Mayes not McDonald’s All-American but holds his own against themby Javier Morales on Apr. 13, 2010, under Sports
Darryel Mayes and his son Jordin Mayes know all of what has transpired with Arizona’s recruiting since the younger Mayes, a highly successful point guard from Los Angeles Westchester High School, verbally committed to Sean Miller‘s program Feb. 2:
Detroit Country Day School point guard Ray McCallum Jr. supposedly has narrowed his choice to Arizona and Detroit, where his father is the head coach.
Either Baltimore Lake County point guard Josh Selby and Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill combo guard Doron Lamb could be the first McDonald’s All-American to sign with Miller.
“He knows about all of that, and he’s OK with it,” the elder Mayes told me Tuesday afternoon. “He accepts it. He understands it. You know what he’s doing right now? He’s in the gym trying to get stronger and working hard on his game. That’s all that matters to him right now.”
Mayes officially becomes an Arizona Wildcat on Wednesday when the spring signing period starts, and the person who might appreciate that fact the most — other than his father — is Miller.
“Coach Miller can’t say enough nice things about my son,” the elder Mayes said. “He sees the value that Jordin can bring to that program as a winner. You can’t find very many players in Los Angeles who led their team to consecutive division, city and state championships. That says a lot about how tough-minded and talented Jordin is right there.”
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Along with his grit and leadership capabilities, Jordin Mayes also brings credible skills at the point guard position. He was selected Tuesday to the Los Angeles Times All-Star team, which includes the top 10 players in the L.A. area. He averaged 18.8 points and 2.3 assists a game, according to the Times.
He fits into Miller’s plan to bolster the guard rotation, especially with his high basketball IQ. Logan (Ill.) Junior College forward Jesse Perry, also expected to sign a national letter of intent with the UA on Wednesday, adds some inside-outside scoring for the Wildcats along with a capable defensive player and rebounder.
Many prospects have signing parties or gatherings at their respective schools. Nothing is planned by Jordin Mayes — “He’ll probably just want to sign the letter here at home alone with his family,” Darryel Mayes said — and that is befitting for a player who often gets overlooked by players who are more in the limelight.
Selby is rated the No. 4 overall prospect in the Class of 2010 by Rivals.com and Lamb is No. 21. Both are Five-star players. Mayes is rated a 3-star recruit by Rivals.com, the 106th overall prospect.
The elder Mayes knows all about playing in the shadow of others as a former walk-on guard at UNLV in 1979. He used an apt description for his son when it comes to how he is rated with other prominent guards.
“I look at him as a Chauncey Billups-type player,” Darryel Mayes said. “Billups did not even get voted for the All-Star game (this year). He had to be added on as a replacement (for injured New Orleans guard Chris Paul). But any coach in the NBA would love to have a player like Chauncey Billups.
“It was interesting that Allen Iverson got more of the press and most of the attention, but once Chauncey Billups joined the Nuggets, that team skyrocketed. That’s because Billups is a winner. His teammates rally around him. I see the same kind of qualities in Jordin, especially after what you consider what he did for Westchester. Westchester is not Westchester without Jordin Mayes.”
Not only did Mayes, 6-1, 170, win consecutive state titles at Westchester, but he had three of his best games with the Comets against high-level competition: Lamb this year and John Wall and Lance Stephenson last year. Westchester won each game with Mayes as the leading scorer:
- Dec. 30, 2009: Mayes matches Lamb basket for basket as each finish with 16 points in Westchester’s 52-47 win over Oak Hill at the Les Schwab Invitational at Hillsboro, Ore. Mayes had only one turnover to go with two assists while Lamb had four turnovers and one assist.
- Feb. 13, 2009: Mayes scores 26 points, including 4 of 5 shooting from three-point range, in Westchester’s 76-57 win over Wall and Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy.
- Feb. 14, 2009: Mayes scores a game-high 31 points for Westchester in its 85-78 win over Stephenson and Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln
“It’s all about being confident,” Jordin Mayes told me when he verbally committed to Arizona. “I had one of my better games against John Wall because I believe in my ability.”
Darryel Mayes contends that the ratings published by Rivals.com and Scout.com (which does not rank Jordin Mayes among its top 100 prospects) are mostly guesswork by “beat writers who have a narrow view of what to look for in a player.”
“All they look for are players who can play above rim,” the elder Mayes said. “They are too much into who is the fastest or who can jump the highest. They don’t look at the overall skills of a player.
“Jordin does not play above the rim and he’s not a flashy player but he can score. He can shoot from the outside. He makes his teammates play better around him. He knows how to win, and he is a big-game performer. He prides himself on becoming a better defender. To me, that’s a player any coach would love, and that’s the case with Coach Miller. (Arizona’s coaches) don’t care about ratings. They care about how a player is going to help them win.”
The younger Mayes ran the show for Westchester playing in a comfort zone with Division I college prospects such as Dwayne Polee and Kareem Jamar. The Comets (32-3) improved their record to 6-0 in state championship games. They became the first Division I team to repeat as champs since they achieved the feat in 2002-03.
“They’ve been there and they know what it takes,” Westchester coach Ed Azzam told ESPN.com. “It’s a fun team that’s shown a lot of poise and a lot of character for the last two years. They’ve been as enjoyable as hell to coach.”
Jordin Mayes has certainly proven his value as a leader with Westchester, but how will that carry over to his freshman season at Arizona? He goes from being a player in charge to one of the youngest of the Wildcats in 2010-11.
“The bottom line is Jordin is a level-headed kid who will be confident in his ability when he heads to Arizona,” the elder Mayes said. “When stuff comes up like his rating (by Rivals.com and Scout.com), I tell him to just do his thing, to play to his potential. He knows how to handle that. He feeds off that.
“I think Jordin is going to go over there and turn some heads. He’ll be a lot better than what people think he’ll be. I’m very confident about that.”