Mayes ready to lead

Jordin Mayes

Arizona is only carrying one senior on the team this season. Read on to find out what Jordin Mayes thinks of his leadership role, what his goals are, and more.

Heading into the 2013-14 season, there is only one senior on the Arizona Wildcats' roster: Jordin Mayes.

This was Mayes' first full summer in nearly two years as he had surgery on his foot last summer. He believes this year was productive for the entire team.

"It has been a good offseason for me," Mayes said. "The whole team was able to get out here and go hard. We were practicing, weight training, bonding. Everyone out here wants the same thing and we are all competing for it."

The end of last season was hard on a lot of players, but it was also motivating. Mayes is taking the experience and using it to help his team work harder.

"We all want to get to the tournament and we all want to advance when we get there," Mayes said. "We lost on the last shot of the last game and that's rough for us. We just want to go and take it game by game and get back there so we can advance."

The senior later reiterated the team's goal on focusing on a single game at a time.

"Our main goal is to take it game by game," he said. "We want to win, but if we just put our focus on one game at a time and play our hardest each time out, then we should be where we want to be."

As the oldest player on the team, Mayes is being looked at as a leader and mentor. The guard knew it would be coming and has been working on his speaking ability over the last few years.

"I have a lot of experience under my belt," he said. "Coach wanted me to be a leader since I'm the oldest. I just try to talk to the young guys and I'll try to get them through the season. It's much longer than it was for them in high school.

"I'm just trying to be a leader and be more vocal on and off the court. Year by year, I have become more vocal and open to anyone around me. It is a lot easier for me now that I am the oldest and most experienced one here."

As far as the season goes, Mayes just wants to be consistent. His performance fell off midway through the year last season and he does not want a repeat performance.

"I had a bit of a slump in the middle of the season last year," Mayes said. "I was able to pick it up once we got to the tournament, but I want to work on that. I need to be here the whole season, not just parts here and there."

This will be Mayes' fourth year in the program and he has gotten to see how certain workouts have translated to games. He believes that Arizona doesn't have a shooting weakness as many others believe.

"We have some pretty good shooters on the team," he said. "Some of them, you wouldn't expect it. Like Brandon (Ashley), he has gotten much better at shooting and is more confident in his shot.

"Nick Johnson and Gabe York have gotten their three-point shots down. Elliott Pitts is a great shooter as well. It just takes confidence in your game and your shot."

The point guard also got to see what the incoming freshmen were like over the summer and came away impressed with their work ethic.

"All the new guys have been great in the workouts," Mayes said. "Aaron Gordon is a great player and person. He works extremely hard all the time. Rondae Jefferson works extremely hard, as well, in the weight room and in all of our drills.

"Elliott Pitts is a great shooter and he is putting in all his effort as well. Everyone is just working hard."

The freshmen weren't the only new additions to the team over the summer. Arizona also hired Damon Stoudamire, who is a close family friend with Mayes and his father.

"It is great to have Coach Stoudamire here," Mayes said. "He plays my same position and he was in the league for a long period of time. He also knows what point guards are supposed to do and what everyone else is supposed to do.

"That is perfect for our team because he can tell all of us how to do our jobs, not just one position."

Mayes doesn't quite know what the future will hold for him when the season ends and he graduates. However, that isn't what's on his mind at the moment.

"As far as right now, I am just worried about right now," he said. "I will worry about my career later on. I set goals for myself this year and I am just trying to get my goals accomplished first and I'll worry about the other stuff later."

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