3.21.2007

Tim Floyd Drives a Cressida

I'm sure the basketblogosphere is going to be ablaze today with people talking about today's New York Times article on O.J. Mayo. If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, it's basically USC coach Tim Floyd's telling of how Mayo came to be a Trojan signee. Floyd had not recruited Mayo at all, thinking he had no chance to land one of the most talked about high school players of all time, and out of the blue, he declares he wants to go to USC. Mayo has been hyped up since he was in middle school and has often been referred to as "the next Lebron." Personally, I think Mayo has as much of a chance to be the next Sebastian Telfair as the next Lebron James, but we will have to see. At any rate, anyone with even a passing interest in "amateur" hoops or college basketball recruiting needs to read this article. For the first half, I was thinking it was totally on some X-Files shit, with this mystery man showing up in Floyd's office talking outlandish, but then I realized that a different television show was probably a much more apt reference point for what's going on here.

To bring your attention back to the NCAA Tournament, Floyd's USC team returns to the court this Friday night, coming off an impressive performance against another teen hoops prodigy Kevin Durant (who's actually younger than Mayo), facing Tyler Hansbrough and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. He better hope that his team fares better than that other band of ancient heroes, the Spartans.

22 Comments:

At 3/21/2007 1:54 PM, Anonymous CB4 said...

Wow, that article is great... it just adds another element of mystery to Mayo, and really makes you (me at least), want him to succeed.
"“How many scholarships do we have for next year?” Mayo asked.

Floyd stammered. “After this,” he said, “I guess we have three.”

Mayo went through the priority list in his mind. “Don’t worry about recruiting,” he said. “I’ll take care of it.”"

Wow.

 
At 3/21/2007 1:58 PM, Blogger Gladhands said...

Paging Dejuan Wagner.

 
At 3/21/2007 2:07 PM, Blogger zip zip said...

Why does Tim Floyd even have a job?

I haven't seen Mayo play, so I'll hold my judgements, but I've heard terrible things about his attitude.

As for Dejuan Wagner, I think his personal problems (many physical) did him in. His talent was always there.

I think DeJuan still has a shot in the NBA if he puts in the workouts.

 
At 3/21/2007 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe USC was so seemingly cooperative with this story considering the obvious implication that Mayo is getting support from people in the USC or LA community.

In light of all the Reggie Bush kickbacks, etc, I'm surprised Floyd didn't try harder to make it seem like he was actually a recruiting genius. The NYT story stops just short of saying Mayo will be getting paid to play at USC.

 
At 3/21/2007 3:16 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

you are all idiots. obviously jordan told o.j. to attend usc, so that when unc and usc met usc would be riding a wave of publicity, it would seem like a bigger match-up than it is, and unc 's legend would grow all the more than it would have.

 
At 3/21/2007 3:46 PM, Blogger Brother Afrocan said...

From what I hear about OJ he is a cocky SOB. Flexing after dunks and taunting his defenders after draining a three with a hand in his grill or breaking ankles with his crossover. His temperament makes him exactly the kind of future superstar in the making required to counter the reticent/borderline timid dispositions of Durant and Oden. He is the Carmelo of the LBJ/Wade/Anthony trio. He would also add fuel to the debate on 'demonstrative' players, along with the racist/thug insinuations that come with it.
On his game- I echo Brown Recluse's contention a player like OJ has a broad spectrum of potential career outcomes. Mayo’s senior stats of 38ppg 8rpg and 8apg show the potential of a transcendent scoring PG in the Isiah/GP mould. From the few Mayo highlights that I have seen on YouTube, I dont think OJ's downside is as low as Telfair. I would say Mayo's bust potential is capped at being a Baron Davis/Steve Francis type player. The NBA will always have room on a couple of all-star teams and a max contract to throw at a PG with explosive leaping ability, mad-ball handling skills and three-point range(even if it is streaky as is the case with Davis and Francis). With little regard to ability to generate assists or even competently run an offense.

 
At 3/21/2007 6:00 PM, Blogger Pooh said...

Mayo is a legit 6'6 or so, so the Telfair/Wagner comparisons are pretty stupid right off the bat. There is maybe a whiff of Schea Cotton about him, however.

 
At 3/21/2007 6:04 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

i don't think anyone's saying he plays like telfair or wagner (i certainly wasn't), just that his actual nba success relative to his high school hype might be of a similar magnitude. he's got a nice package of skills to go along with his size, strength, and athleticism. still, i don't see how his game is that different from say, larry hughes. not to say larry's a bad player, but he ain't lebron.

 
At 3/21/2007 8:13 PM, Blogger T. said...

Tim Floyd: I'll take any motherfucker's money if he givin' it away

Sheeeeeit.

 
At 3/21/2007 8:30 PM, Blogger Got said...

the article certainly paints a mixed picture of mayo's character. at first blush he seems brave and a bit fearless for being willing, if not eager, to commit to a school never known for its basketball program (he was also strongly considering kansas state, which, in spite of bob huggins, has also never been all that great). on the other hand, though, he comes off like a jackass for sending a representative to test floyd's character (even if it is only tim floyd, it smacks of not respecting one's elders ... the man does have a bit of nba experience after all), and for refusing to give out his cell phone number. i mean, what was tim floyd going to do - post it on his myspace page or something? it's as if he doesn't mind creating a sort of awkwardness and power struggle before he's even set foot on the campus. apparently his high school career has followed a similar arc in many ways. do any of his coaches have any influence on him at all? has he ever known discipline from an authority figure? as trivial as it might seem, these are issues that may blossom into full-fledged character problems during his professional career.

that's not to say he won't be good. on talent alone, he could very well be of 20/5/5 caliber within a few years. he could end up being gilbert arenas without all the endearing quirks, or, at worst, steve francis in all his freezing-out-yao ming-and-dwight-howard ignominy. he's good .... really, really good. what may steal some of his thunder, however, is the fact that there are two guys - eric gordon and derrick rose - who may be on his level in terms of pure talent, and may far exceed him in the character/leadership department. and they're going to be drafted right up there with him. it's like the point guard version of the lebron/wade/carmelo draft orgy.

personally, i like the fact that he's not afraid to strike out on his own. his inconsistent high school career coupled with his bravado and fearlessness smack a bit of amare stoudemire. i'm not, however, thrilled with how he seems to reflexively put himself above coaches, other players, and entire organizations. it may take playing in the nba to bring him back down to earth, or it may never happen. there have been lots of prep school phenoms who ended up being flameouts (paging lenny cooke ...). and if we're to take kevin durant as evidence - a guy who is better than mayo by every measure - taking a cavalier approach to college basketball isn't going to earn him any support. the competition is damn good and if he thinks that he's good enough to get a raggedy program like USC to the final four, much less the championship game, he might be in for a bit of a letdown ....

 
At 3/22/2007 2:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Got- Mayo needs to tone down on the power struggle. On teams with big-time college stars of the Durant/Oden ilk, there is a tacit acknowledgment that the player wields more power than the coach. Mayo does not need to go to trouble of trying to emasculate Floyd by sending a representative or refusing to give out his cellphone number. What next will he be diagramming plays on time-outs and running the drills during practice?

 
At 3/22/2007 2:59 AM, Blogger Nate said...

Not that I agree with Mayo's tactics, but if you understand the way college coaches and their assistants handle recruiting, you would understand why OJ and his handler didn't want to give away his cell number. Coaches call, text, email, and basically hound these players at every given opportunity. I think it was smart of them to keep control of the recruiting process and make sure that this kid was not bombarded by over anxious/over agressive coaches. The fact that he chose USC was brilliant, because of the location, the reputation of their athletic dept and their media relations dept, and the brand new basketball facility they are now playing in. Even though UCLA is a basketball powerhouse, USC has the alumni, the money, the facilities and the business and marketing acumen to become a basketball powerhouse. Even if OJ Mayo didn't show up there, they were well on their way to becoming that. There's a reason USC has been pouring money into a new basketball stadium, a new high level coach and such. OJ was just smart enough to realize that he could jump on that and market himself along the way. Imagine if USC basketball takes off. He'll forever be seen as the player that uplifted the program. Lastly, Kevin Love is coming to play at UCLA next year. That means that possibly the number 1 and number 2 players in the 2008 NBA draft will be playing in the same city at the same time at rival schools. The media is going to eat that ish up, and OJ and his handlers most likely realize this. OJ obviously has his behavior issues. I won't even try to deny that. But I see this as being nothing but a win-win situation for USC and Mayo. As the article you've linked to already shows, it's already worked out positively for both. USC basketball has never been talked the way it has since he announced he was coming there, and Mayo is already seen as a pioneer for wanting to play there.

 
At 3/22/2007 4:07 AM, Blogger Signal to Noise said...

I slammed Mayo earlier after I read that article. It just seemed, so, well, bizarre, cocky, and arrogant to be essentially recruiting a school rather than having a coach recruit you for it. We've gotten really used to the idea of malleable kids being drawn this way and that by multiple coaches at multiple schools that to read the NYT piece that it's weird to read about someone who wants to keep control of his situation and his life.

I'll still reserve a bit of judgment on O.J. until he hits campus and we see what he's capable of on the college court -- but at least I can't fault him for being savvy, and as a USC fan, I'm excited to see what happens.

