Marian Catholic's Tyler Ulis releases a shot past Miles Boykin of Providence. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
Marian Catholic coach Mike Taylor is totally aware of the special position he’s been in the past three years coaching point guard Tyler Ulis, who game after game is making his case as the state’s top guard.
“I’m definitely spoiled, he’s just beautiful to watch,” Taylor said. “Teams win because of great players and he’s a great player. I don’t think there is a high school kid that has done what he has all year.”
Ulis controlled the game from start to finish on the offensive end and spent the second half locking down Providence’s top threat, senior guard Kevin Kozan. No. 4 Marian Catholic knocked off the Celtics 54-38 in New Lenox.
Ulis scored 25 points to go along with five rebounds, seven assists and three steals. He shot 9-for-15 from the field.
Kozan scored 10 in the first half, but managed only five in the second when Ulis switched over to guard him.
“I was watching in the first half when [John Oliver] was guarding him,” Ulis said. “I saw the crossover he liked to use and I was ready for it.”
Ulis stole the ball twice from Kozan in the second half.
Miles Boykin, a 6-5 sophomore, had a big third quarter for Providence, scoring nine points to help get the Celtics back in the game. A three from Kozan with 7:03 to play made it 41-32, but the Spartans (15-1) responded with a 9-0 run.
Boykin finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Tom O’Halloran didn’t score, but grabbed 10 rebounds for the Celtics (10-7).
“Kozan just has to do so much,” Providence coach Tim Trendel said. “It’s tough when they use the box-and-one on him. We need a couple of other guys to step up.”
Terrone Parham Jr. scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for Marian Catholic.
Ulis is 5-10, and his size has kept the elite college programs away. According to Taylor, things are starting to pick up on the recruiting front. Ulis just returned from a visit to Oregon State. Kansas State, Tennessee, Purdue and Minnesota are all also showing interest in Ulis.
“I hate to call major college coaches crazy, but if you don’t think [Ulis] can help you, you’re crazy,” Taylor said.