Mayes must win battle of consistency

Jordin Mayes battled consistency last season and must win that battle if he is going to play this year. Read on to see what he struggled with last season, what Arizona needs him to do this season, and more.

There were numerous players on Arizona last season that were inconsistent and you could make an argument that Jordin Mayes was the most inconsistent of them all.

His expectations were raised going into the season and although he turned it around a bit later in the year, Mayes faced a lot of criticism throughout the season.

At the very least, however, Mayes was consistent on defense and became one of the better defensive players on the squad.

Mayes' defense became something that he enjoyed talking about and it also allowed the Wildcats to be a little more versatile defensively.

"It was just during the season when I was stopping players from getting to the basket," Mayes said. "I was pressuring players from the top of the key and when I was stopping them, I started to see that I liked doing it.

"I don't remember a specific game, but it was during a series of games that I kept guards out of the paint and holding guys to not shoot as much. Once I started to see that I was playing defense, I started to really like it."

A closer look at Mayes' season reveals one that had plenty of low and high moments and little consistency with each. His best game of the season may have been his first, as he scored 10 points in 15 minutes against Charleston Southern.

Mayes would not reach that point total again, following it up with a one-point game and after scoring six points in consecutive games, failing to hit the five-point mark until six games later against East Tennessee State.

January may have been one of the worst months of Mayes' career and the one in which he took most of his criticism. Starting with Arizona State, Mayes failed to score in four straight games and had a high of four in the next three.

In February, Mayes had another four-game streak in which he failed to score and it appeared as if he would no longer be able to secure a spot in the rotation. Instead, March came around and something woke him up a bit.

Mayes had his second highest point total of the season when he scored eight points in 13 minutes against UCLA. He then proceeded to score six in a win over Arizona State and eight in a win over Colorado in the Pac-12 tournament.

The inconsistency then struck again, as he failed to score against UCLA and opened the tournament with only three points against Belmont. After scoring eight in 19 minutes against Harvard, Mayes ended his season with a scoreless effort against Ohio State, picking up three fouls in ten minutes.

Mayes entered March with confidence, going as far as to say that he felt he was better than he has ever been.

"I feel that I am a lot better than my freshman year," he said at the time. "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."

From Arizona's perspective, the hope is that Mayes' confidence turns into production. There were not many players that were as frustrating as he was because there were glimpses of what he can do. Mayes is not going to be asked to do a lot this upcoming season, especially with the added depth at shooting guard.

There is a chance that he will see some action at point guard, but the presence of T.J. McConnell will allow him to play shooting guard, which is likely his more natural position.

If Mayes can defend well and hit the open jump shot, Arizona will be just fine with what he is doing. If not, he could be a victim of added depth and the improvement of the players around him.

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