Mayes committed to defense

Jordin Mayes feels he is better than he ever has been. Read on to see why, how defense has played a role in his development, and more.

After slumping for much of the season, Arizona guard Jordin Mayes has really come on as of late and seems to be earning more minutes with each passing game.

One of the most impressive aspects of Mayes' improvement has been his defensive play, which has caused Arizona head coach Sean Miller to keep his faith in him.

"This whole season, my defense has been good and I started to like playing defense," Mayes said. "Belmont has good players that play my position and I'm looking forward to go out that there and guard them."

There was not a specific point where Mayes felt that he could help more on defense, as the enjoyment came with the improvement.

"It was just during the season when I was stopping players from getting to the basket," he 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."

Mayes is obviously not the only Wildcat contributing, as he chose to turn focus to his belief that each player in contributing.

"Everybody is stepping his game up, as far as me coming off the bench and being productive, the big men getting rebounds and being productive down low," he said.

"It's a plus and gives us an advantage. We all feed off each other so it's a good thing. It shows on the court that when we play together, we can beat anybody."

As Mayes gets ready for the tournament, he believes that he is a better player now than he was in previous ones.

"I am better than I was in my freshman year," he said. "Right now, I am playing good basketball and being productive, and early in the season, I wasn't being productive. I showed life during the UCLA game and it felt good to be out there and to score and help my team to play well. We had a good week of practice where we were competitive.

"I feel that I am a lot better than my freshman year. 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."

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