Tray Maddox Jr. returning home, commits to WMU hoops for final season

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Tray Maddox Jr. started his college basketball career in Michigan, and it will finish it here, too.

Maddox, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound guard who spent his first two seasons at Oakland before transferring to Cal State Fullerton, announced Tuesday that he has committed to Western Michigan and new head coach Dwayne Stephens. He has one season of eligibility remaining.

It's the first recruit — and a pretty big one — for Stephens, the longtime Michigan State assistant who has become a head coach for the first time. He was hired by Western Michigan two weeks ago.

Tray Maddox Jr. is transferring from Cal State Fullerton to Western Michigan.

Maddox, a former standout at Novi High School, averaged 11.7 points in two years with Cal State Fullerton, including 15.9 points his first season, when he led the team. Maddox was a 36.1% 3-point shooter in two years out west, and now is joining a Western Michigan team that ranked 212th in Division I in 3-point shooting last season.

As a junior, he led the Big West in 3-point shooting at 40.6%, in earning second-team all-league honors.

Maddox started 15 of 16 games his first year at Cal State Fullerton, but nine of 30 this past season. He scored seven points in a loss to Duke in the first round of this year's NCAA Tournament.

Maddox began his career under Greg Kampe at Oakland, averaging 9.1 points, three rebounds and 2.2 assists his second season, when he shot 34.5% from 3-point range.

Maddox was an all-state player his senior season at Novi, with his most memorable moment hitting a winning shot at the buzzer to beat Belleville in a Class A quarterfinal game at Calihan Hall in Detroit. He also played football, and as a defensive back received offers from Syracuse, Ball State and Kent State.

He joins a program that has scuffled for several years, amid multiple coaching changes. Stephens replaced Clayton Bates, who was 13-39 in two seasons. Stephens hasn't lost any holdoversplayers to the transfer portal.

In other recruiting news, Saginaw native Jimmy Bell Jr. committed this week to West Virginia, moving over from Moberly Area College in Missouri. Bell, who was strongly recruited by Oakland, averaged 9.1 points and 9.3 rebounds a game last season; he was third among JUCO players in offensive rebounds, and 11th among JUCO players in total rebounds. When Bell visited Oakland, his host player was forward Micah Parrish, who, interestingly, also recently visited West Virginia.

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Twitter: @tonypaul1984