Thursday, April 10, 2008

Special Order for '08: No Mayo

It would have been more shocking to hear an announcement that O.J Mayo would return for his sophmore year at USC, but as expected, the talented freshman is packing his bags and moving on to the league. This just adds further proof that we shouldn't bank on the words of a kid proclaiming his love for a program and school, as Mayo did, while earlier claiming he would return. On the spot interviews about a player's future are never reliable, because the possibilities and potential dollar amounts have yet to be evaluated.

I'm not saying Mayo was a liar. I'm saying he may have that love for Southern Cal, and honestly wanted or expected to return. But where basketball is a game for many of us, it's a business for someone possessing O.J's talent. The Trojans will now go from Big star O.J Mayo in 2007 to Lil Romeo in 2008. I'm not sure if I should be afraid of USC falling back to years of futility or be excited about the chances to build on success. It's hard when players jump so quickly, so you never know what to expect.

We can look at this a couple of ways. USC just lost one of the greatest talents to wear their basketball uniform, and wonder how they'll replace that 20 points per game, the assists, steals, etc. Or we can think back 2 years, and consider that the Trojans made a deeper run in the tournament before O.J. arrived. But of course, a key member from that run, Nick Young, also jumped. But still, I feel confident that Tim Floyd will allow the Men of Troy to remain competitive. But if anyone is expecting a Pac 10 championship or final four run next season, I would say that's a desperate reach.

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