The Arizona Wildcats have only one senior on their roster this season, but Jordin Mayes has experience that goes beyond his three-plus years in the program.
“Think about this: He played on an Elite Eight” in 2011, UA coach Sean Miller said of Mayes last month. “That seems like 10 years ago. He has the respect of our team quite a bit because he’s been through so much.”
While Mayes has a quiet personality, that experience alone may help a leadership group that is expected to be headed by guards T.J. McConnell and Nick Johnson.
“I’ve got a lot of experience under my belt,” Mayes said. “Coaches want me to become a leader since I’m the oldest. So I just talk to the young guys, try to get them through the season. It’s a long season with ups and downs, so it’s just me being vocal and trying to help them the best I can.”
Mayes has a lot of experience with those ups and downs. He shot 45.3 percent from three-point range during Pac-10 play as a freshman in 2010-11 and caught fire during the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments that spring, making 10 three-pointers in a row.
But Mayes underwent surgery for a stress fracture in his foot in the summer of 2011 and he shot just 29 percent from beyond the arc as a sophomore. He continued to struggle as a junior, making just 5 of 23 threes in Pac-12 play but came back to life in the postseason last spring, with eight points against Colorado in the Pac-12 tournament and another eight against Harvard in the NCAA tournament.
He is aiming for a straighter trajectory in his final go-round this season.
“I kinda had my slumps during the season and picked it up in the tournament,” Mayes said. “I’m trying to be here through the whole season and not just different parts of the season.”
Arizona has less than 1,000 season tickets remaining, with seats available in most sections, according to James Francis, UA’s senior associate AD for external relations.
At Saturday’s Red-Blue Game, Arizona will place tags on seats that are available for sale and will have sales staffers available.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, Arizona will also put on sale all remaining individual tickets for nonconference home games, plus its four-game “Holiday Packs” and mini-season-ticket plans.
The four-game Holiday Pack includes games against Southern, NAU, Washington State and Washington. The package starts at $64.
The “mini-plan” is for nine games, four of which are Pac-12 contests that may sell out, against Washington, Colorado, Oregon and California. The plan is balanced with the Oct. 28 Augustana exhibition, plus games with Fairleigh Dickinson, Texas Tech, UNLV and Southern.
Phoenix forward trims list to UA, Stanford
Michael Humphrey, a four-star 2014 power forward from Phoenix Sunnyslope, is likely to make a decision after visiting Arizona on Oct. 19, Sunnyslope coach Ray Portella said.
Humphrey cut his list to just Arizona and Stanford last week, while balancing his time between school, recruiting and quarterbacking Sunnyslope’s 6-0 football team.
“I think he’s going to wait until that (UA visit) and then decide after that,” Portella said. “He could make a decision but he’s trying to concentrate on football and being a good teammate.”
Chicagoans out of mix
Arizona’s longshot pursuit of two highly regarded Chicago big men from the class of 2014 has fallen short.
Jahlil Okafor told Scout over the weekend that he’s down to Baylor, Duke, Kentucky and Kansas.
And Cliff Alexander posted a Top 5 on Twitter that did not include the Wildcats: Illinois, DePaul, Michigan State, Kansas and Memphis.
Alexander visited UA officially the weekend of Sept. 13. He went to Kansas last weekend and posted his finalists on Monday.
• The Wildcats finished another two-day break Tuesday and are scheduled to practice through Friday before Saturday’s Red-Blue scrimmage.
• Five-star 2014 guard Rashad Vaughn of Nevada’s Findlay Prep told Scout he is considering a visit to UA, having already set up three of his five official visits elsewhere.
• Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said during the Huskies’ media day on Tuesday that the Wildcats are the Pac-12 favorite because “they have about 75 pros on their team,” according to the Twitter page of the Seattle Times’ Percy Allen.