(Photo courtesy Georgia Tech Athletics)
FAIRFAX, Va. - Head men’s basketball coach Paul Hewitt announced today that forward Julian Royal, formerly at Georgia Tech, will transfer to George Mason University and join the Patriots. Royal, a 6’8”, 243-pound native of Alpharetta, Ga., will redshirt the upcoming 2013-14 season and have two years of eligibility remaining.
“My staff and I are really excited to get to work with Julian,” said Hewitt. “I have known him and his family for quite a while and we are getting a quality young man who comes from a great family with a great deal of potential.”
Royal played two seasons at Georgia Tech after an outstanding career at Milton High School. While with the Yellow Jackets, he appeared in 54 games, averaging 11.8 minutes per contest and contributing 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per outing. Royal totaled 21 assists, 15 steals and 14 blocks as well, and was a 40.8 percent field goal shooter while connecting on 26-of-35 free throw attempts (74.2 percent).
During his freshman campaign, Royal averaged more than five points per game including a career-best 11 against Miami. He pulled down a career-high seven rebounds while scoring 10 points in a win over Alabama A&M. Last season, Royal saw limited action as a reserve, appearing in 24 games while averaging 1,7 points and 1.3 rebounds per game in 6.6 minutes of court time on average.
Out of a high school career that including three Georgia Class AAAAA state finals appearances and a 2010 state title, Royal was ranked as high as the 11th-best power forward prospect and 64th in the country among recruits. He was a three-time All-State selection and a four-year All-Region and All-County selection. He left Milton as the all-time leading scorer with 2,039 career points. Royal originally committed to Georgia Tech in 2010 while Hewitt was at the helm.
Royal joins a Patriots team that will return all five starters from the 2012-13 squad which finished 22-16 including a College Basketball Invitational championship appearance.