Just over a week after withdrawing from the NBA Draft and without making an announcement regarding his future, Paul Mulcahy is now transferring. After a release from the league was published on last Thursday indicating Mulcahy maintained his final season eligibility, the question became whether he would return to Rutgers for a fifth season. On Thursday, he entered that decision came as the point guard entered the transfer portal.
Thank You Rutgers ❤️ pic.twitter.com/qUXhp11fjU
— Paul Mulcahy (@paulmulcahy_4) June 9, 2023
As a graduate transfer, Mulcahy had the luxury of doing so this far into the offseason. Similarly to how Cam Spencer’s value increased following the transfer portal deadline for grad transfers, Mulcahy’s value increased following the NBA Draft deadline. Despite being a core member of the program responsible for the significant rise of Rutgers men’s basketball, he will play his final collegiate season elsewhere. While NIL was very likely a factor in his decision, Mulcahy ultimately decided a change for his last season was what was best for him. He is not expected to return to Rutgers.
He leaves the program 4th all-time in assists with 457 in his career. His contributions over four seasons were critical towards the success the program had. Mulcahy was the catalyst when Rutgers became the first unranked team in college basketball history to defeat to win four straight games against ranked foes. I’ve said multiple times, when Paul Mulcahy was at his best, so was Rutgers. He also represented well off the court with his Grateful4 foundation. Mulcahy was just honored as Athlete Advocate of the Year in being named “the student-athlete that has best leveraged his NIL to create substantial impact towards non-profit and/or philanthropic causes.”
While Cam Spencer’s game winning shot to win at No. 1 Purdue is most remembered for last season’s signature win, it was arguably the best performance of Mulcahy’s career. He propelled Rutgers to victory with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 0 turnovers.
Mulcahy averaged 8.3 points, 4.9 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 32.4 minutes per game this past season. He shot 41.6% from the floor, 37.0% from three-point range and 72.3% from the foul line. He was 4th in Big Ten play in assists and 6th in assist-to-turnover ratio, along with 7th in steals.
Fighting through a shoulder injury most of the season, Mulcahy struggled the last month plus of the 2022-2023 campaign. He clearly wasn’t the same player the final 11 games of the season but gutted it out for the team. However, after a brilliant performance at Madison Square Garden to beat Michigan State, the senior point guard was unable to get out of prolonged slump. He was visibly frustrated on the court as the season wore on as criticism of his play increased. Rutgers finished 3-8, just missing a third straight NCAA tournament appearance.
During the 2021-2022 season, Mulcahy became the first Rutgers player to average more than 5+ assists in 27 years since Brian Ellerbe during the 1984-1985 season. Mulcahy averaged career highs as a junior with 9.0 points, 5.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds.
Through four seasons, Mulcahy has played 121 career games and started in 81 contests. His career averages include 6.8 points, 3.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 0.9 steals in 27.5 minutes per game. Mulcahy is shooting 45.1% from the floor, 36.4% from three-point range and 71.6% from the foul line in his career.
This is a major loss for the program. Mulcahy was a captain, a returning starter and the main ball handler. His experience and leadership will be missed in addition to his play. In recent seasons, when Mulcahy has been at his best, so has Rutgers.
With Mulcahy’s departure, Rutgers now has four open scholarships for the 2023-2024 season. Obviously, Steve Pikiell and the coaching staff need to now replace two starting guards in Cam Spencer and Paul Mulcahy. Having Noah Fernandes and Derek Simpson is crucial, but the program needs a shooter and another guard or wing who can make an impact next season. In addition, a backup big man is needed as well.
For my rapid reaction on Mulcahy’s departure and what it means for the program moving forward, click here.
More to come on this developing news and the Rutgers roster for next season. Here is the current roster for now.
Frontcourt: Cliff Omoruyi, Mawot Mag, Antwone Woolfolk
Wing: Aundre Hyatt, Gavin Griffiths, Antonio Chol
Backcourt: Noah Fernandes, Derek Simpson, Jamichael Davis
*Four scholarships are available.
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