In 1990, Florida State great Tharon Mayes averaged over 23 points per game for the Seminoles, finishing his career 12th all-time in steals and 18th in scoring. Now, over two decades later, his son, class of 2013 shooting guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, is taking the recruiting world by storm.
“I have around 34 offers,” Rathan-Mayes told NRS. “Recently, I’ve been offered by LSU, Seton Hall, Gonzaga, UCLA, Alabama, La Salle, UAB, SMU and Minnesota. I also have offers from Louisville, Kansas, Baylor, Florida State, UConn, Illinois, Marquette, N.C. State and a lot more.”
The Canadian’s recruitment really started to take off after he had two good showings in the first two sessions of the Nike EYBL with his CIA Bounce (Canada) team. CIA Bounce is the only undefeated squad remaining in the 40-team EYBL and Rathan-Mayes is the second leading-scorer, averaging close to 16 points per game while shooting 40% from the three-point line.
“Since Minnesota [two weeks ago] and Hampton last week, I’ve been getting a lot of calls and my phone has really been blowing up,” Rathan-Mayes said. “Baylor and Kansas called me today (Sunday) and I’ve heard from Minnesota, USF, Oregon, Syracuse called my coach, Missouri, Florida, Alabama, UCLA, Gonzaga, LSU, Seton Hall and a few more.”
Even though all of this attention brings added pressure to his games, he’s still able to enjoy talking with all of these coaches and playing in front of them. “My favorite part of the recruiting process is probably the coaches calling, it’s been a dream since I was young to be able to have all of these big-time coaches calling to talk to me and now that it has come true, it’s really special,” Rathan-Mayes said.
With all of these new offers and interest from a plethora of schools, the 6’4, 180-pound shooting guard is still in the beginning stages of the recruiting process and is wide open to anyone who wants to start recruiting him. However, he does know what he’s looking for in a program.
“I want to go in and be able to make an immediate impact right away,” Rathan-Mayes said. “I want to have a great coaching staff who is going to push me and get me to the next level as well as being able to win a National Championship, that’s important. As for the playing style, I love to be able to get up and down, I just want to run. I want to be free in the system a little bit, too.”
He also knows several schools who fit that description and who can help him get to where he wants to be. “Kansas, Louisville, Baylor, Florida State, UCLA, Oregon, Alabama, Gonzaga and a lot of other schools that I’m forgetting all fit that,” Rathan-Mayes added.
Some of those schools that he mentioned, particularly Kansas, have a good idea of how they want to use him in their system and have compared him to past players. “Kansas talks about Sherron Collins, they want me to fit into their system like him,” Rathan-Mayes said. “It’s special, it’s really special to be compared to a guy like Sherron Collins, he was great at Kansas.”
As the summer continues and Rathan-Mayes travels across North America with his AAU team, the Huntington Prep (West Virginia) junior looks to start taking visits. “I might go and visit Florida State and a few more but that’s because we’re going there for AAU and it’s close,” Rathan-Mayes said.
However, he insists that he’s not considering the Seminoles anymore than any other school even though his dad starred their. “No, I don’t favor them at all, he doesn’t push me towards any school,” Rathan-Mayes said. “He wants me to make the best decision for myself and for me to be happy wherever I go.”
Although he’s still piling up the offers, the son of the Florida State great does know when he wants to begin putting his list together, cutting down schools and start to take a closer look at his recruitment. “I’ll probably cut my list down after the summer, I don’t know how many I’ll cut it down to but I will cut it down,” Rathan-Mayes said.
However, before he gets to that point, he has to finish the summer AAU circuit first and his CIA Bounce team has set some lofty goals for themselves. “Our goal for the summer is to win the [Nike EYBL] Peach Jam,” Rathan-Mayes said. “We feel like we came up a little bit short with the squad that we had last year but we feel like we’re coming back even stronger and we definitely feel that we should win it this year.”
One thing that helps his Canadian squad is the fact that they’re just that — Canadian. “We always feel like we have something to prove and we play with a chip on our shoulders because everyone always think Americans are always better than Canadians at basketball and we just want to prove that that’s not always true,” Rathan-Mayes said. “I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job of that lately.”
Rathan-Mayes is also trying to improve his individual game over the course of the next few months to help him get to that next level of performance. “The main thing I’ve been working on is my explosiveness,” he added. “We feel that if I can get into that next level of being explosive, the sky is truly the limit for me.”