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The Latest From The Mummy!

Thad Mumau’s column runs over at, and he’s nice enough to let us reprint it on DBR. Thanks Thad!
Julius Mays could be categorized as a Sidney Lowe-Alike, and that is a big reason he is taking his point guard polish to N.C. State.

Mays, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder from Marion (Ind.) High School, does not resemble the Wolfpack head coach physically, but he plays a lot like the former State point guard.

“I think that is true,” Marion coach Joe Luce said. “My take is that Sidney Lowe met Julius and said, ‘I see so much of him in me.’ And he saw Julius’ desire to win, something I understand Coach Lowe also had.”

Lowe was the epitome of what a coach wants in a point guard: he was extremely unselfish, always putting the team first and realizing that its success hinged on his ability to distribute the ball and to get it in the right hands at the right time.

Ditto Julius Mays.

“Julius, in a nutshell, is a winner,” Luce said. “That is the best thing I can say about him; he finds a way to get it done. He is a point guard who can score, but he is not concerned with scoring – not unless that’s what our team needs. He is great at reading the game and what is given to him.”

The perfect example came in recent back-to-back wins for the 5-0 Giants. Mays scored just 10 points, but handed out a dozen assists against Kokomo, then threw in 28 points (including 16-of-16 from the foul line) vs. Lawrence North.

His season high is 30 points. He is averaging 21.2 points, five assists and 3.5 rebounds, while hitting over 45 percent of his three-point attempts and 90 percent of his free throws.

A four-year starter, Mays averaged 10 points as a freshman, 18 his sophomore season and 19.7 last year when Marion finished 21-4 after a loss in the state 4-A final four. He averaged nearly six assists over that three-year period.

Perhaps the most amazing number on his stat sheet, though, is found under the turnover column. He has a mere three in five games this season despite handling the ball much of the time.

“Julius is not overly quick,” Luce said, “but he is as quick as he needs to be. He beats people to spots on the floor and does a good job of penetrating. Outstanding anticipation helps make him a great defender; he is always in the right spot.

“He is a strong, athletic kid. He is really good in transition, getting rid of the ball at just the right time and making very good decisions. We have five solid Division I players on our team, and he defers to them. The biggest thing he wants is to win a championship.

“We have a couple guys who play above the rim, and Julius feeds them for two or three dunks a game. He is always looking to pass, to set up a teammate. Still, he is a threat to score, so defenses can’t lay off him.”

A 3.5 student, Mays has been selected the Grant County player of the years the past two seasons, and he is one of two leading candidates (along with North Carolina signee Tyler Zeller) for the 2008 Indiana Mr. Basketball award.

Mays committed to N.C. State in October of his junior year, choosing the Wolfpack over Indiana. The fact that Lowe and assistant Monte Towe, another former State player, were outstanding college point guards played a big part in his decision.

“Julius sees it as an opportunity to learn from two of the best at his position,” Luce said. “More than that, though, he was impressed by the trust and kindness of Lowe and Towe.

“He really likes the family atmosphere at N.C. State, and he felt at home with the coaches and players there when he visited.”