DraftExpress will be posting detailed player breakdowns on all of the top performers in the Roundball Classic later this evening.
O.J. Mayo Interview
DraftExpress: Tell me what was different between the Roundball and the McDonalds game.
Mayo: The McDonalds I dont know about it. It was kind of different, as far as trying to get a rhythm. There, you were only able to play four minutes at a time, as opposed to here where you got to go six. I think I got into a better rhythm. Guys played harder tonight. Even though it was a lopsided score, I think we played harder tonight, as far as getting after it in the second half.
DraftExpress: Now you started off the game a bit passive tonight, but then scored 10 straight points and 13 points in a three minute span of the fourth quarter. What changed in your mentality from the start of the game to the fourth quarter?
Mayo: (laughs) I didnt want to get blown out. I didnt want to get blown out. They had a lead on us, and I was just trying to help the team out by cutting down on the lead.
DraftExpress: You were quite visibly upset after the McDonalds game. Can you tell me a little bit about what was going through your head at that time?
Mayo: I had an opportunity to win the damn game and I missed the shot. Everybody dreams of that opportunity, and I work on that shot day in and day out. Its the easiest shot of the game, the top of the key. I missed it. I didnt play well. Some of the shots that I took, I feel like I can make and they just didnt fall down. I had the opportunity to sum it all up at the end of the game and I came short. I was just pissed.
DraftExpress: You looked like an NBA All-Star amongst high school kids in the McDonalds practices, then came out and struggled once the game started. What happened?
Mayo: I dont think anybody who plays basketball plays a great game every time they step on the damn court. Obviously it was just the wrong stage to have a bad game. You know what I mean? At the same time, I think its going to make me stronger at the end of the day because its just going to make me work harder so it doesnt happen again.
DraftExpress: Now Im sure you noticed this, just as everyone else did. While everyone was playing somewhat relaxed defense against the other players in the game, it seemed as if whomever was guarding you stepped it up and was trying to lock down, as if it were the state championship. Did you notice that?
Mayo: (laughs) Theyre competitors, you know what Im saying? Theres a lot of guys who feel like Im the top guards and theyre top guards, and maybe they wanted to prove that they were better and that they could play with me. At the same time, I wanted to prove the same thing. When you have two players like that, its nice. Thats how it goes sometimes.
DraftExpress: As of even three days ago when I spoke with you, you were undecided as to if you were going to the Jordan or Roundball game. What made you decide to play in the Roundball game?
Mayo: Well, my mother was able to get off work and Im just trying to work around her schedule. Im going three thousand miles away for school, so at least I wanted to make sure that she could see my all-star games. She didnt get in until last night. She left right from work, got on the plane, and came in last night for an opportunity to watch the game. I just wanted to make sure that my family got the opportunity to check me out in the all-star game.
DraftExpress: Give me a self evaluation of your performance tonight.
Mayo: I did alright. It wasnt enough to win. I did alright. I dont really want to pinpoint my individual stats or anything, since we lost the game.