Nationally, he's known as a distributor, a pass-first point guard so good John Calipari and Kentucky came calling even though he's 5-foot-8.
One Tyler Ulis 3-pointer after another fell through the hoop at Tuesday's McDonald's All-American Games practice, surprising at least one of the influential onlookers seated a few feet away.
"He can shoot?" an NBA executive said, asking as much as stating.
Locally, he's half a scorer. The second half.
Throughout the final season of his remarkable Marian Catholic career, Ulis spent the first 16 minutes of games setting up his teammates and the final 16 torching the net.
The Spartans 67-63 victory over Lake Forest in the City-Suburban Showdown is the prime example. Ulis scored a career-high 42 points that night, including 35 coming in the second half.
As Marian won its regional and moved on in the playoffs, the plan was to play every half that way.
When he's not on the court, he's wearing a walking boot to protect the toe injury that hampered him during a supersectional overtime loss to Edwardsville on March 18.
Ulis can't help but feel the injury prevented him from playing his last official high school game in Peoria.
"It was pretty bad back then," he said. "I took a week or two off since.
"In the supersectional I got double-teamed the entire game. I planned on in the playoffs just coming out very aggressive and not looking to pass first. Coach
(Mike Taylor) wanted me to score first, but I had to go away from that. We still played a great game. Guys like Terrone (Parham) stepped up, but we fell short."
The boot Ulis was sporting during media day Monday at the United Center did little to take attention away from what he's best known for.
He was asked whether he's done an interview in which his height did not come up.
"Actually, no," he said. "All my interviews, they say something like, 'How does it feel when people say you're too small?' I don't even worry about it anymore. I don't think about it.
"The only time I say something about my height is when I'm standing around Karl (future Kentucky teammate Karl-Anthony Towns) and Jahlil (Okafor) and I look up like, 'Y'all are huge.' Other than that I just let my game speak for itself."
Unlike many of his fellow All-Americans, Ulis is not looking at college as a quick stopover on the way to the NBA.
From a projection and scouting perspective, the practices this week were more important than the game itself, and Ulis has proven he belongs in the elite company.
Often critical of his own performance, even after victories, Ulis was happy with his showing.
"I'd be the first to tell you if I'm playing bad," Ulis said. "I feel like I'm playing great right now. (The injury) is bothering me a little but I'm fighting through it. I'm getting my team involved, trying to be aggressive, defensively hawking the ball, doing the things you have to do as a guard my size."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun