O.J. Mayo says he's high on U of L

Without an NBA age-restriction, O.J. Mayo will likely follow Lebron James' path to NBA stardom right after high school. However, if college is the Cards for the 6-foot-4 star, Louisville might be his destination. Mayo recently spoke with Inside The Ville about his affinity for U of L, and provided his thoughts on the possibility of an NBA age-limit.

North College Hill HS rising junior O.J. Mayo might be the most recognized prep player, ever. Sure, Lebron "King" James was hyped, but his acclaim didn't begin in middle school like Mayo.

Standing 6-foot-4 and 190-pounds, Mayo isn't as blessed phyisically as the 6-foot-8, 240-pound James, but there's no doubt Mayo deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as James.

James, of course, landed a lucrative Nike contract shortly after graduation, then became the first pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 NBA Draft. Mayo just might follow the path blazed by James.

"Even if the rule doesn't go into effect," Mayo said in reference to a proposed NBA age-restriction, "as of right now we are a ways off going to the NBA out of high school. Most likely we'd (teammates Bill Walker and Keenan Ellis) go to the same school."

While fans, reporters, and scouts all talk about him making a jump straight to the NBA after high school, Mayo has stayed surprisingly grounded.

"It's cool," said Mayo while signing multiple autographs for youngsters. "I'm just trying to stay focused and make sure I get to my ultimate goal. I guess this is just part of it."

Of course, Mayo's "ultimate goals," lie in the NBA.

"Hopefully (to) make it to the NBA, be a Hall Famer and be remembered as basketball player and as a good person," Mayo said.

Mayo will lace them up this
weekend at the Bob Gibbons
Tournament of Champions.

One would think that Mayo has probably been hounded by college in hopes of landing him on campus. But that hasn't been the case. Mayo said that it seems like schools have been reluctant to show interest in him, likely because he's too talented - and too old - to ever play collegiately.

"What I'm hearing from reporters is that schools are unsure about recruiting me or whatever until the rule comes out," Mayo said. "They said if the rule doesn't pass, then I probably won't get that many offers."

The NBA has been contemplating an age-limit rule that wouldn't allow anyone to enter the NBA draft until they reach the age of 20. While talks have occurred on the rule change, a final decision hasn't been reached.

"It's a good rule, just don't do it for one sport. Do it for all of them," Mayo explained. "Do it for gymnastics, golf, and hockey. Do it for all not just one.

While there aren't many schools showing a ton of interest in the No. 1 player in the Class of 2007, he does have a short list of schools that he likes. Mayo mentioned Cincinnati, Connecticut, Indiana, and Louisville specifically when asked about his favorites.

Mayo also made a special reference to Rick Pitino's Cardinals, stating he "liked them a lot."

"I just like the city of Louisville," he said. "The fan base shows a lot of support. I 'm all about going to a winning program that shows a lot of support. I don't want to go to a program where I'm the man. I want to go to a program where maybe I'm the missing piece and I'm going to put them over the top."

Will Mayo ever be the missing piece at Louisville or some other college?

No one really knows for sure. We can all speculate, but if the age-limit goes into affect he'll have no choice but to go to college for at least one year.

Cardinal Authority Top Stories