After a stellar junior season, NC State commitment Julius Mays suited up for the SYF Players at the 2007 Boo Williams Invitational.
"As a team we didn't do too good, but individually I played well," said Mays. "The first game I played really well, but the second game I had some foul trouble and didn't get to play as much. The last game I shot well again, but we ended up losing all three of our pool games. I'm not really a stats guy, so I don't know my numbers."
This is the first year Mays is suiting up for SYF Players, an AAU team that plays on the NIKE circuit. Previously he played with Indiana Elite, and he didn't rule out a return to the Elite.
"You never know on the AAU circuit," said Mays. "I can't say right now where I'll play for sure. I could end up playing with a couple of different teams at different times because of how the schedule works out. I'm not going to close the door on anybody.
"Our next tournament with SYF is going to be in Pittsburgh, but I can't make that because of my prom. I'm not sure which event is after that one."
Mays was one of the most productive prep players in the state of Indiana during his junior season. The 6-foot-2 point guard averaged 19.6 points and 4.6 assists while shooting 46% from the field, 42% from 3-point range, and 82% from the foul line.
Marion finished the season 21-4 and advanced to the state 4A semifinals where they were defeated 56-48 by East Chicago Central. Mays was tabbed Conference Player of the Year, Region Player of the Year, all-conference, all-region, and he was a first-team all-state selection.
"I think we achieved a lot as a team, and I achieved a lot individually," said Mays. "We didn't win the state championship, but we return a lot so we are going to start over and keep trying to get better. We are just going to work on everything, and I want to lead our team to the state [title]."
"I want to lead our team to the state [title]."
Mays made an early commitment to NC State, verbaling to the Wolfpack prior to the first game of his junior season. A three-star prospect according to Scout.com, he verbaled to NC State over early offers from Indiana and Xavier. Cincinnati, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Penn State were expressing heavy interest.
Mays stated that programs continue to pursue him, despite his pledge to NC State.
"Schools call my coaches a lot, and it's something I don't want to worry about," he said. "I tell my coach to not talk to me about it because if I wasn't sure about NC State I wouldn't have decided so early. I'm just trying to focus on my season and going to NC State.
"The NC State coaches contact me whenever they are allowed to. They check up on how I'm doing, and I'll check up on them. We text message a lot."
Because NC State plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference and had a solid run in th NIT, Mays had a chance to watch them late in the year.
"I watched them play whenever I could," he said. "Their games aren't always nationally televised, but I watched when I could. They picked it up in the last part of the season."
After seeing NC State's offensive system under Sidney Lowe, how does Mays believe he will fit in?
"I think I will fit in real good," he said. "They really don't have flashy players, and that's how my game is. I'm not real flashy, but I'm a scorer. They've got one of the best halfcourt offenses that I've seen, and I think I'll fit in real good as a point guard in their offense."
Despite the continued recruiting interest, Mays maintains that his commitment is firm.
"I would never give someone my word and then back out. My mind is totally made up. That's where I'll be going."