CHICAGO | Former NBA and Bulls star Jalen Rose said Marian Catholic's Tyler Ulis' 5-foot-9 stature will not be a problem for him at Kentucky.
"He is an impact player," said Rose, who called Wednesday's McDonald's All-American game with former Bulls player Jay Williams on ESPN. "I like his bounce. He has great court sense. A lot of times with the smaller guys, they are not good shooters, but not Tyler. He knows how to distribute the ball and that was Kentucky's problem at times this year.
"They can use him this weekend."
Rose was a 1991 McDonald's All-American and was one of Michigan's "Fab Five" recruiting class. Williams was a 1999 McDonald's All-American and starred at Duke.
Ulis had five points, three assists and two steals, as his West team won 105-102.
Duke recruit and Whitney Young star Jahlil Okafor led the West with 17 points and seven rebounds. The East was led by North Carolina recruit Justin Jackson's 23 points. Curie's Cliff Alexander, a Kansas recruit, had nine points and 11 rebounds.
Ulis said his turf toe did not bother himi and he enjoyed the game.
"I was little pumped," Ulis said. "You try to get into the flow of the game, but with the short rotations, it is kind of hard.
"Overall, a great experience."
Okafor said it was great to play on the same team as Ulis.
“We had talked about that. I tried to get him to come to Whitney Young, he tried to get me to come to Marian Catholic,” Okafor said. “We finally got together and it was great playing with him."
Rose said Kentucky coach John Calipari needs someone to feed his big players.
"Ulis can do that," Rose said. "I noticed (at the McDonald's workouts) how he can run the game, make the crisp passes and he is pretty athletic."
Local Chicago sports analyst and a former DePaul assistant men's basketball coach Kenny McReynolds agreed with Rose's assessment of Ulis.
"He is just what Kentucky needs," McReynolds said before Wednesday's game at United Center. "He is a true point guard and even with the Final Four this year, Kentucky does not have a true point guard. He can distribute the ball, he's a good shooter, though he won't need to shoot, and he can run a game."
McReynolds did several of Ulis' games for Comcast Cable.
"If they had Ulis, they would have beat Michigan State here in November," McReynolds said. "That was their problem; Kentucky had 17 turnovers and that killed them."
McReynolds said Ulis' sense of the game is a plus.
"He can control a game," said McReynolds, who did Gary Steelheads television broadcasts in the 2000s. "He is a leader on the floor and any team needs that. I saw that in the games we did. Cool at all times."
In the girls game, Notre Dame recdruit Brianna Turner hit a jumper with 53 second left to give the West an 80-78 win. Jordin Canada hit her with a pass and it was Canada's seventh assist, a girls game record.
Turner finished with 11 points.
Ulis said he is excited for the big Marian contingent which was at United Center.
"My mom (Kelly Reed) brought a bunch of people from Lima, Ohio, so I got a lot of people here," Ulis said on Tuesday. "This is exciting with my Marian teammates, coaches here. What makes it cool is it being in Chicago."
Ulis lived in Lima before moving in with his dad in Matteson prior to his freshman year at Marian Catholic.
Ulis has always been asked questions about his stature, but chose to let his playing do the talking.
"He is a great player and I am looking forward to being his teammates," fellow Kentucky recruit Trey Lyles said. "We saw what he could do Sunday and (Monday). He can distribute the ball and run the show."