Sage’s Ullman deadly on three-pointers

Hip surgeries haven't affected Brett Ullman's accuracy on court

Two hip surgeries his freshman year robbed Brett Ullman of much of his lateral movement, but once a shooter, always a shooter.

Ullman, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, loves to chuck it from the cheap seats, and his three-point shooting is one of the reasons why the Sage men’s basketball team won its first Skyline Conference regular-season championship. The top-seeded Gators host the opening round of the tournament against Old Westbury tonight at 7 in Kahl Gym.

Ullman, a Sharon Springs High School graduate, leads the Gators in three-pointers with 50. He is averaging 6.8 points per game off the bench, and is shooting an impressive 48 percent from beyond the arc.

Ullman set the team record for most three-pointers in a game with seven against Sarah Lawrence, but Andre Robinson tied that mark just a few days later.

“That three-point record was special for me, because I started the game 7-for-7 from beyond the arc,” Ullman recalled. “I missed just one after that, and then I didn’t play any more, because we were up by quite a bit in that game.”

Ullman said he tries to be a versatile offensive weapon when he comes in off the bench, but he still tends to rely on his long-range shooting touch.

“I’m pretty accurate from back there,” he said with a laugh. “Opposing teams always know that when I come into a game, I’m probably going to put it up from three-point territory. That’s my strength. But I try to give them a head fake once in a while and then shoot a one-dribble pull-up jumper from mid-range. Hopefully, next year, I’ll improve my ball-handling, and I’ll be able to drive more to the basket. I’m 6-3, so I can get to the rim and finish, but I don’t have that speed yet.”

Ullman said he is still not 100 percent after his surgeries. This is actually his second season on the team, but he is a junior academically. He sat out a year because of the surgeries.

“I’m still a little rusty,” he said. “But my shot is still there.”

Sage (21-4 overall, 15-3 Skyline Conference) has a balanced offense that helps Ullman get his shots. In turn, he helps the team’s post players get open underneath.

“We’ve got two really good post players in Kai [Deans] and Melvin [Ford],” said Ullman. “We’ve been dominant in the paint all year. We’ve seen a lot of zones because of that, and also a lot of switches. But when I come in, it’s my job to shoot them out of the zone. Teams usually play very heavy on the perimeter until I start hitting some shots.”

Ullman believes the Gators have what it takes to win the Skyline Tournament, and he’ll do anything he can to make it happen, even if he’s not the best defender around.

“We have so many weapons on this team. We also have

really good guards who are super athletic on the perimeter,” he said. “Unfortunately, even though our defense is very good overall, mine is not what I’d like it to be because I’m slower moving laterally than I was back in high school. But I’m working on that. We’re a pretty deep team, so there aren’t a lot of teams in our league that can battle in the post like we can.”

Ullman was a prized recruit out of Sharon Springs because of his shooting ability. As a senior, he averaged 25 points and five three-pointers a game.

“I was looking at places like SUNY-Cortland and SUNY-Oswego, but coach [Brian] Barnes showed up for a game to watch me. Truthfully, I didn’t think I would go to Sage, but coming from a small school, I thought it would be a nice fit. I really liked being close to home, and coach Barnes will do anything for his players, either on the court or with off-the-court issues. I’m glad I made the decision to come here.”

Ullman still has two more years of eligibility after this year, but he’s already thinking about a career off the court.

“I always wanted to contribute to society,” he said. “I don’t know if I want to go the police route or the lawyer route, but I want to do something where I can help people.”

For now, he wants to help his team win the tournament title and a postseason berth.

Categories: College Sports

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