MILWAUKEE — Sophomore guard Todd Mayo is officially academically eligible and is set to return to the Marquette University men’s basketball team.
A university source confirmed to FOXSportsWisconsin.com that Mayo has met eligibility requirements and could be in uniform when Marquette hosts LSU on Saturday. Head coach Buzz Williams met with Mayo and his family Thursday to discuss his reinstatement.
Ruled academically ineligible on Nov. 5, Mayo was away from the team until last weekend when he returned to practice with the Golden Eagles.
Mayo’s return will be a welcomed sight for a Marquette team which has had its struggles on the offensive end, including scoring just 47 points in a two-point loss to UW-Green Bay on Wednesday. The brother of Dallas Mavericks’guard O.J. Mayo, the 6-foot-3 guard will also give the Golden Eagles an outside shooting threat which they have badly lacked.
A key contributor off the bench, Mayo averaged 7.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per game as a freshman, shooting 41.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Expected to play a bigger role as a sophomore to help negate the loss of Big East Player of the Year Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom to the NBA, Mayo’s sophomore season was set off course before it even began.
On June 28, Mayo was suspended and sent home by Williams for an undisclosed reason. At media day in October, Mayo reveled the cause of his suspension was to better grow his relationship with Williams.
“The season let out, and I was a little bit behind on some stuff,” Mayo said at media day. “They just told me, you know, they sent me home to come back more focused, more prepared. And with all the coaches leaving, that was a big part of it because half of them were guys that recruited me — (Scott) Monarch, (Tony) Benford, Aki (Collins) — and I never really had a relationship with Buzz.”
Mayo was closest to Collins, who left to become an assistant coach under Josh Pastner at Memphis. Collins’ departure left the young guard searching for answers.
“I came here because of Aki,” Mayo said at media day. “I really didn’t have a relationship with Buzz and when those guys left, mentally, I was messed up in the head.
“I didn’t know who to look for, who to trust. And then on the other side of that, he wanted me to go to Memphis, go to this college, this and that, but at the same time, I just had to build a relationship with Buzz and let him know how I was thinking and how he felt about me and that’s what we built.
“I definitely wanted to stay here, but as a freshman, you look for someone to guide you like Aki was. Sometimes, when I was in a bad streak of games, you needed someone to talk to. I didn’t know Buzz could be that guy, and it took all summer to build that relationship.”
Through it all, his teammates have noticed Mayo mature.
“It’s good to see him around, it’s good to have him back,”forward Jamil Wilson said on Tuesday. “What he brings to the team, he’s excited. He’s just waiting until it all plays out. It’s good to have him around.”