USC's Mayo Selected Third In The 2008 NBA Draft
June 26, 2008
USC guard O.J. Mayo was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the third pick overall at the 2008 NBA Draft held today (June 26) at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y.
Mayo becomes the eighth USC player taken in the first round of the NBA draft and the highest-drafted Trojan ever, surpassing NBA great Paul Westphal who was taken with the 10th selection of the 1972 NBA Draft: 1968 - Bill Hewitt - 11th (Los Angeles Lakers), 1972 - Paul Westphal - 10th (Boston), 1975 - John Lambert - 15th (Cleveland), 1979 - Cliff Robinson - 11th (New Jersey), 1992 - Harold Miner - 12th (Miami), 1997 - Rhodrick Rhodes - 24th (Houston) and 2007 - Nick Young - 16th (Washington). It marks the first time in school history that a Trojan has been selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in consecutive seasons. USC is also one of four schools (the others: Kansas, Florida, Texas) to have at least one player selected in the top 16 of each of the last two NBA drafts.
'O.J. did a great job for us,' said USC head basketball coach Tim Floyd. 'We haven't had a player work as hard as him to get to this point. We are very happy for him and believe he will have an exceptional career in the NBA.'
Mayo led USC in scoring (20.7), steals (51), three-pointers (88) and assists (109), was second in free throw percentage (.803) and third in rebounds (150). He established the USC freshman single-season record for points (684) and three-point baskets. Mayo's point total was the second most ever in a season by a Trojan and the three-point basket total ranks third all-time at USC. His scoring average of 20.7 is the best ever by a USC freshman and trails only Shareef Abdur-Rahim of California who set the Pac-10 Conference freshman record with an average of 21.1 points per game in 1995-96.
The native of Huntington, W.Va. was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team, Pac-10 All-Freshman Team, NABC District 15 Team and was honorable mention to the All-Pac-10 Defensive team, as well as receiving Wooden Award and Naismith Award consideration. Mayo also was named a Rivals.com and CollegeHoops.net Third Team All-American and a CollegeHoops.net First Team All-Freshman selection.
In his one season at USC, Mayo helped lead USC to a tie for third place in the Pac-10 and into the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season, where the Trojans fell to Kansas State in the first round.