This is the latest installment in our “Past and Future” series, detailing each player’s last season and what the future holds. Remember to check PGU for the next installment!
Let’s not sugarcoat anything. Last year was rough for Jordin Mayes. After playing nearly 18 minutes per game as a sophomore, Mayes logged under 12 minutes per contest as a junior. His stats obviously declined.
For Mayes, the year was characterized by limited and erratic opportunity. His best game may have been the first of the season, when he scored 10 points on 4 made field goals — both season highs.
Despite playing double digit minutes in 13 of the first 15 games, Mayes saw the court less and less as the Pac-12 season wore on, including a six game stretch in February in which he played just six minutes per game.
However, things picked up for the junior guard toward the end of the season. Mayes broke the double digit minute threshold in each of the last seven games of the year, including all of UA’s five postseason contests.
“I am better than I was in my freshman year. Right now, I am playing good basketball and being productive, and early in the season, I wasn’t being productive.” Mayes said before the NCAA Tournament. “I showed life during the UCLA game and it felt good to be out there and to score and help my team to play well.”
“But I feel that I am a lot better than my freshman year,” he added. “I am more of a leader, being more talkative. I am pushing the ball more up the court, getting more players involved and on the defensive end; I am more willing to sit down and go after the ball.”
As a senior, Mayes should continue to be the primary backup point guard, but his three point shooting may be relied upon more than ever. With the loss of departing seniors Solomon Hill, Kevin Parrom, and Mark Lyons, as well as one-and-done freshman Grant Jerrett, the Wildcats lose four of their best long range shooters.
What this means for Mayes is increased shot attempts, but also increased value to the team. As the first guard off the bench, Mayes will be counted on to facilitate in TJ McConnell’s absence as well as stretch defenses with his shooting ability.
It’s anybody’s guess if Mayes will finally have the breakout year that people started expecting after being an integral part of Arizona’s Elite 8 run during his freshman year. But even if he doesn’t, Mayes can still find ways to contribute as a senior.