Now that Mark Lyons has decided on Arizona and it looks like the Cats’ chances for Anthony Bennett are slim, it’s time to turn our attention to another target, Julius Mays, a former teammate of Ryan Harrow at NC State.
Mays, a junior guard from Wright State, is graduating this spring and will be eligible to play immediately as a transfer if he enrolls in a graduate program (like Lyons). Mays played his first two years at N.C. State where he averaged 4.7 points in 17 minutes per game over 2 seasons. The Indiana native transferred to Wright State for more playing time and to be closer to home. In one year at Wright State, Mays averaged 14.1 points per game. For Kentucky, he’d be a reliable shooter who could come off the bench, playing behind Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin (he averaged 83.2% from the free-throw line and 42% from behind the arc last season).
According to Jeff Goodman, Mays is considering Purdue, Michigan State, Kentucky, Cincinnati, and possibly Michigan as destinations for his senior season. All of these schools provide a bigger stage for Mays, yet are also all relatively close to his family in Indiana. Unlike most guys who play at three different schools, there are no apparent problems off the court for Mays and he would be a great add for Kentucky to give the Cats an experienced player off the bench who can shoot.
The highlight of Mays’ season at Wright State was a performance of 24 points and 7 rebounds in a 1-point loss to Butler. After the game, Butler coach Brad Stephens had this to say about Mays: “24 and 7 – it seemed like he made every play at the end….He’s definitely on my short list for (Horizon League) Player of the Year. He’s good. He’s real good.” If Mays is okay with taking on a smaller role at UK, he would give Calipari a reliable option off the bench and perhaps the added exposure at UK could enhance his professional opportunities as well. In addition to Mays, Mislav Brzoja is another UK target who would give the Cats depth at the guard position.