Mays, a 2016 prospect, has a great level of familiarity with LSU and its head coach, Johnny Jones, whose son laces it up with Mays on the prep level.
Below, during an interview I conducted with the newest LSU commit on the "Tiger Zone" Monday night on 98.1 FM (WDGL), Mays opened up on a number of topics, including why he gave his pledge so early, what part LSU's family atmosphere played in his decision, playing pass-first at the one and competing with other point guards on the Tiger roster.
Catch it all below in this Q&A.
Ben Love: You made your commitment to LSU during the Auburn game on Saturday. You weren't at the game but were watching it and decided to commit on Twitter. What was it that got you to do it then? And why so early in the process?
Skylar Mays: I'm definitely comfortable with the program. I feel that it's been on the rise as long as Coach Jones has been there. I'm really comfortable with the campus since I go to school on the campus. I actually play with Coach Jones' son, so I'm real familiar with how Coach Jones is as a person. He's a great recruiter and an exceptional coach. I just feel like it would be a good thing for me to be a part of the program.
BL: You mention your relationship with coach and the fact that you play with his son. Knowing the entire family the way you do, how important was that for you to feel tied into a family atmosphere when you get to your collegiate stop?
SM: It's definitely a big part of it. I actually come from a big family, with eight kids, so being a part of a family is important to me. But being so close with Coach Jones (and his family) was a big part of me making my decision so early.
BL: When you look at your game and the way it's developing on the prep level, what you do want to work on most to become a better player?
SM: I definitely need to work on my mid-range game and shoot better at the free throw line, but I feel like I need the most work on the defensive end. When I watch film I feel like I'm being lackadaisical on defense at a point. That's just about it.
BL: Couple of good answers there. Of all the qualities you do possess on the court, which assets do you think translate the best to the SEC?
SM: Well, I definitely consider myself a pass-first point guard, a true point guard. I love to get my teammates involved. I could care less about scoring. As long as my teammates are happy, I'm happy.
BL: You've played with a number of talented guys not only on the prep level but also now in the EYBL, where you play with the Red Storm here in Baton Rouge. Obviously the talent level is beginning to pick up for that program, getting a lot of the top players around the state on the same team in the summer. What's that been like – to get to know a lot of these guys better, to play with them and to form a team in Louisiana that can regularly compete on a national level?
SM: I've been playing with and against these guys since I was nine years old. I just watched myself and these guys develop, and I'm really excited for the summer because we've got a lot of talent at all positions. We're just looking like a real good team coming up, and we're hoping to make a big run going into the EYBL Peach Jam. That's the main goal, and I think we've got a good shot at it.
BL: We've got you listed at 6-1, 180 pounds. Is that correct?
SM: No, it isn't. I'm actually closer to 6-3, but most people list me at 6-2.
BL: When you look at the current roster, there are a couple of point guards on the team. There's Anthony Hickey, who will be gone by the time you get there, and Tim Quarterman. They've also recruited a couple of other guys at the position, namely (2014 signee) Jalyn Patterson. What do you think of the competition that's going to be there? And are you looking forward to getting out there and competing once your day comes to represent the purple and gold?
SM: Definitely. That's a big part of basketball, just competing with those guys. It's only going to make me a better player. I just want to go in and make an impact initially if I can, but I'm willing to wait my turn.
BL: One last question – Obviously LSU was your first offer and you pulled the trigger there. Do you feel pretty firm in that commitment? And do you feel confident that you've closed down the process at this point?
SM: I do feel pretty firm about my commitment. I'm really comfortable with Coach Jones, and I think we're heading in the right direction.