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Julius Mays is the latest grad transfer attracting attention

Erving Walker, Julius Mays

Florida guard Erving Walker (11) reacts as he is tripped by Wright State guard Julius Mays (34) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)


Wright State’s Julius Mays is currently in the process of trying to find a third school to finish out his collegiate eligibility.

Mays spent the first two years of his career at NC State, where he struggled to find consistent minutes and provide consistent production. He transferred to Wright State following the 2010 season, where he sat out 2010-2011 before becoming the Horizon League’s 2011-2012 Newcomer of the Year. Mays averaged 14.2 points and 2.5 assists in his one season with the Raiders, which is enough to make Mays believe that he can now be a contributor at a larger program.

Thanks to the graduate transfer rule -- which allows players that have graduated with eligibility remaining to transfer and enroll in a grad school program without having to sit out a season -- Mays will be able to do just that.

“I really improved here,” Mays told the Raleigh News & Observer. “I got my confidence back when I came here. After my two years at N.C. State, that’s what I needed more than anything else.”

The result? Mays has been getting interest from schools like Purdue, Michigan State and Illinois since he made his decision. The Big Ten is no stranger to scooping up Horizon League graduates, as both Brandon Wood (Michigan State via Valpo) and Sam Maniscalco (Illinois via Bradley) made this jump last year.

But Mays has a new suitor: Kentucky. It makes sense. Kentucky missed out on Shabazz Muhammad, which means that their back court won’t exactly look like the Kentucky back courts we have become used to seeing under Coach Cal. Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin will start, but how many Kentucky fans would be comfortable with Jon Hood (coming off of ACL surgery), Jarrod Polson and Twany Beckham as their only back court depth?

The coaching staff has told Mays as much.

“I talked to all the coaches and they let me know the situation: that they only have two guards in Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin and that’s pretty much it,” he told Cats Pause.

Ironically enough, it’s Kentucky and Harrow that are now recruiting Mays. When Harrow went on a visit to NC State while in high school, he was hosted by Mays.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.