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Mayo Focusing on the Future

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Tonight O.J. Mayo will the McDonalds All-American Game on ESPN 8:00pm ET. I will have to tape it as will be working late this evening.

Mayo is also looking to put some of the controversy of the past few weeks behind him and focus on a strong showing in this game that will hopefully put some of the sting to his recent controversies to rest. It would be nice for us to be able to focus on his basketball skills for a change and not all the other stuff that we have seen. I will admit that in the article Ben Bolch in the LAT that I was surprised by Wilbon's remarks in regards to Mayo, I like Wilbon's work and I generally agree with a lot of his assessments but this seemed a little disingenuous to me without Wilbon ever having talked to the kid or covering him personally. I have been critical of Mayo myself no doubt but I don't have national standing with a top newspaper so I am little surprised that Wilbon would make those types of statements without doing some due diligence himself.

To some there is a lot riding on the arrival of mayo as he is seen a major piece of the puzzle to SC building a stronger basketball program. The efforts and results that we have seen this past season indicate that we are well on the way of making our own mark in the L.A. College basketball market. I certainly not saying that SC will dominate the national stage but will get more than our fair share of attention and that bodes well for future recruiting efforts.

As I said earlier I have been critical of Mayo with some of the things that I have seen and the whole way that he committed to SC does have a lot of people asking questions but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and let Coach Floyd and the athletic department be a solid support structure for Mayo regardless of how long he stays at USC. Mayo is obviously savvy enough to understand what he wants for his future and how to get lets hope that it its smooth sailing.

The guard from Huntington (W.Va.) High made headlines in recent weeks for seemingly everything except the remarkable basketball skills that landed him here for the McDonald's All-American game.

"You want it on the basketball court, but you don't want it in your personal life whenever you're at home or out and about," Mayo said Tuesday of the scrutiny he receives. "But after awhile, it's like, hey, that's the life I chose. I want to be one of the greatest players to ever play. I want to be an NBA hall of famer, so if this comes with the territory, then bring it on."

Mayo was having a reasonably tranquil senior year until his ejection from a January game in which he received two technical fouls and made contact with a referee, who dropped to the floor.

The incident resulted in a three-game suspension and prompted Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon to say on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" that Mayo was "acting like a young punk who needs some responsible adults around him to grab him by the collar and shove him into a locker."

Mayo said he "barely brushed" the referee and lamented that he and Wilbon did not speak before he was bashed on national television.

"I would like to get a chance to meet him before he speaks on me," Mayo said. "Don't go off hearsay or read Internet sites."

Anyway, this should be a fun game to watch with UCLA's top recruit Kevin Love playing for the West team.