Of course, any production needs a leading man, and this week's ABCD has O.J. Mayo on the marquee. The top-rated prospect in his class, Mayo (#104 6-5 195) has held that spot for several years. Of course, players in that position always have others wanting to mount a challenge to that crown -- someone wanting to prove themselves and make a reputation by knocking the king off the top spot. On Wednesday night, however, Mayo showed why he is the undisputed king of his class and ready to take on all comers.
For those fans who have not had the opportunity to watch Mayo in action, he usually a very controlled and unemotional player on the court. Mayo tends to do his thing without the slightest hint of bravado that tends to accompany so many of his contemporaries. Whether he's making a spectacular pass for an assist, sinking a long-range jumper, creating a steal for two points or driving the lane for a thunderous dunk, you will typically see Mayo react by getting down in his defensive stanc, not preening for onlookers
Until Wednesday night.
Lance Stephenson (#73 6-4 195) from Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn, New York and his rabid followers in the large opening night crowd got under Mayo's skin with their cheers and taunts. During a short stretch of the contest Stephenson made a few good plays that had his fans almost raising the roof at the Rothman Center. However, as the old saying goes, "be careful what you wish for" because over the next few minutes Mayo came roaring back to dazzle everyone in the gym with his shooting and passing. Mayo finished the demonstration by coming to a complete stop and demanding Stephenson to come out and guard him. As Stephenson assumed his defensive position with a hand in Mayo's face, Mayo launched a 30-foot jumper that hit nothing but net. Needless to say everyone was on their feet and the place went wild.