Mayo brings back outside shooting, defense

As first reported by Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook’s Mark Miller, Todd Mayo will be reinstated to the Marquette basketball team. Paint Touches has NOT confirmed this report, but the reinstatement was expected. The sophomore shooting guard was suspended on June 28 for undisclosed reasons.

If reports are true, first and foremost, Mayo’s return puts Marquette at 11 scholarship players, plus walk-ons Jake Thomas and Garrett Swanson. And with Juan Anderson recovering from a shoulder injury (he is expected to start working on-court by September), Marquette minus Mayo had just nine healthy scholarships to work with to begin the season. Two of those would have been freshmen.

But with Mayo back in the mix, Marquette’s early rotation should go eight players with college experience deep, with freshman Steve Taylor and Anderson in the mix as well. That, more than anything Mayo will provide on the court, is reason enough to welcome back the Huntingon, West Va. native.

Todd Mayo will be asked to take on a larger role in his sophomore season. (Marquette Tribune photo)

T.J. Taylor’s abrupt departure from Milwaukee after two weeks on campus put Williams and Marquette shallow in the back court, but Mayo’s return likely makes him, not freshman Jamal Ferguson or Thomas, as the first guard off the bench. That’s a major upgrade, and again gives Marquette a player with college experience and possibly the team’s best returning 3-point shooter.

Departing seniors Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder accounted for almost 47 percent of the team’s scoring and more than 68 percent of the team’s 3-pointers last season, so bringing back Mayo (third highest returning scorer, top 3-point returner) helps an offense desperate for scoring. After Davante Gardner (56.1 percent), Mayo leads all returning players in effective field goal percentage (49.1 percent).

But even with Mayo back on board, Marquette’s calling card may be on the defensive end like it was in 2009-2010 with Lazar Hayward and Jimmy Butler.

The numbers don’t tell the full story with Mayo, who averaged 0.7 steals and committed 3.8 fouls per 40 minutes, but was called by Williams the team’s best on-ball defender last season. That’s quite the compliment for a team that included Vander Blue and Jae Crowder.

Consistency will need to improve for Mayo in 2012-2013, as he stands to see a significant increase in playing time. Part of that undoubtedly will come from maturity Mayo has apparently shown enough of to be reinstated. Whatever his role, Mayo has shot up the rotation, pushing less experienced players down the depth chart with less of a role and more room to grow with less pressure. That will have a positive effect on everyone, top to bottom.

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Categories: Analysis, Home, Offseason

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