UA basketball: Mayes trying to stay positive as role shrinks

2013-12-27T00:00:00Z UA basketball: Mayes trying to stay positive as role shrinksBy Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Jordin Mayes says it’s not hard to stay positive, but the numbers suggest otherwise.

The Arizona senior guard played in all 13 games of the Wildcats’ nonconference season, but averaged only 5.8 minutes per game. Having slipped behind sophomore Gabe York in the Wildcats’ rotation, Mayes is playing roughly half as much as he did last season.

Mayes actually averaged 13.8 minutes a game during nonconference play last season, and finished averaging 11.8 minutes. He played an average 17.7 minutes as a part-time starter in 2011-12 and 14.3 minutes as a freshman in 2010-11.

Mayes was given two of his bigger opportunities of the season at the end of nonconference play, logging nine minutes each against Southern and Northern Arizona. He helped UA on the defensive end in those two games, while also hitting 1 of 4 field goals and going 3 of 4 from the line.

“With me, it’s just coming in and being positive and trying to help my team out the best way possible on the defensive end and offensively,” Mayes said after UA’s 77-44 win over NAU on Monday, later adding, “It’s just having a belief in yourself, and knowing that once you get that time, to be productive and help the team out any way that’s possible.”

Coach Sean Miller has said Mayes doesn’t get enough credit for his defensive ability. The senior says he enjoys playing on that end of the floor.

“It feels good to stay in front of somebody, stop them, and help your teammates out when other players drive,” Mayes said.

But while Miller had a chance to play Mayes, York, forward Matt Korcheck and guard Elliott Pitts during the Southern and NAU games — Miller said he did not play freshman Zach Peters because of “where he’s at” in practice — UA still pretty much has a seven-man rotation, with York and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson coming off the bench.

Mayes makes it an eight-man rotation. Barely.

“Jordin did a good job the last couple of games,” Miller said. “That doesn’t surprise me. He’s the most experienced. But no, I don’t feel good (about the bench).

“Gabe York is the one guy who’s really solidified himself. He played great basketball (against NAU). I feel really good about Gabe moving forward, but we’re not nine or 10 deep. (If) guys come in the game and get scored on, they’re not going to play.”

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Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Utah 6 1 0 0.857 16 3 0 0.842
Arizona 6 1 0 0.857 18 2 0 0.900
Stanford 5 2 0 0.714 14 5 0 0.737
Oregon State 5 2 0 0.714 13 5 0 0.722
Oregon 4 3 0 0.571 14 6 0 0.700
UCLA 3 4 0 0.429 11 9 0 0.550
Colorado 3 4 0 0.429 10 8 0 0.556
Washington 3 4 0 0.429 14 5 0 0.737
Washington State 3 4 0 0.429 9 10 0 0.474
Arizona State 2 5 0 0.286 11 10 0 0.524
California 1 6 0 0.143 11 9 0 0.550
USC 1 6 0 0.143 9 10 0 0.474

AP Top 25

Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Washington at
1/25 56-77
Oregon State at
Arizona State
1/28 6:00 pm
Oregon at
1/28 8:00 pm
Stanford at
1/28 9:00 pm
Colorado at
1/29 7:30 pm
Utah at
1/29 8:00 pm
California at
Washington State
1/29 9:00 pm
Oregon at
Arizona State
1/30 6:00 pm
Oregon State at
1/30 8:00 pm
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