Davis, Texas A&M — C, 6-10, 265, Fr., Plano, Texas

DJ Hogg, Texas A&M — F, 6-8, 216, Fr., Plano, Texas

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

Retin Obasohan, Alabama — G, 6-2, 210, Sr., Antwerp, Belgium

Moses Kingsley, Arkansas — F, 6-10, 230, Jr., Abuja, Nigeria

Tyler Ulis, Kentucky — G, 5-9, 160, So., Chicago, Ill.

Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina — G, 6-5, 215, Jr., Lancaster, S.C.

Alex Caruso, Texas A&M — G, 6-5, 186, Sr., College Station, Texas

Luke Kornet, Vanderbilt — F, 7-1, 240, Jr., Lantana, Texas

SEC Awards

Coach of the Year: Billy Kennedy, Texas A&M

Player of the Year:Tyler Ulis, Kentucky

Scholar-Athlete of the Year:  Retin Obasohan, Alabama

Freshman of the Year:  Ben Simmons, LSU

Sixth-Man of the Year: Duane Notice, South Carolina

Defensive Player of the Year:Tyler Ulis, Kentucky

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