 
At 3/22/2007 10:19 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

there are less egomaniacal ways to tell a coach you're interested in his program and that you don't want to be called all the time. i find it very strange that mayo went through some promoter and not one of his AAU or high school coaches. that says something to me about his respect for authority and openness to coaching (i.e., he's doesn't and he's not).

also, let's stop with this usc is a raggedy program nonsense. as nate points out, they just built a new facility and hired a highly regarded former NBA and big 12 coach. they have probably 3 future pros on their team, and they're in the sweet 16 right now (they're playing tomorrow). they just beat saint durant's team last weekend. they made it to the elite 8 in 2001, too. so, this isn't quite a huggins at kansas state situation. the word "raggedy" might apply there.

 
At 3/22/2007 10:48 AM, Blogger shoefly said...

Why should Mayo have to have respect for his new coach and the college system. He's going to be there one year, being forced to be there by a corrupt system, at least he can do so on his terms. And he DOES have the power, why not use it. He's being frank and honest about his motivations, Floyd certainly doesn't have any reservations about it, nor would any of these so-called paragons of morality we call our universities and colleges. Mayo is using USC, but not nearly as much as USC is using him. If Floyd has any objections let him voice those now, though I'm sure we'll be waiting quite a while. Mayo has his power, Floyd has his. That's the way of the world, it merely sounds to me that Mayo was precocious about that understanding far earlier than many are.

 
At 3/22/2007 11:34 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

shoefly, every word you wrote rings of truth, and i certainly understand why someone in mayo's position (or really any high school star athlete's) would be cynical about the whole process. but, maybe i'm idealistic. i, perhaps naively, believe that mayo could learn something from playing for a good college coach (and floyd is one), about basketball and life in general. sure, they're using each other, but that doesn't mean they can't also have a genuine, mutually respectful relationship. i'm thinking of iverson hugging john thompson (which somehow seems way more real and moving than coach k hugging wojo) or jordan and dean smith watching the 2005 national championship together. by his business-like approach, mayo is effectively signaling that he wants no part of that. he couldn't give a shit about tim floyd. maybe he shouldn't, but i find his crassness depressing.

 
At 3/22/2007 3:37 PM, Anonymous D-Wil said...

All this negative knee-jerkin' in reaction to Mayo is REAL interesting. Especially in light of the Mayo-NYT misinfo emanating from salacious Internet sports diary keepers... Don't anybody jerk so hard they smack themselves in the nose!

 
At 3/22/2007 4:30 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

what are you talking about, d?

 
At 3/22/2007 5:26 PM, Anonymous D-Wil said...

BR and those not "jerkin'"-

Sorry if it didn't make sense. There are two discussions here: one line of discussion is sane and weighs pros and cons of Mayo's methods; the other line of discussion isn't really discussion at all - it's filled with negative knee-jerk reactions to Mayo's methods - oh and they include attacks of a personal nature.

I was referring to the second line of discussion.

 
At 3/22/2007 5:37 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

gotcha. thanks for clearing that up.

 
At 3/23/2007 1:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd never heard of Mayo until a couple weeks ago -- I don't generally follow the "amateur" game -- but man, he sounds like a real dick. Yeah, it's a knee-jerk reaction, but what else should I think after reading the NYT article about his dickish behavior?

 
At 4/13/2009 5:02 AM, Blogger 平平 said...

^^Thanks!!

婚前徵信婚姻感情大陸抓姦外遇抓姦法律諮詢家暴婚前徵信尋人感情挽回大陸抓姦離婚工商徵信婚前徵信外遇抓姦感情挽回尋人大陸抓姦離婚家暴工商徵信法律諮詢跟蹤工商徵信婚前徵信感情挽回外遇抓姦法律諮詢家暴尋人大陸抓姦離婚大陸抓姦外遇尋人家暴工商徵信法律諮詢家暴感情挽回大陸抓姦外遇婚前徵信離婚尋人工商徵信外遇抓姦法律諮詢家暴婚前徵信大陸抓姦尋人感情挽回外遇抓姦婚前徵信感情挽回尋人大陸抓姦工商徵信法律諮詢離婚家暴工商徵信外遇抓姦法律諮詢家暴婚前徵信尋人感情挽回大陸抓姦離婚婚前徵信工商徵信外遇抓姦尋人離婚家暴大陸抓姦感情挽回法律諮詢離婚感情挽回婚前徵信外遇抓姦家暴尋人工商徵信外遇抓姦法律諮詢家暴婚前徵信尋人感情挽回">徵大陸抓姦離婚婚前徵信工商徵信外遇抓姦尋人離婚家暴大陸抓姦感情挽回法律諮詢

 

Post a Comment

<< Home