Wisconsin official visit moves needle for Top247 DL Benedict Umeh


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Oct 09, 2023

Wisconsin official visit moves needle for Top247 DL Benedict Umeh

The whispers finally came to fruition. Rutgers veteran guard Paul Mulcahy

The whispers finally came to fruition. Rutgers veteran guard Paul Mulcahy announced Friday on Twitter that he will enter the transfer portal ahead of his final season of eligibility. Mulcahy averaged 8.3 points, 4.9 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals for Rutgers last season. The headband-donning, 6-foot-7 point guard was the heart and soul of the team. Mulcahy riled up opposing student sections with his ultra-physical play and fiery competitive spirit.

It's the second hard-to-swallow move Steve Pikiell and the Rutgers staff has had to endure in the past three weeks. Fellow starter Cam Spencer entered the transfer portal in late May (after declaring he was returning to Rutgers) and transferred to UConn on Tuesday. Mulcahy is the second starter Rutgers has lost to the portal.

Mulcahy was a three-year starter for Pikiell and a four-year rotation piece. Rutgers owned a top-16 defensive efficiency in three of the four years with Mulcahy in the fold. He formed a terrifying defensive quartet with Spencer, Cliff Omoruyi and Defensive Player of the Year Caleb McConnell. Mulcahy never averaged more than nine points per game throughout his Rutgers tenure, but he transformed into a top table-setter who was one of the best offensive-rebounding guards in the country. Mulcahy is not a high-volume, three-point sniper, but he shot over 35% from 3-point range in Big Ten play in each of the past three seasons.

Mulcahy choosing to wait until early June to enter the portal immediately makes him become one of the coveted transfer additions for point guard-needy programs throughout the country. Mulcahy will be in line for a glitzy Name, Image and Likeness deal. Mulcahy's game is style-proof because of his elite defensive chops and willingness to be a pass-first, set-the-table point guard.

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Kentucky, Michigan, West Virginia and Kansas State have already reached out to Mulcahy, according to Adam Zagoria. More high-major programs will be in contact shortly. Here are the potential destinations that would be logical landing spots for the Rutgers transfer.

Kansas State: Mulcahy would get along with Kansas State coach Jerome Tang very quickly. But the basketball fit is easy. Tylor Perry and Cam Carter have a chance to be a nasty combination, but Kansas State does not have a third proven guard. Mulcahy could instantly become the defensive stopper to free up Perry and Carter to use more energy on offense. Adding Mulcahy would ease the pressure on Kansas State's freshmen to be major difference-makers right away.

Georgia Tech: New Georgia Tech coach Damon Stoudamire just hired former Rutgers assistant Karl Hobbs who was instrumental in recruiting Mulcahy. Amaree Abram, Kowacie Reeves and Miles Kelly are a young, talented trio of guards, but the Georgia Tech rebuild would be kickstarted with a veteran winner like Mulcahy. But if Mulcahy is looking to win big in his final year of college basketball, then there are other, safer destinations.

Marquette: Shaka Smart hasn't been super active in the transfer portal because he really hasn't had to be. But Smart might make an exception for a veteran weapon like Mulcahy. Marquette has internal pieces who can absolutely replace Olivier-Maxence Prosper who opened a ton of eyes at the NBA Draft Combine and is rising up draft boards rapidly. But Mulcahy could give Marquette a Tyler Kolek insurance piece and a 6-foot-7, swiss army knife on defense who can do some of the same things that made Prosper so valuable to Marquette last season.

Illinois: The Illini struck out on top point guard target RayJ Dennis, and Brad Underwood is running out of traditional point guard options in the portal. Mulcahy's blaze fits the Underwood ethos. He'd instantly become the most-proven point guard on the roster, and an Illinois defense with Mulcahy joining Coleman Hawkins, Terrence Shannon Jr., Ty Rodgers, Sencire Harris and Co. would be flat-out dominant. But Illinois has shooting questions that Mulcahy does not solve. Oh, and Illinois is full on scholarships. It's a tricky situation. Illini Inquirer's Derek Piper detailed more for VIP subscribers about how the Illinois staff views a potential Mulcahy chase.

