Marquette guard Mayo leaves program to go pro

Including a 26-point outburst against Providence, Todd Mayo averaged 14.1 points over Marquette's final 13 games of the 2013-14 season.

Benny Sieu/Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Todd Mayo has left the Marquette program to pursue a professional career, the school announced Wednesday afternoon.

Thus ends the eventful career of Mayo with the Golden Eagles, one which included multiple suspensions and unrealized potential on the court. The loss of Mayo is a big blow to Marquette and first-year coach Steve Wojciechowski, as the 23-year-old was the Golden Eagles’ returning leading scorer at 11.3 points per game.

Despite a previous suspension due to academics, Marquette says Mayo left the university in good academic standing.

"We wish Todd nothing but the best and appreciate his contributions to the program, not only since I arrived at Marquette, but during his entire career," Wojciechowski said. "I completely understand his desire to continue his career at the professional level and support his decision."

The brother of Bucks guard O.J. Mayo sent this tweet on Tuesday, giving no indication his departure from the program was imminent:

Mayo averaged 7.9 points per game while shooting 41.9 percent from the field as a freshman during the 2011-12 season as a key contributor off the bench.

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.

During the summer between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Mayo was suspended and sent home by former head coach Buzz Williams for an undisclosed reason. At media day the following October, Mayo revealed the cause of his suspension was to better grow his relationship with Williams.

The assistant coaches who had played a big role in his recruitment — Aki Collins, Tony Benford and Scott Monarch — had left the program, something Mayo said left him "messed up in the head."

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Mayo was then ruled academically ineligible on Nov. 5, 2012, getting his sophomore season off to a rocky start. He missed the first 10 games of the season before being ruled eligible to play in late December.

In and out of the rotation during the 2012-13 season in which Marquette advanced to the Elite Eight, Mayo averaged just 5.3 points per game and watched his shooting percentage drop to 35.6 percent.

Mayo again was a streaky scorer last season as a junior, but he became one of Marquette’s biggest offensive weapons late in the season. Including a 26-point outburst against Providence, Mayo averaged 14.1 points over Marquette’s final 13 games of the 2013-14 season.

He played in all but two games last season, missing the Arizona State game with a sprained ankle and was suspended for the game against Wisconsin due to a violation of team rules.

With Mayo leaving the program, Marquette is down to nine eligible players on its roster to start the season. Sophomore center Luke Fischer will increase that number to 10 when he becomes eligible in December.

The door could now be open for sophomore Jajuan Johnson to start at shooting guard alongside graduate transfer point guard Matt Carlino. Senior Derrick Wilson, redshirt freshman Duane Wilson, sophomore John Dawson and even 6-foot-6 freshman Sandy Cohen III will also battle for minutes in the backcourt.

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