Cajuns sign guard Hayes; UL will redshirt injured Julien
A busy offseason stretch for the UL basketball team has produced one new signee, word that one of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ other signees will not play in 2018-19 and a likely miss on highly regarded national recruit Jordan Brown.
UL this week announced the signing of junior college guard Jeremy Hayes to a National Letter-of-Intent for the 2018-19 season.
The well-traveled Hayes — originally from Roseland — comes to the Ragin’ Cajuns from Howard College in Texas, where he averaged 16.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a sophomore last season.
“Jeremy is an experienced guard that can score and handle the basketball,” Cajuns coach Bob Marlin said in a statement issued by the school.
The 6-3, 175-pounder won first team All-Western Junior College Athletic Conference honors, was a NJCAA Region 5 selection and won the WJCAC Newcomer of the Year award after leading Howard to a 22-9 record.
Dating back to high school, UL will be the sixth different place he’s played. It's a list that spans five states, from coast to coast.
Hayes spent the 2016-17 season at Tallahassee Community College in Florida, and in between high school and juco ball, he played one season for Believe Prep Academy in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
The guard is a product of John Muir High in Pasadena, California, and before playing there he was at Amite High in Louisiana.
Hayes was ranked as the nation’s No. 67 junior college recruit by JucoRecruiting.com coming out of Howard, where he started all 31 games while shooting 42 percent from the field (148-for-347), 39 percent (50-for-128) on trey tries and 83 percent (151-for-183) from the foul line.
At Tallahassee CC, he averaged 10.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists over 15 games including 12 starts.
Marlin said Hayes will help fill a need for the Cajuns.
“He is a good defensive player — similar to the style of Frank Bartley and Johnathan Stove — and he will help us offset the loss of (injured incoming freshman) Kobe Julien,” the coach said.
Bartley and Stove were Cajun seniors last season, and are among five outgoing UL scholarship players, along with guard Jacob Broussard and big men Bryce Washington and Larenz Stalcup.
Julien was one of four recruits — along with Trajan Wesley, a guard from Cy Falls High in the Houston area; DeRidder High forward R.J. Gladney; and Kristian Lafayette, a 6-foot-10 forward from Hazel Park High in Detroit — who signed with UL last fall.
But Julien, a 6-6 swingman from Madison Prep Academy in Baton Rouge, had his senior season cut short in February by a major knee injury that required surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The Cajuns do plan to redshirt Julien in the season to come, a UL spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
Julien is the son of ex-Cajun Wayne Julien.
The Hayes signing comes amid reports that the son of another former Cajun has narrowed his list of favored schools to three, UL not among them.
UL had, however, been among the top seven of McDonald's All-American power forward Jordan Brown, a target for multiple major programs and the son of ex-Cajun Dion Brown.
According to a recent tweet from Tipton Edits, a for-profit service that helps athletes announce their recruiting decisions, the 6-10 Brown “has a top three” of Arizona, California and Nevada, but “other schools (are) still involved.”
So until he actually signs elsewhere, the Cajuns — at least for now — seem willing to wait before filling their final vacant scholarship.
But the recruiting continues.
Marlin, in fact, issued a recent tweet suggesting he’s been quite busy on the trail lately.
Tweeted Marlin on Sunday: “Last 14 days (equals) team banquet, 2 home visits, 6 evaluation days, 12 flights, 7 rental cars, 7 hotels, SAAC dinner, player exit meetings, budget meeting, compliance meeting, 2 Acadiana RCAF coaches caravans...love my job but glad to be home!”