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Keith Taylor: No surprise, Ulis impressive in NBA Summer League; Jones joins Davis in New Orleans


Tyler Ulis made an impression in his professional debut in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Ulis, a second-round draft pick in last month’s NBA Draft, averaged 14.5 points, 6.3 assists and 2.8 assists in leading the Phoenix Suns to the semifinals. In a showdown against former teammate Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets in the quarterfinals, Ulis connected on a game-ending 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime, giving the Suns the victory.

 Tyler Ulis turned heads in Las Vegas last week

Tyler Ulis turned heads in Las Vegas last week

Ulis was named to the All-NBA Summer League and was a second-team selection.

“(He was) in control, making the smart play, leaving scorch marks on defenses — this was Ulis showing the same command that prompted John Calipari to call his University of Kentucky point guard the best floor general he ever coached,” Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com said. “Ulis was solid at first, then put together a run of 16 points and seven assists, 20 points and eight assists, 19 points and four assists, before finishing with 11 points on five-of-21 shooting and seven assists in the semifinal loss to the Timberwolves on Sunday.”

Former Kentucky guard Devin Booker also suited up for the Suns and averaged 26 points per game in two appearances. Trey Lyles, also a member of Kentucky’s Final Four team in 2015, averaged 29 points in his two games played.

Murray, a first-round pick, averaged 19.6 points per game in the 11-day event. Andrew Harrison of the Memphis Grizzlies, scored 13.6 points per outing and Skal Labissiere (Sacramento Kings) poured in 11 ppg in the league.

Former Kentucky guard Kyle Wiltjer (Rockets), Willie Cauley-Stein (Kings) and James Young (Boston) also competed in the annual summer event.

Murray signed a two-year $6.6 million contract with the Nuggets Tuesday.

Jones joins Davis

Former Kentucky forward Terrence Jones, a member of Kentucky’s 2012 National Championship team, signed a one-year contract for $1 million with the New Orleans Pelicans last week.

Former Kentucky star Anthony Davis was elated rejoin his former teammate at the professional level. Davis was a No. 1 pick by the Pelicans after he helped lead the Wildcats to a national championship four years ago.

“He’s very physical and he can put the ball on the floor, great slasher and can drive to the basket,” Davis told USA Today. ”I think not a lot of bigs can guard him. I think me and him played very well with each other at Kentucky and hopefully, we can do it here in New Orleans. We’re just looking for talent. We just need guys that are going to come in and play hard for us and go out and compete every night.”

Pick and choose

The overall No. 1 seed in the men’s NCAA Tournament will get to choose where it will play in the opening round of the prestigious tournament.

The Division I basketball committee also reaffirmed its commitment to awarding bids on a team’s performance during the regular season and conference tournament.

Next year’s first-round sites are Buffalo, Greensboro, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Orlando, Sacramento, Salt Lake City and Tulsa.

Camp a success

Former Eastern Kentucky football player and Madison Southern High School graduate Jonas Hill received an assist from members of the EKU football team during his annual Sports Blast Camp earlier this summer.

More than 200 campers took part in the football portion of the camp and received a tour of Roy Kidd Stadium, tour the facilities and meet many current EKU players and coaches.

Hill currently serves as pastor of Crossroads Fellowship Church in Berea.

Keith Taylor is a senior sports writer for KyForward, where he primarily covers University of Kentucky sports. Reach him at keith.taylor@kyforward.com or @keithtaylor21 on Twitter


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