One of the hottest spring recruits in the nation is Todd Mayo. If the last name sounds familiar to you, that’s because he’s the younger half-brother of the NBA’s O.J. Mayo. Like his big brother, Todd is very talented – but is he just as big of a headache?
Currently ranked as a three star recruit by ESPNU, Rivals and Scout, Mayo is one of a very small group of high school seniors who has still not decided where to take his talents next year. The laundry list of schools he’s considering include West Virginia, Memphis, Baylor, Providence, USC, Kansas and Central Florida.
West Virginia certainly looks like the favorite as Mayo is a Huntington native that also happens to have a flying WV logo tattoed on his arm. Mayo took his final official visit to Marquette last weekend and earlier this month, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins met with Mayo. So yeah, he’s a hot commodity and fan bases across the country want the talent that he’s currently displaying at Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts.
But when you’re related to O.J. Mayo – even if only his half-brother – it’s impossible not to be viewed with skepticism. As a Mayo, the talent comes with requisite baggage. So yes, the biggest blow to Todd’s character stems directly and indirectly to who he is related to.
Todd was allegedly involved with the USC pay-for-play scandal that resulted in violations for the program because of money given the Mayo boys. In 2009, it was reported that Todd also received improper benefits. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” obtained multiple receipts with Todd’s name on it that were allegedly paid for by L.A. events promoter Rodney Guillory.
Then there’s the assumption that the rock doesn’t far from the sticky fingers. On the court, Todd’s billed as a clone of his brother. It’s actually freaky how similar his scouting report sounds. Like O.J., Todd’s known for his athleticism and scoring ability – and for his lack of focus, defense and a wining attitude.
O.J.’s issues have been well-chronicled from his days in high school. This season alone, O.J.’s been suspended 10 games for drug use and another two games for fighting with Tony Allen on the Memphis Grizzlies’ team plan. His numbers and minutes have plummeted and the Grizzlies recently tried (but failed) to trade him.
As for Todd? After starting out in Huntington, he moved to Memphis to play ball and reportedly learn the business end from his brother (uh oh…). He even trains with his brother, saying that O.J. shows him the way.
“Every summer we work out. He really does help me,” Todd’s said. While we’re glad that there’s brotherly love for the Mayo’s, it may not exactly bode well for Todd’s – and the future of whatever program he commits to – that O.J. has helped show Todd the light.
He’s now taking a post graduate year at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchbburg, MA to hone his skills alongside Sam Cassell Jr. His play has been elevated, thus raising his stock and soliciting offers from the big time programs.
So where will he land? Bob Huggins appeals to Mayo’s home-state pride, Buzz Williams has made an impression, Bill Self can point to the fact Kansas has become a factory for NBA-bound guards and never, ever count out Scott Drew at Baylor.
One fact that no one can deny is that Todd’s got game: