Columbia guard Grant Mullins talks about his graduate transfer to Cal

Graduate transfer guard Grant Mullins has committed to Cuonzo Martin and California. He talks about his decision, his visit and more inside.

Grant Mullins comes from a basketball family. His sister -- Missy -- played hoops at Harvard, and now lives in San Francisco. His parents both played collegiately, in Canada, with his mother playing professionally in Holland. During the re-recruitment process since Mullins announced he'd be transferring from Columbia, he was courted by the likes of Michigan and Syracuse. But, it was California that landed him.

"We did a whole tour, normal visit stuff, but I love the campus, I love Haas Pavilion, love that place, and I just felt comfortable with coach [Cuonzo] Martin, coach Tracy [Webster] and the whole coaching staff," Mullins said on Wednesday. "My parents actually came on that visit, too, and they were pretty comfortable with the situation. Obviously, the academics at Berkeley are some of the best in the world."

It certainly didn't hurt that Missy is now living right across the Bay, with the rest of the family still in the Great White North.

"It actually helped with the decision," Mullins laughed.

Mullins is a Raptors fan, naturally, being from the Toronto area -- "They made it to the second round, too, so I'm on the bandwagon," he said, excitedly -- but now, he'll have Steph Curry to watch on a regular basis.

Head of the Class to Cal was a bit of a headache. The Ivy League doesn't allow graduate school student-athletes to participate, by rule -- which prompted Cornell's Dwight Tarwater to transfer to Berkeley -- but in Mullins's case, it wasn't the fact that he'd redshirted voluntarily; he'd missed his entire junior season because of a concussion.

"I tripped in a game against Princeton," he said. "I was falling backwards, someone was running forwards, and I got a knee to the back of the head."

He missed the final nine games of his sophomore season, and all of his junior season.

"It ended up being problematic with my neck, and stuff, so it took a while to find the root of it," Mullins said. "I couldn't even tell you the names of the things that were wrong, but it was the base of my head. The symptoms came back when I tried to play the beginning of my junior year, but it's all cleared up now, and it's been good the whole year, so I'm good to keep going."

At that point, because he was on track to graduate, he knew he was going to transfer.

As soon as it was announced on March 8 that he would transfer, the Bears got in contact. From there, he visited on April 18.

A Little Pick Up

Mullins got to see exactly how he'd fit in, on the court, during a one-hour pickup session at Haas Pavilion during his time on campus.

"They're all great guys, and I'm excited to play with them," Mullins said. "I was hanging out with Cole [Welle][Sam] Singer[Ivan] Rabb, and that four-man who shoots a lot -- [Stephen] Domingo. I remember Domingo hit probably 10 threes in a row. That guy can shoot."

Rabb, who announced his return on Sunday, and with another year of weight lifting and polishing under his belt, could be the best big man in the Pac-12.

"I've played with some pretty talented guys, but I'm really excited to play with him," Mullins said. "Him coming back is really good for the team, and going forward, Tournament-wise, I'm happy for him, that he made the decision."

While Rabb is a lifelong Bay Area resident, Domingo, of course, spent his first year at Georgetown, so both he and Mullins can commiserate about the rough winters, and revel in the fact that, in the Bay, it's 70 and sunny in mid-April. Mullins shot 43.8% from the field (including 46.8% as a senior) and 49% from inside the three-point arc, while posting a career three-point percentage of 39.4%. His assist-to-turnover ratio for his career was 1.69:1, plus, he added 71 steals in 85 games, with a career-high 28 last season, to go along with his 116 assists.

"I think I shoot well, but I also think my assist-to-turnover ratio is pretty good," Mullins said. "I think that's something I can bring to the team, as well."

As for the academics, Mullins has a 3.3 GPA at Columbia, with a dual concentration in business and psychology. He's still endeavoring to figure out which grad school he'd be attending, at Berkeley, but he knows that whichever one he chooses, it will fit his family's high academic standards.

"Coming from Columbia, I think that's a good place for me to continue my education, on top of playing in the Pac-12," he said. "I'm still trying to figure that [grad school choice] out right now."

With the graduation of Tyrone Wallace, it looks like he'll provide a different kind of depth to the kind Tarwater provided. Mullins is a scorer who hit 43.1% of his shots from beyond the three-point arc last season for the Lions, but he's also averaged 3.3 assists per game last season. He'll certainly provide some rotational support to presumptive starting point Singer, and at 6-foot-3, 175, he's closer in size and physicality to Singer than to 5-foot-9 Brandon Chauca.

"I know they lose a few guys to the NBA -- Wallace -- so I think I can come in and help at the point guard position, as best I can," said Mullins. "That's kind of where I think I fit in, right now. I think that's their idea. The coaches have to see me in person -- they've seen film, obviously -- they have to see how my game fits in with what they're trying to do, and however they decide to play me, I'm happy with, and I'll do whatever I can to help the team have success."

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