How he got here
In the post-Katrina era, following a mass migration of people out of New Orleans, the state of Louisiana recently has seemed to be less productive in terms of elite prospects. Kansas freshman Kelly Oubre serves as one such example, a native son who fled from the storm’s ravages with his family and settled in the Houston area.
|Mays reportedly has improved his leaping ability|
But Skylar Mays is one solid junior talent who resides in Baton Rouge and already has made an impact. He led University High to a championship last season, ensuring himself a legacy before he even entered his upperclassman years.
Though he backed off his commitment to LSU last summer, that early decision also placed him on the map and since then he has attended various camps and tournaments to reinforce his reputation.
To 2015. …
Mays is a pass first point guard. When I first watched him, last year with Nike Team Louisiana, he struck me as a lead guard with excellent size (6-3) and highly creative passing ability.
As I wrote then: “Mays has the look of a pick and roll specialist: He turns hard off screens, has a solid frame himself to knock defenders off-balance and is an outstanding passer to teammates cutting straight to the rim. Even if there's no natural passing angle, Mays gently bounces the ball off the floor just ahead of his feet to lead a screener for a layup.”
Given that the college game once again has raged with pick and roll this season, Mays’ natural style should translate very well to that level.
The questions that remain pertain to a couple of key areas: athleticism and shooting. Mays possesses just an average first step and may struggle in certain matchups defensively, though again, he’s 6-3 and that’s an enormous advantage.
Otherwise, he was a very reluctant jump shooter when I observed him a year ago. He definitely has some scoring tools off the bounce, but becoming more willing and consistent from deep looms as a priority in his development.
In the eyes of many scouts, Mays is one of those guys they know about but don’t really know. He has received plenty of evaluations already, but impressions of his game remain nebulous. He should enjoy ample opportunities this spring and summer to compete against the strong crop of point guards lining the Class of 2016.