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Is this the next Kentucky Wildcat?

Out of all the names floating around out there as potential additions to UK’s 2012 recruiting class, Julius Mays is the one most likely to end up on Kentucky’s roster next season. And we still don’t know a lot about him.

Ask any true blue Kentucky fan about Mays and you’ll get two answers: (1) He hosted Ryan Harrow on Harrow’s official visit to NC State; (2) He shot 42% from beyond the arc at Wright State last season. Those two facts seem to repeated over and over when talking about Mays, but there is a lot more to his story.

Let’s get educated.

He comes from the 2008 recruiting class that included names like Brandon Jennings, Samardo Samuels, Tyreke Evans, Kemba Walker, DeAndre Liggins, and Darius Miller. An unranked combo guard, Mays committed to Sidney Lowe and NC State in October of his junior year of high school in Marion, Indiana, despite growing up a diehard Purdue Boilermakers fan. At the time of his commitment to NC State, he held other offers from Ball State, Western Michigan, and Xavier, but nothing from Purdue, the school located less than two hours away from his hometown.

Mays emerged as one of the top players out of Indiana during his senior season, leading Marion to the state championship where his Giants lost to Brownsburg on a buzzer-beater by a young man named Gordon Hayward. You might’ve heard of him. He panned out pretty well.

During his freshman season at NC State, Mays got lost in the shuffle with Wolfpack guards Farnold Degand and Javier Gonzalez. He did, however, find a few bright spots that freshman season, including a game-winning three to beat Miami in overtime and a team-high 18 points in the ACC tournament loss to Maryland.

He would return to NC State for his sophomore season, but only saw minutes as the backup point guard behind Gonzalez. With Gonzalez set to return in 2010-11 and two new highly touted young guards in Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown coming in, Mays decided to transfer for his junior season to a school where he knew he’d see the floor.

Insert Wright State.

Mays started 28 games for the Raiders last season, averaging a team-high 14 points while shooting…wait for it… 42% from beyond the arc. He earned Horizon League Newcomer of the Year honors, but more important than that, he found his game again.

“I really improved here,” Mays told the 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.”

With the improved numbers and newfound confidence, the soon-to-be fifth-year senior decided he was ready to get back to a major program to play at a higher level of competition. That brings us to where we are today, where he is towards the top of the list of the hottest available names in college basketball recruiting. He said he knew schools would come calling once he announced his transfer, but he never thought it would “blow up like this.”

Although he’s considering Purdue, Illinois, and Michigan State, John Calipari is hard after Mays to fill that third guard spot and it appears the love is mutual.

Could we see two NC State guards reunited in UK’s backcourt next season?

“It’s a really small world,” Mays said “It’s amazing how things can happen.”

Now, we just need it to actually happen.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

35 Comments for Is this the next Kentucky Wildcat?

  1. Jocks
    12:15 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    We will get mays and that’s it. Be an elite eight team next yr an then win it in 2013-2014 again suck it everyone.

  2. Azubuike's Bicep
    12:24 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    It’s weird to think how good NC State could have been with Harrow, Mays, and C.J. Leslie.

  3. James.
    12:25 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Need a good coach first number 2.

  4. Jimmy
    12:27 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Lol u can win with good players, just ask phil jackson.

  5. sckysportsink
    12:28 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    How ironic would it be if he were to come to UK for an official visit and Ryan Harrow hosted him for his tour around the campus?

  6. joker
    12:28 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Why the bold text here and there? There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.

  7. DingDingDing
    12:42 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

  8. Southern Illinois Cat Fan
    1:11 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    #7 If that’s true, great! We sure could use him. Now just one more big guy and we might be set.

  9. 00BBN00
    1:12 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    2- Lorenzo Brown would still be starting over Harrow.
    3- Gottfried is certainly a better coach than Lowe-who was the reason Harrow and Mays transferred from NCSU-look at what he did last season and look at the recruits he has coming in next season.

  10. Steve
    1:16 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    He is going to visit Purdue this weekend. Like Oriakhi, it wouldn’t surprise me if he committed to them on his visit. Cal needs to get him on campus before he goes to Purdue. He got caught with his pants down on Oriakhi and Will Barton.

