Nov 01, 2012; Lexington , KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Julius Mays (34) dribbles the ball against the Northwood Seahawks at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Preview: #34 Julius Mays

#34 Julius Mays

6’2″, 192 lbs.

Graduate Student, Guard

Wright State, North Carolina State, Marion High School

Marion, Indiana

2011-2012 (Wright State): 14.1 points per, 2.5 assists per, 43% FG, 43% 3p, 83% FT

Julius Mays started his college career off at North Carolina State where he played 15 minutes per game during his freshman season, averaging 4.7 points per game and 1.9 assists per game.  Mays stayed at NC State for his sophomore year, where his numbers stayed nearly the same, averaging 4.6 points per game, 1.6 assists per game, in 18.5 minutes per game.  In the offseason following his sophomore season at North Carolina State, Mays decided to transfer to Wright State, a place where he was likely to get more playing time.  Mays had to redshirt his junior year due to the transfer restrictions that surround a player who transfers from one D-1 school to another D-1 school.  In his senior year, Mays finally got to suit up for Wright State, where he immediately became a large part of the rotation. Mays played 33.4 minutes per game, averaging 14.1 points and 2.5 assists per game.  He scored a career high 33 points against UIC, setting a Wright State and Horizon Conference record with 19 made free throws in one game.  Mays was the leading scorer for Wright State and was named Horizon League Newcomer of the Year and Second Team All Conference.  After his senior season, Mays wanted to continue onto Graduate School, where he could play his final year of eligibility.  Wright State did not have the major that Mays wished to focus on in Graduate School, which is where Kentucky comes in to play.  When a player wants to transfer and play right away, one way that it can be accomplished is by choosing a major that the player’s current school does not offer, so that the player is essentially forced to pick another school that does offer the desired major.  A short time later, Mays enrolled at the University of Kentucky and joined the team as a scholarship player.

On a Kentucky Wildcats team that is not returning any players that starting a single game last season, Mays may be exactly what this team needs.  A steady hand who has the experience of playing college basketball at a high level.  But not only the leadership is expected from Julius Mays this season.  Mays was an excellent shooter in the past and will be expected to help fill the void left by Doron Lamb and Darius Miller from last year’s team.  Mays is also known an above average defender, despite his lack of size and athleticism.  Mays has shown glimpses of what is to come this season in the two exhibition games.  Against Northwood, Mays finished with 6 points, 2 assists and 4 steals in 27 minutes, making both 3’s he attempted.  Against Transylvania, Mays finished with 14 points, 5 assists and 2 steals in 24 minutes, shooting 4-8 from 3-point land.  Not only is Mays delivering on the stat sheet, but you can see the times in which Mays experience is essential to the Cats, who are almost entirely freshmen and can get careless and sloppy at times.

Head coach John Calipari had this to say about Julius Mays:

Julius is a great kid who performed at an extremely high level last year at Wright State. He can make baskets, especially from the perimeter, and he’s showing us early on that he can finish in traffic. He’s been in big games, and we will need that experience, especially early in the season.

Mays took a spill on his final 3-point shot of the final exhibition game against Transy and appeared to be in intense pain, but it appears as if there was just a knee to knee collision and that Mays will play in the regular season opener against Maryland tomorrow night.

Stay tuned to Wildcat Blue Nation for all of your Kentucky Wildcats sports news.

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