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2013-2014 Player Previews: #4 Todd Mayo

One last week of Player Previews before the season gets started...

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not what you would call a fan of Todd Mayo.

I wasn't excited about head coach Buzz Williams recruiting the brother of someone who got USC in a boatload of hot water. But I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and for the majority of his freshman season, Mayo delivered. Yes, there was a conference schedule slump, but 1) lots of freshmen have that happen and 2) he bounced back nicely in the NCAA tournament.

But then he bounced the other way. First there was the suspension/getting sent home for the summer. Then the academic suspension that cost him 10 games of his sophomore season. Based on his uneven play for the rest of the season, you could make a pretty solid argument that it cost him his entire sophomore season.

As the season grows closer and closer, things keep popping up in stories about the basketball team. First, in stories about Derrick Wilson, both Wilson and Williams keep talking about building a relationship and level of trust with each other, which just reminds you of all the times that Williams and Mayo also talked about the same thing in the past. Second, the news from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Michael Hunt that Jake Thomas is the starter at shooting guard. Does this mean that Buzz doesn't trust Mayo? Does this mean that Buzz is trying to light a fire under both Mayo and freshman guard JaJuan Johnson? It's hard to tell which one it is, or if it's a little bit of both. We won't really get a feel for what "Jake Thomas is the starter" means until about 7:15 on Friday night, so we'll have to wait and see, I suppose.

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.