As Tim Floyd states below, this announcement comes as no surprise to anyone. OJ Mayo has been destined for the NBA since he was a 7th grader. I covered several of his games this season on FSN, and I found him to be much different than so many people had tried to portray him. He's friendly, respectful and courteous. He may not be the most outgoing player in the country--or on his own team for that matter--but I never saw him not make time to answer anyone questions following a game. By the way, remember this following statement for future reference: I think OJ Mayo will be a better pro than a college player. Good luck, OJ!
Mayo Decides To Forego His Eligibility And Enter The 2008 NBA Draft
LOS ANGELES – USC freshman guard O.J. Mayo has decided to forego his eligibility at USC and declare for the 2008 NBA Draft.
The 6-foot-5 freshman, is a dynamic all-around player widely regarded as the top player in his class since the seventh grade. Mayo has not signed with an agent, but plans to in the near future.
“I am so thankful for the fans and alumni at USC and around the nation that have been so supportive of me and my teammates throughout the season,” said Mayo. “I’d like to express my appreciation to my coaches and teammates for their support in one of the most important decisions I’ve ever made. I will be entering the 2008 NBA Draft.
“I am going to finish the semester here at USC and then focus on preparing for the NBA Draft,” added Mayo. “Attending USC has been such a great experience for me and has really helped prepare me for my next step in life.”
Coach Tim Floyd offered his support to Mayo and his family regarding his decision.
“This comes as no surprise,” said coach Floyd. “We are appreciative of everything O.J. did for all of us the year he was with us. We wish him well. I have no doubt that he will be a great professional.”
Mayo led USC in scoring (20.7), steals (51), three-pointers (88) and assists (109), was second in free throw percentage (.803) and third in rebounds (150). He established the USC freshman single-season record for points (684) and three-point baskets. Mayo’s point total was the second most ever in a season by a Trojan and the three-point basket total ranks third all-time at USC.
His scoring average of 20.7 is the best ever by a USC freshman and trails only Shareef Abdur-Rahim of California who set the Pac-10 Conference freshman record with an average of 21.1 points per game in 1995-96.
The freshman from Huntington, W.Va. was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team, Pac-10 All-Freshman Team, NABC District 15 Team and was honorable mention to the All-Pac-10 Defensive team, as well as receiving Wooden Award and Naismith Award consideration.
Mayo also was named a Rivals.com and CollegeHoops.net Third Team All-American and a CollegeHoops.net First Team All-Freshman selection.