UK Men's Basketball

Associated Press names UK’s Tyler Ulis a first-team All-American

Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis, right, and guard Jamal Murray celebrated a big lead against Missouri in the first half on Jan. 27 in Rupp Arena in Lexington.
Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis, right, and guard Jamal Murray celebrated a big lead against Missouri in the first half on Jan. 27 in Rupp Arena in Lexington.

Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine and Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield were unanimous selections to The Associated Press’ 2015-16 All-America team.

Valentine and Hield were on every first-team ballot from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly poll.

Tyler Ulis of Kentucky was next with 43 first-team votes, while Brice Johnson of North Carolina received 39 and Malcolm Brogdon of Virginia had 36.

Ulis, a sophomore, was the only non-senior selected to the team.

The 5-foot-9 Ulis, the shortest All-American since 5-foot-9 Johnny O'Brien of Seattle in 1953, was the Southeastern Conference’s player and defensive player of the year. This is the second straight season Kentucky had an All-American, with Willie Cauley-Stein making the team last season.

“It was a great year for us,” Ulis said. “I felt like we went through a lot of ups and downs, had a lot of young players and guys learning how to play the right way. Everybody got better individually.”

Valentine averaged 19.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists, while Hield averaged 25 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

Ulis averaged 17.2 points and 7.2 assists. Johnson averaged 16.6 points and 10.6 rebounds while Brogdon averaged 18.7 points and 4.1 rebounds.

Kentucky freshman Jamal Murray was a third-team All-American.

The voting was done before the NCAA Tournament.

CBS honors Ulis and Murray

Also on Tuesday, CBS Sports named Ulis a first-team All-American along with Hield, Brogdon, Valentine and Johnson.

“John Calipari has developed a sterling reputation for recruiting and developing point guards, and Ulis is among his best ever in that respect,” CBS’ announcement said.

Jamal Murray made the third team, and was also named to the five-player all-freshman squad.

CBS’ player of the year was Hield, and its freshman of the year was LSU’s Ben Simmons.

Wooden Award finalist

On Monday night, Ulis was one of 10 players named to the John R. Wooden Award All-America Team. He is one of five finalists for the Wooden Award, which goes to the nation’s top player.

The five remaining candidates for the award also include Brogdon, Hield, Johnson and Valentine.

The announcement of the Wooden Award winner will be at 8 p.m. ET on April 8 on ESPN2.

Also, the 2016 Wooden Award Legends of Coaching Trophy will be presented to former Kentucky coach Tubby Smith.

AP All-Americans

FIRST TEAM

Denzel Valentine, Michigan State, 6-5, 220, senior, Lansing, Mich., 19.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 7.6 apg.

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma, 6-4, 214, senior, Freeport, Bahamas, 25.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.0 apg.

Tyler Ulis, Kentucky, 5-9, 160, sophomore, Chicago, 17.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 7.2 apg, 85.6 FT%, 1.5 steals, 36.9 minutes

Brice Johnson, North Carolina, 6-10, 230, senior, Orangeburg, S.C., 16.6 ppg, 10.6 rrpg

Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia, 6-5, 215, senior, Atlanta, 18.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 apg.

SECOND TEAM

Jakob Poeltl, Utah, 7-0, 248, soph., Vienna, Austria, 17.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg.

Ben Simmons, LSU, 6-10, 240, freshman, Melbourne, Australia, 19.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 4.8 apg.

Perry Ellis, Kansas, 6-8, 225, senior, Wichita, Kan., 16.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg.

Kris Dunn, Providence, 6-4, 220, junior, New London, Conn., 16.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 6.4 apg, 2.5 steals (3, 150).

Georges Niang, Iowa State, 6-8, 230, senior, Methuen, Mass., 19.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.3 apg, 54.7 fg pct (5, 140).

THIRD TEAM

Grayson Allen, Duke, 6-5, 205, soph., Jacksonville, Fla., 21.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.6 apg, 41.7 3pt fg pct, 83.5 ft pct, 1.4 steals, 36.3 minutes (2, 130).

Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, Indiana, 6-0, 180, senior, Indianapolis, 17.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 5.5 apg, 41.7 3pt fg pct (2, 123).

Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa, 6-9, 221, senior, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 18.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.7 blocks (0, 76).

Kay Felder, Oakland, 5-9, 176, junior, Detroit, 24.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 9.3 apg, 84.6 ft pct, 2.0 steals, 36.8 minutes (2, 52).

Jamal Murray, Kentucky, 6-4, 207, freshman, Kitchener, Ontario, 20.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 42.1 3pt fg pct, 35.2 minutes (0, 47).

HONORABLE MENTION

Ryan Anderson, Arizona; Anthony “Cat” Barber, N.C. State; DeAndre’ Bembry, Saint Joseph’s; Ben Bentil, Providence; Trevon Bluiett, Xavier; Joel Bolomboy, Weber State; Evan Bradds, Belmont; Dillon Brooks, Oregon; Cane Broome, Sacred Heart; John Brown, High Point; Antonio Campbell, Ohio; Kyle Collinsworth, BYU; Stephen Croone, Furman; James Daniel III, Howard; Juan’ya Green, Hofstra; Derrick Griffin, Texas Southern; Alex Hamilton, Louisiana Tech; A.J. Hammons, Purdue; Marvelle Harris, Fresno State; Josh Hart, Villanova; Danuel House, Texas A&M; Brandon Ingram, Duke; Stefan Jankovic, Hawaii; Tim Kempton, Lehigh; Max Landis, IPFW; Shawn Long, Louisiana-Lafayette; Dallas Moore, North Florida; Nic Moore, SMU; Gary Payton II, Oregon State; Alec Peters, Valparaiso; Justin Robinson, Monmouth (N.J.); Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga; Justin Sears, Yale; Pascal Siakam, New Mexico State; Melo Trimble, Maryland; Fred VanVleet, Wichita State; Thomas Walkup, Stephen F. Austin; Jameel Warney, Stony Brook; Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall; Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga.

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