Monday, December 31, 2007

OJ Mayo - NBA Draft Prospects

Numbers: 20.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.5 spg, 3.5 t/o's, 44% FG, 80% FT, 41% 3's

About Him: OJ Mayo has been all over the place as a prospect. He was talked about as the next Lebron when he was in high school, and was probably thought of as the first pick heading into this season. But after an inconsistent start to his freshman campaign, he was being projected as a late lottery pick. Right now, he is somewhere in the middle. Mayo is definitely going to be able to score in the NBA, but the question with him is whether or not he will be an all-star type scorer, or just a good role player. Mayo's best skill offensively is probably his jump shot. He easily has NBA range, and is very good at shooting off the dribble and off the catch. He is phenomenal at coming off of screens and elevating, and has a very quick release. He is not as good attacking the basket. He has a good handle, but is not as quick or explosive as you would expect. He is big and strong, but struggles at finishing through contact and doesn't score well in the lane, partly because he average first step doesn't allow him to get by people. He is a much better passer than his 3.3 apg indicates, and could probably play some point guard at the NBA level. He also is a fairly good ball handler, but is turn over prone because he makes too many lazy passes and tries to make the fancy play as opposed to the simple one. The biggest problem with Mayo early in the season was that he tried to take games over and do too much, but when he started to play within the offense and within himself down the stretch, he looked much better, as did USC. Defensively, Mayo is very good, but does not give his full effort all the time. If he continues to play within himself, he could be a very good NBA player.

Comparisons: Gilbert Arenas, shorter Joe Johnson, Ricky Davis

Bottom Line: With the way he finished the season, Mayo probably won't fall out of the top 8, but he never fully live up to the hype he had in high school.

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