On the court during a game is not an appropriate time to show everyone how well you can dance The Train, Todd.
(Editor's note: This player review is delayed by an hour because I had to spend time 1) listening to Bo Ryan dig himself into a deeper hole on the Jarrod Uthoff transfer issue and 2) make hilarious jokes about it on Twitter. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.)
With the season wrapped up, it's time to provide the bookend for the Player Previews we wrote to start the season. We'll take a look back at what we thought about each of the Marquette players back in November and see if we did a good job of prognostication. We continue our climb up the list of minutes played this year by moving on to freshman guard Todd Mayo.
Hit the jump!
|2011 - Todd Mayo||35||21.1||2.6||6.1||41.9||0.9||2.7||33.3||1.8||2.4||76.2||0.9||1.9||2.7||1.2||1.6||0.6||0.1||2.0||7.9|
Minimum Expectations: There is little doubt that Mayo has the athletic ability and potential to follow in the footsteps of Wade, McNeal, and Darius Johnson-Odom as a star shooting guard for Marquette. In fact, Mayo's athletic ability was on full display at Marquette Madness as he finished second to DJO in the dunk contest. On a team coming off a deep NCAA tournament run and loaded with talent, athletic ability and potential may not be enough for this freshman to contribute on a regular basis. However, if given opportunities to play in the early part of the season, don't be surprised if he shows flashes of the player we are all expecting him to become.
In My Wildest Dream: He's the second coming of. The offensive recruiting report on Mayo sounds very similar to that of Marquette's all-time leading scorer. He's been dubbed a playmaker and has the ability to both shoot the ball from the perimeter and attack the rim which can cause match-up nightmares for opposing teams.
In My Worst Nightmare: In order for Todd Mayo to crack Coach Buzz Williams' rotation he needs to be able to play defense. By all accounts, defense is the area where Mayo needs to most improve. A perceived lack of defensive prowess and the depth at shooting guard on the current roster may result in Mayo having a hard time finding minutes in the regular season rotation as a freshman. The bigger concern would be that he’d have a hard time developing his offensive and defensive skills at the college level and thus never reaching his full potential at Marquette.
Well, that worst nightmare never happened, huh?
Mayo had Buzz's trust from the start of the season, as he played 18 minutes in his first collegiate contest and never went below 14 minutes for the rest of the season. It was his offensive skills that were on display early in the season, including an INSANE floater off the glass to end Wisconsin's chances against Marquette. It was an amazing play both from the perspective of athletic ability and confidence. Any time you can earn player of the game honors from us in your seventh collegiate game against the #7 team in the country IN THEIR BUILDING, you're doing something right. Also, I believe I had that one.
As the Big East season started, Mayo's hot shooting started to slow down a little bit. This isn't terribly surprising, as defense ability ramped up and the Big East teams started to have game tape of Mayo. But he still was able to play significant minutes, and it was because of his defense. With Buzz's controversial style of coaching to collapse towards the paint, it can sometimes be hard to tell if players are doing what Buzz needs them to do. But it was clear that Mayo's effort on the defensive end never wavered. Even when he literally didn't hit a shot for three straight games, no one doubted that Mayo didn't deserve his playing time.
Things ended on a high note for Mayo, as he returned to "future three year starter" status in the NCAA tournament. He averaged 9.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals while shooting 45% from the field and 60% (!) behind the arc. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention his two MONSTER threes to keep the Murray State game close at the half when DJO and Jae Crowder were struggling.
Best Game: I'm going to have to go with the Wisconsin game. In fact, I'm going to issue Mayo a ticket for one (1) Sam Cassell Cojones Dance for that one.
Season Grade (1 is Worst Nightmare, 5 is Minimum Expectation, and 10 is Wildest Dream): I did some digging on KenPom.com and comparedfreshman year with Todd Mayo's season. They're actually kind of comparable. McNeal had to play way more than Mayo, so Mayo's efficiency is way better as is his shooting, but McNeal was grabbing rebounds and dishing assists at a much better tempo-free rate. I can't go all the way to a 10, but given his defensive improvement and effort, especially when his shot wasn't falling, I can give Mayo an 8.