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April 24, 2014

Ulis, Towns climb in final Class of 2014 Rivals150

Another recruiting class for Kentucky, another plethora of five-stars.

In the final Rivals 150 rankings, released Thursday, UK finished the 2014 class with three five-star signees and a four-star. All finished in the top 30.

Most notably, 5-foot-9, 150-pound Tyler Ulis climbed up the rankings and received a fifth star. Ulis finished ranked No. 21 in the country, moving up 12 spots from No. 33, and finishing his ascent just outside the top 20.

He's the third-ranked point guard in Class of 2014.

This time last year Ulis was ranked No. 69, but 12 months can change things. Since then, Ulis finished third in Illinois Mr. Basketball voting, behind Rivals' No. 1 Jahlil Okafor and No. 4 Cliff Alexander.

He was selected to the McDonald's All-American Game, along with the Jordan Brand Classic where he finished with nine points, nine assists and six rebounds.

Ulis was the Wildcat with the biggest leap in the final rankings, but Karl-Anthony Towns also improved.

Towns moved from No. 11 to No. 5 in the final rankings. He is ranked the No. 2 center in the class.

Towns averaged 21.1 points and 13.4 rebounds per game for Metuchen (N.J.) St. Joseph's.

The other two UK commits dropped a bit in the final rankings. Trey Lyles fell outside the Top 10 to No. 13 in the final rankings.

Lyles, who won Indiana Mr. Basketball and a state championship for Indianapolis Arsenal Tech, scored 17 points, hauled in six rebounds and two blocks in last week's Jordan Brand Classic.

He averaged nearly 24 points, 12 rebounds and 3.6 assists in his senior season.

Devin Booker finished as UK's lowest-rated commit, but still found himself at No. 29. One of the highest rated four-stars in the class, Booker averaged 33 points per game, 10 more points per game than any other UK commit, for his Moss Point (Miss.) high school.

All four signees were McDonald's All-Americans and were invited to play in the Jordan Brand Classic.

Lyles and Towns participated in the Nike Hoop Summit game, representing the World Team.

Kentucky's class, for the first time since John Calipari took over in 2009, won't finish first in the rankings.

Although not official, UK is expected to finish No. 2 behind Duke.


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