With the 2013-2014 season now in the books, we take a moment to look back at the performance that each member of YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles this year. While we're at it, we'll also take a look back at our player previews and see how our preseason prognostications stack up with how things actually played out. We'll run through roster in order of total minutes played (lowest to highest). Today, it's the curious case of Todd Mayo.
#4 - Junior - 6'3" - 195 lb.
Minimum Expectation: How about a return to his freshman year stats? We'll keep it simple: 8 points, 2 rebounds, an assist per game. 41% shooting overall, 33% behind the arc.
Wildest Dream: His brother OJ playing for the Milwaukee Bucks is a stabilizing influence on Todd's life, and he rips that starting mantle away from Jake Thomas. 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, high quality defense, and Buzz starts apologizing for not playing Jajuan Johnson more.
Worst Nightmare: Mayo on the court for MU is a near requirement given the depth in the backcourt without Duane Wilson for the foreseeable future, so it's an easy call here: Todd gets suspended again.
Wow, where do we even start with this? It's entirely conceivable that both the Wildest Dream and the Worst Nightmare came true for Todd this season. It just depends on which half of the season you want to look at.
The first 18 games of the year were something of a disaster for Todd. He, like a lot of players, was struggling with where exactly he fit into Coach Buzz's rotation. He wasn't doing much offensively. He was never going to win minutes with his defense alone. He missed the Arizona State game with an ankle injury. And, of course, he went all "Todd Mayo" and got himself suspended for the Wisconsin game. That pretty much checks all the boxes for Todd's nightmare scenario.
However, over the final 14 games of the year, Mayo was a revelation. He morphed into a go-to scorer, capable of putting the team on his back and carrying them to victory. He became a late game terror, repeatedly making clutch baskets and playing the role of hero for the Golden Eagles. Over that 14 game span, Mayo averaged 13.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He scored 20+ in the last three games of the year. On four different occasions he made a basket or free throws, in the waning seconds of games, to win or force overtime. Add all that up and you have something that looks a lot like everything we could have dreamed of from Todd.
So what happened? What made Mayo go from nightmare to dream scenario? I think it the switch was flipped during the loss at Butler. In that horrendous game, after shooting 0-6 from the field and 0-5 from 3pt range, Todd Mayo finally attacked the basket and scored - twice. Up to that point in the season, Todd had been trying to make his living from beyond the 3-point line. In his first 16 games, he had attempted 42 triples, in 344 minutes of floor time (4.88 attempts per 40 min.) and was shooting just 30.9%.
After the Butler loss, you could tell by the way Todd played that he had finally dumped the notion that he was a jump shooter, and embraced the idea that he was a better player when he was going to the rack. Over the next 14 games, he attempted just 33 treys while playing 27 more total minutes (3.55 per 40 min). His minutes went up. His scoring went up. His shooting percentage went up. His 3pt percentage went up. And, perhaps most importantly, his confidence went up. The player that scored 21 against Xavier in the Big East Tournament looked NOTHING like the player that went 3-15 against Ohio State back in November. I hope that bodes well for Todd's senior season.
Best Game: This is a toss-up for me. I could go with the 26 point, 11 rebound performance Todd turned in at Providence, which included a late triple that could've been the game winner (but wasn't, of course). OR the home win over Butler that featured a personal 7-0 run to seal the victory. I could go either way. Hit the comments and let me know what ya think.
Season Grade: This is tough. I suppose if we give it a 1 for the first half, and a 10 for the second half, we'd get an average of 5.5. So, I'll give Mayo a 6 - rounding up that half point because the good half came during the conference season, when it mattered most. That seems fair, right?