  11. HOO HOO
    1:34 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Amazing how many studs the state of Indiana churns out yearly. Where are all the studs from the state of Kentucky?


  12. I'll have another one
    1:40 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    All the studs here in Ky are at Keenland and churchhill Downs.

  13. ?????????
    1:40 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    #11……Ask your Momma!

  14. Dave Kersey
    1:43 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Mark Maggard said Mays is going to Purdue. He wants to start.

  15. HOO HOO
    1:44 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Indiana produces so many “studs” and it hurts my sole to see them all get the hell out of this crappy state. They can’t get out of here fast enough. Man, it sucks to be an IU fan and have to constantly look up to UK, post on UK sites, and be jealous of their championships. I’m so jealous all I do is sit around and hope for a #vac8. My life sucks.

  16. HOO HOO
    1:46 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    I love UK! IU sucks!

  17. Smiffanator
    1:48 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink


  18. IU
    1:49 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    The 2012-2013 starting lineup for the national champions:

    C Cody Zeller
    PF Christian Watford
    SF Victor Oladipo
    SG Maurice Creek
    PG Jordan Hull
    Super 6th man Will Sheehey

  19. IU
    1:50 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Cal seems to be struggling with recruiting so far this spring. Only person to tell him yes is Noel, whom many thought was going to Georgetown.

  20. IU
    1:53 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Crean will win the title next season with multi-year players and a solid foundation as opposed to one year players masquerading as students. Cal sold his soul to the devil for the title this season.

  21. IU
    1:54 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    just kidding, guys. IU sucks! Go Cats!

  22. Crean
    1:54 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Thanks 20 but even I know that isn’t true. IU sucks, go Cats!

  23. UKChillfan
    1:54 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    #19, yes it has been a struggle to get the #1 class (#2 if you’re looking at ESPN). We are so sad here, we go to other fan websites all day and post stupid things, for example is #19.

  24. IU#1
    1:55 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t know who was dumber. Eric Bledsoe or Marquis Estill. Both were as dumb as a rock.

  25. IU#1
    2:00 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    19, Muhammed, Oriakhi, Lyons, Bennett. Looks like Cal hasn’t had anyone tell him yes for a while.

  26. IU#1
    2:01 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    We are #1 in corn fields and pigsties baby! Our basketball team still sucks though!

  27. IU#1
    2:02 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t know who was dumber. Bob Knight or Kelvin Sampson. Both were as dumb as a rock.

  28. IU#1
    2:44 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    I knocked up my sister. We now have a little mongoloid hoosier baby running around.

  29. HOO HOO
    2:45 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    28- Hey, me too!!! I named mine Tom Crean, cause he was who I was thinking about when I nailed my sister!

  30. bigcat
    2:46 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    So this means, that IU thinks they can win the title playing outside of Assembly Hall? BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH…. that’s a good one….

  31. bluefan
    3:20 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    HooHoo, on post #15, it hurts your foot? lol
    I’d love to have this guy. If he plays both guard spots, he would get lots of minutes. On a much better team than Purdue, I might add. And a much better chance at being drafted by the NBA.

  32. tltaworl
    3:30 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    18. Don’t you need the word “Invitational” inserted inbetween National & Champions?

  33. ThatLooksLikeTheSweet16
    4:17 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Hey #18, isn’t that the same lineup as the 2011-2012 team? The one that lost in the Sweet 16?

    I expect IU to be a good team, and maybe a little better next year, but I just don’t see them being enough better to be a favorite to win it all – even in a down year for college basketball.

    At the end of the day, the same lineup won 2 games in the tournament this year. 2. That is a long way from the six in a row needed to win it all.

  34. ThatLooksLikeTheSweet16
    4:19 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    Oh, and I should note that IU only won that second game 63-61 – over VCU. Wow, what a powerhouse lineup….

  35. Chuck
    4:28 pm May 10, 2012 Permalink

    I’m old and confused, how can he transfer again w/o sitting a year?