Todd Mayo, Brian Oliver

Marquette guard Todd Mayo undergoes surgery on left knee

Leave a comment

With Vander Blue’s decision to leave school early and enter the 2013 NBA Draft, there’s an opportunity for a number of players in the Marquette perimeter rotation to earn more playing time in 2013-14.

One of those candidates is expected to be junior Todd Mayo, but his path to more playing time hit a bump in the road Wednesday as the school announced that he underwent surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee.

According to Marquette, Mayo is expected to be 100% in time for the start of the 2013-14 season. But instead of spending time in the weight room and on the practice court working to earn an increase in minutes (Mayo averaged 14.1 minutes per game in 2012-13), Mayo will spend his time rehabbing.

The question now is just how far that will put him behind his teammates in the competition for a spot in head coach Buzz Williams’ rotation.

Derrick Wilson and Jake Thomas, who considered transferring earlier this summer before deciding to remain at Marquette, are the other uppeclassmen at the two guard spots with three talented freshmen joining the ranks as well. Duane Wilson, John Dawson and JaJuan Johnson will also compete for minutes, and all three are capable of earning prominent spots in the rotation.

With the influx of talent arriving on campus (don’t forget forwards Deonte Burton and Jameel McKay), as well as returnees such as Jamil Wilson and centers Davante Gardner and Chris Otule, the Golden Eagles should be one of the early favorites in the Big East this season.

Today’s news represents the second consecutive offseason in which Mayo has dealt with a setback of some sort. Last year he was declared academically ineligible just days before Marquette’s scheduled season opener against Ohio State (that game was cancelled), returning to the program in late-December.

The month-plus away from the program resulted in a drop in minutes (Mayo averaged 21.1 mpg as a freshman), with Mayo posting averages of 5.3 points and 1.2 rebounds per game on a team that reached the Elite Eight.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
Leave a comment

Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Leave a comment

Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: