Credit: EKU Athletics

Nick Mayo Draft Profile

Breaking down the NBA potential of Nick Mayo

Senior 6’9″ 250 Power Forward Eastern KY FT: 86.4%
23.7 ppg 8.7 rpg 2.3 apg FG: 46.2% 3 PT: 33.1%

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Recruiting Profile

NBA Comparison: Ryan Anderson/Jon Leuer

Strengths: Outside Shooting, Natural Scorer, Rebounding, Versatility

Weaknesses: Competition Level, Quickness/Speed, Lack of Team Success

Mayo started every game since stepping on campus, becoming the leading scorer in the history of Eastern Kentucky by a large margin. His improvement has been evident, with not only his overall statistics increasing on a yearly basis but his overall skill set continuing to evolve. As a freshman he averaged 14.5 points per game, 18.5 as a sophomore, 18 as a junior, and 23.7 as a senior. Mainly known as a down low threat early in his career, his numbers continued to climb as his game moved out to the three point line. While he did go down from 44.6% to 33.1% on three point attempts from his junior to senior season, he attempted twice as many shots from behind the arc so there is some decline to be expected. Mayo is very versatile being able to both score down low with his back to the basket, or face up in the mid range making a move towards the basket but also having a solid pull up jumper. The ability to be dominant in pick and pop situations is an area that he will be able to step in and compete from day one as a professional. It was not just his scoring numbers that increased but his rebounding numbers went up every season, culminating with 8.7 as a senior. Being able to provide solid rebounding with his offensive skills could help him find a role in a stretch four type of position, which is a commodity in the modern game. One underrated aspect of his game was his ability to block shots on the college level, averaging 1.8 blocks per game as a senior. He most likely will not be a high level shot blocker at the professional level, but it is encouraging to teams that his skills on the defensive side of the ball can help him earn minutes as being more than just an offensive threat. One thing to note is that while he is not the quickest or the fastest player on the court, he is a better jumper than most give him credit for, and he does have the ability to finish at the rim. Mayo’s footwork when facing up or with his back to the basket is impressive, where he has shown off moves like a crafty spin that allows him to either get to the basket or shoot a short pull up. 

While there are multiple NBA prospects in the OVC Conference entering the draft this season, there will always be questions regarding those players ability to compete once the talent level drastically increases. Although it is a small sample size Mayo did play some high major opponents where he put up some solid numbers dropping 23 points and 9 rebounds against Tennessee, as well as 19 points and 10 rebounds against Ole Miss. He also put up 15 points and 10 rebounds against Oregon State, but he struggled against Kansas State finishing with 11 points and 5 rebounds while going 3 for 9 from the field. All in all he played fairly well against bigger schools, helping his case that he can compete against top level talent. Athleticism as a whole will be the biggest question mark heading into the draft for Mayo, with speed and quickness being the main issue. He will need to work on his foot speed, and how well he can handle the speed of the professional game will be key going forward. With many of the top seniors competing at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament after the season ended, Mayo played well showing off his versatility and by most accounts helped his draft stock. With big men that can stretch the floor becoming more and more valuable every season in the NBA, Mayo has a chance to stick in the league, however there will definitely be an adjustment with the better competition. The lack of team success in his four years at Eastern Kentucky will be a concern to scouts, although it can not all be placed on his shoulders, but his team going under .500 in his senior season is not what you see with most potential draft picks playing in a mid major conference. For a big man Mayo is a solid passer, and in a professional system that values spacing and ball movement he could thrive making a move dishing the ball to an open teammate with more talent around him on the floor.

Here is an example of his ability to spot up and knock down a three pointer:

This play shows some of his crafty inside scoring:

Mayo is projected to go undrafted by most draft analysts, but with his production at the college level it is possible a team will take him in the late second round. His ceiling as a professional is a solid back up forward, stretching the floor with his ability to shoot the ball and providing average rebounding for the position. The worst case scenario for Mayo is that he is unable to score in the same way he did in college with the increased talent level, leading him to not stick in the league, ultimately playing in the G League or overseas. 

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