Michigan: Michigan currently has two point guards on the roster right now in Jaelin Llewellyn and Dug McDaniel. So how would Mulcahy fit in? It would require a little flexibility on the offensive end. Michigan could easily use Mulcahy as a secondary creator who can mismatch hunt. Rutgers used Mulcahy post-ups to generate really good looks in the paint or spray it out to shooters. But his defense would be an enormous add to a Michigan backcourt that's pretty small right now. Mulcahy and Nimari Burnett are long-armed, competitive defenders who can bring some teeth to Michigan's perimeter defense.

Virginia: Rutgers and Virginia have a lot of the same defensive principles, so it would be an easy transition for Mulcahy. Virginia has a lot of young guards on the roster, but Mulcahy's ability to play four positions wouldn't stunt the growth of talented pieces like Isaac McKneely, Andrew Rohde and Dante Harris. Oh, a Reece Beekman-Paul Mulcahy defensive duo would be one of the best in the country.

Miami: Miami certainly needs more bodies to fill out its rotation. Currently, Miami has three open scholarships. Adding Mulcahy to a rotation that already includes Norchad Omier, Matthew Cleveland, Nijel Pack, Wooga Poplar and Bensley Joseph could be really tantalizing. But there would be some real spacing questions and a ton of pressure on Pack to stretch the floor from downtown.

Texas: The top-4 players on this roster are really tantalizing: Max Abmas, Tyrese Hunter, Dylan Disu and Kadin Shedrick. After that, there are major questions about this Texas rotation even with Dillon Mitchell back for his sophomore year. Texas has just nine players on scholarship at the moment. Depth was a big reason why Texas had such a phenomenal 2022-23 campaign. It doesn't have much of it right now. Mulcahy would be a massive bridge from the starting 5 to the second unit.

Iowa: Fran McCaffery really only has three proven collegiate players on the roster: Tony Perkins, Payton Sandfort and Ben Krikke. That's it. There's still hope Patrick McCaffery can be a dude. Josh Dix showed plenty of promise last year. Dasonte Bowen has some juice. But this roster is filled with very few known commodities. If Iowa wants to compete for a Big Ten Championship next season, it needs another piece. Mulcahy could triple-double hunt in Iowa's up-tempo scheme and bring a semblance of perimeter defense Iowa City hasn't had in a hot second.

Notre Dame: New Notre Dame coach Micah Shrewsberry used a ton of "bootyball" to help Penn State make the NCAA Tournament. Mulcahy has been playing bootyball for his whole life. Notre Dame flirted with Southern Illinois transfer Marcus Domask — who ended up picking Illinois — but Mulcahy would check off a lot of boxes for Shrewsberry.

West Virginia: WVU is doing just fine in the NIL game which has helped Bob Huggins make some waves in the transfer portal. West Virginia is currently full on scholarships, but it still went after Olivier Nkamhoua (who picked Michigan) and already contacted Mulcahy. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to read between the lines that West Virginia expects another scholarship to open up. West Virginia is going all-in for the 2023-24 campaign which many expect to be Huggins' final year on the sideline. Mulcahy and Joe Toussaint are rugged defenders, and West Virginia would be excellent on the glass with Jesse Edwards, Tre Mitchell and Mulcahy in the game together.

Kentucky: Kentucky has had a rough offseason, but it could make up for a lot of questionable decisions if it can close strong. It is getting Creighton transfer Arthur Kaluma on campus for a visit next week. It has already contacted Mulcahy. Point guard isn't a real need for this roster, but that's where Mulcahy's versatility comes into play on the offensive end. Mulcahy can operate as a secondary creator who is a very good screener and post-up savant. There are plenty of creative ways for Mulcahy to be an outstanding piece for Kentucky. He'd instantly demand respect in the locker room and be a vocal leader who would demand accountability on both ends of the floor. That's something this young Kentucky roster could badly use.

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