If you watched the Gators this past weekend, it was obvious the coaching staff was having a hard time getting the chemistry right. After all, a great player like Curry is coming off the bench for most games and the minutes by the rest of the team are limited due to the depth. In other words, it is hard to get a groove on if you play for the Gators.
May's game for instance. On Friday night against Beach ball, with Cedric Simmons
in foul trouble for the biggest part of the game, he wowed the crowd at the
|Mays has "G"|
Mays blocked shots, gave out assists, made some free throws and just gave Beach Ball match-up problems all night with his versatility. Mays just played the game faster than anyone on the court on Friday night.
On Saturday against the Tennessee Travelers, I saw a different version of Mays. Offensively, the ghosts of Reynolds were not pleased. He was 0 for 3 from short range and he missed his only jump shot. He finished with 1 point for the game.
Defensively, he still had game. He blocked two more shots had a steal and snatched 7 rebounds.
The difference? To me it was all about playing time. Mays had about 21-22 minutes against Beach Ball while I would be surprised if he logged in more than 12 minutes against the Travelers. All the talent on the Gators has to make it hard for any player to stay in a groove.
Look no further than JamesOn Curry for further proof of problems in Gator land. I watched him twice this weekend. No way was he the player he was last year… but then again, he was coming in as a reserve. Has he gotten worse or is he being denied a chance to gain his groove? I think the answer for sporadic play by both Curry and Mays is the lack of chemistry created by the plethora of talent the Gators have.
Depth can take away playing time and that's probably the best way to limit both Curry and Mays. One thing that cannot be refuted is that Curry is "big time" in every way according to most recruiting analysts. At 6'3", he can do it all as a combo guard.
|Mays shows no groove|
can be said for Mays. The only way you can remove his athletic ability is to
keep him off the court. Even in doing so, he still managed to snatch 7 rebounds
in 12 minutes of play against
evaluating Mays, it's probably best to look at his overall game which includes
his play for
The fact that most people see him as a future power forward makes him all the more intriguing as a prospect. Here's a 6'8" player who brings the ball up court and has the ability pass like small wing player. While his outside shot could (and probably should based on his TOC performance) be questioned, you have to wonder if it's not there in some way or soon to be developed. He is just too good of an athlete to not have some stroke in his game. If we didn't see it this past weekend, perhaps he had it last season at Garner. I certainly would like the have the time to chart him for an extended period of play in a normal setting.
A quick look at the NC All-State team gives us no help in evaluating James Mays. He was not selected by AP for the first or second team. Neither was Cedric Simmons, who some consider the top prospect in the class of 2004. Gator teammates JamesOn Curry and Jamal Shuler did make the team however. Seems the AP writers could once again be suspect in their selections.
|Mays in post game interview|
of the Gators or AP woes, Mays has the attention of NC State, Virginia,
The jury may yet be out on Mays, because his upside has yet to be seen. At 6'8" 200 pounds, he is a tweener. He is plenty big to play the 3 but is a little light to be considered a full time 4. He can compensate for the lack of size with his athletic ability. He is a bouncer and he has the knack for getting inside and snatching rebounds before other big men have made their jump. If he can develop any kind of jump shot, say out to about 15 foot, you could be looking at a lanky "Thurl Bailey" type of athlete.
Dave Telep on Mays: