After a slow summer on the basketball recruiting front, things are starting to pick up around the country. With a reduced number of AAU events, the summer information flow slowed this year, but now that school is just around the corner, we are starting to see 2020 recruits trim lists and start making decisions.
For Fran McCaffery and the Hawkeyes, that started a day ago when one of their prime targets for 2020, Oskaloosa big man Xavier Foster trimmed his list to 5, including the Hawkeyes. While many believe it's truly a top 2 of Iowa and Iowa State, getting things narrowed at all is positive momentum for the Hawkeyes.
Today, that momentum gathered a lot of steam as the Hawkeyes picked up their first commitment in the class of 2020 with the announcement from Chicago Heights native Ahron Ulis.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s likely because Iowa was long after Ahron’s older brother, Tyler Ulis. McCaffery spends years building a relationship with the Ulis family in preparation for the 2014 recruiting class. In the end, Fran was left at the altar when Tyler got a late offer from Kentucky. After being a consensus All-American in 2016, the 5’8” PG was drafted by the Phoenix Suns.
Now, 5 years after the elder Ulis spurned the Hawkeyes, all Fran’s hard work building a relationship with the family is paying off with the addition of Ahron.
The younger Ulis is taller than Tyler, standing at 6’2”. While he doesn’t have the same cat-quick abilities with the ball in his hand, Ahron is a very good outside shooter and is no slouch when it comes to getting into the paint. He’s very good at using his length to rise up and finish through contact at the hoop.
As we’ve seen, that’s something Fran seems to have heard Hawkeye fans’ pleadings on as both Ulis and 2019 PG commit Joe Toussaint are great at getting into the lane. Despite that similarity, the two appear to be good complements to each other.
While Toussaint appears to be the quicker of the two, Ulis has more length and appears to be a slightly more accomplished outside shooter. Both are lauded as good on-ball defenders who are routinely tasked with guarding the best opposing guard, though Toussaint looks to have a slight edge their based on quickness.
Overall, Ulis is rated as a 3-star by both Rivals and 247 Sports. He’s ranked just outside the top 200 nationally and around 40th at his position. He chose Iowa over offers from DePaul, New Mexico, Siena, NIU, SIU, Toledo and a handful of other low majors.
At the end of the day, this is another athletic ball handler for McCaffery and that’s never a bad thing.
Welcome aboard Ahron Ulis!