Marquette has announced Todd Mayo is academically ineligible and won’t practice or play for an indefinite time period. Andrew Gruman, a Marquette beat writer for FoxSportsWisconsin, was the first to tweet the news.
The Golden Eagles already had to find a way to replace Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, who are no longer with the program. According to ESPN‘s Eamonn Brennan, Crowder and DJO’s importance to Marquette might have even been underrated last year:
“According to Synergy scouting data, DJO and Crowder combined for 1,136 possessions in 2011-12, scoring 1,206 points. (In fact, both players scored exactly 603 points. How’s that for balance?) Marquette’s third-most-used player, guard Vander Blue, accounted for 363 possessions, while Junior Cadougan and Todd Mayo notched 304 and 303, respectively.”
Notice the third name there: Mayo.
Buzz Williams was definitely counting on Mayo, who had an impressive freshman season while playing in the shadows of Crowder and Johnson-Odom. The younger brother of O.J. Mayo averaged 7.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game.
But while this news comes as a blow to Marquette, the Golden Eagles do have the pieces to remain competitive should Mayo remain ineligible for an extended period of time. Blue was widely expected to be the breakout player on this year’s roster, and Davante Gardner, Jamil Wilson, Chris Otule and Cadougan are all back as well. Add in Arizona State transfer Trent Lockett and freshman Steve Taylor, and Marquette definitely is not doomed.
But given the nature of Mayo’s “indefinite” status, don’t expect him to be eligible anytime soon.
Marquette is set to open its season against Ohio State in a game it would have entered as an underdog with or without Mayo. But more winnable non-conference games against Butler, Florida and Wisconsin will certainly be more difficult without the sophomore.