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O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker: Interview (Part III)
by: Rodger Bohn - Director of Prep Scouting
August 11, 2005
O.J. Mayo Interview

DraftExpress: There have been a lot of conflicting reports as to what your actual list of prospective schools is. Can you set the record straight and tell me what schools you are considering?

Mayo: As far as right now, we’re totally open to whoever. I would like to be recruited by everyone and make a good choice for me and my family. Right now I’m open. We’ll put out an official list probably going into my senior year.

DraftExpress: Now a lot of people have reported that you guys are considering schools such as Cincinnati and West Virginia because of their low distance away from home. Is distance away from home a key factor with you guys?

Mayo: I’ve been away from home for three years now as far as West Virginia. I can adapt to any type of environment. You have to make sure of the right fan base, the right coach…everything is good.

DraftExpress: It’s been known that Keenan Ellis, Bill Walker, and you are a package deal…but I recently heard that Kevin Love will be attending school with you guys as well. Can you tell me a little bit about how that all came about?

Mayo: Well Kevin Love asked what schools we were going to and we told him we didn’t know. He asked if it would be ok if he went to school with us and we said “Sure, you can come to school. You can go to whatever school you want to”. He thinks that he wants to come in and be the powerhouse wherever we go.

DraftExpress: Tell me a little bit about why you’d like to play with Kevin Love.

Mayo: He’s a skilled player. He’s real good and it’d be great to play on his team.

DraftExpress: Let’s talk a little bit about this summer. Who do you think your toughest matchup has been thus far?

Mayo: I don’t know if I’ve really had any tough matchups. I played against a lot of good kids. The toughest thing is just trying to win. We have a really good team with a lot of great individual players. The toughest thing is just keeping everyone together.

DraftExpress: A lot of people thought your toughest matchup was against Paul Harris at ABCD. Do you want to tell me a little about that?

Mayo: It was a real intense game. We won the game, that’s all that matters. It was a long day. I was in the gym all the way from 7:30 AM up until that game. I did a lot of interviews. There are a lot of things people don’t know. It really doesn’t matter. We won the game, that’s all that matters.

DraftExpress: A lot of fans think you guys are just naturally gifted kids and they really don’t understand the freakish work ethic you guys have. Can you tell me a little about what kind of drills you guys go through?

Mayo: Just repetition in the gym as far as working on our weaknesses, lifting weights, trying to better our game in any way we can to make it easier for us.

DraftExpress: Well can you give me an example of what your daily routine is like?

Mayo: It’s a secret... (Laughs). It’s a secret.

DraftExpress: (laughs) Well can you at least tell me a little about how much time you guys spend in the gym each day.

Mayo: Usually I go to the gym and we’ll have a workout and practice. It can be 6 hours, 8 hours, however long it takes to get done.

DraftExpress: From my prospective, you seem to play much better with the ball in your hands. Do you have a preference as to playing with the ball in your hands at point or playing the two?

Mayo: I like playing with the ball, but whatever betters our team or makes it easier for our team…as long as we win, it really doesn’t matter.

DraftExpress: With the NBA’s age minimum of being at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school, there’s a big debate as to whether players will look to go to college for a year or opt to go to prep school instead before making the jump to the NBA. What are some of the pros and cons of each in your opinion?

Mayo: Going to college…if you’re an elite player and have the ability to go out of high school…why waste a year of going to college. You’re wasting the school’s scholarship money and everything else when they can go get a player who’s going to be there for three years. That’s the pros and cons.




Bill Walker Interview

DraftExpress: There have been a lot of conflicting reports as to what your actual list of prospective schools is. Can you set the record straight and tell me what schools you are considering?

Walker: Right now, we’ve just thought about it. We’re not going to put a list out right now. There’s a couple of schools. We’re just looking forward to going to college together.

DraftExpress: It’s been known that Keenan Ellis, O.J., and you are a package deal…but I recently heard that Kevin Love will be attending school with you guys as well. Can you tell me a little bit about how that all came about?

Walker: We were just joking around one day with Kevin one day in the hotel about coming to college with us and he said he was with us. We were like “cool”, and we’ve got our power forward.

DraftExpress: Now that you’ve got Kevin, all you need is another wing to play along yourself and you’ve got an entire starting five. Do you have any ideas of who else you’d like to play with?

Walker: I’m pretty sure that once we pick a school, someone else will want to come join with us.

DraftExpress: Who do you think your toughest matchup has been this summer?

Walker: Nobody really sticks out in particular. Nobody really.

DraftExpress: A lot of fans really have no idea of the work ethic that you and O.J. have. Can you tell me what your daily workout regimen has been this summer?

Walker: Probably wake up about 12. Shower and eat, then go to the gym from about 1 til 3. Shoot pull up jumpers, full court ball handling drills, stuff like that. Then I’ll lift weights. The rest of the day I’ll just hang out. Those are my off days. Like Monday, Wednesday, Friday I’ll do that. Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s a lot of defensive stuff, weight lifting, and shooting a lot of set shots.

DraftExpress: A lot of people have said that while O.J. may be gaining more publicity right now and is a better player in the moment, you actually have more potential because your game is not fully developed. What do you think you need to do to live up to that potential?

Walker: People are just really looking for me to become more of a jump shooter. It’s going to happen with time. The more reps I get, the better I will get, and the more comfortable I will become with shooting the ball.

DraftExpress: Do you prefer playing strictly outside on the perimeter or using your strength down low and playing the role of a “power” small forward along the lines of players such as Ron Artest and Joey Graham?

Walker: I like both. If I get a guy who’s too slow, I’ll take him out to the perimeter and go by him. If I get a smaller guy to play my quickness, I like to use my strength and post up.

DraftExpress: Tell me a little about the alley oop that you caught against the NY Panthers at the buzzer to win the game. Was that a set play or did you and O.J. just kind of draw that up yourselves?

Walker: At the end of the game, guys really get up and play you hard. We have a play that’s designed for the lob. Everybody thought that O.J. was going to shoot the ball so they broke to O.J. and I was open for the lob on the back side and it happened just how we drew it up.

DraftExpress: With the NBA’s age minimum being put in, you guys are obviously going to have to school for a year. There’s a huge debate of college vs. prep school. What are you guys thinking now? Are you definitely going to college? Are you considering prep school?

Walker: I mean I might be…I don’t know, I mean…It’s a while away. It’s too far away to call that. Right now, I’m set on going to college.

DraftExpress: What is it like to have a target on your back everywhere you go?

Walker: It’s a gift and a curse. You want it, but then again, it’s a task. You have to be up for the challenge every game.

DraftExpress: You and O.J. have quite the fan following at most of your games, but you guys seem to have an abnormally large group of critics, notably your local media. Why do you think so many people are looking for faults within you guys?

Walker: I don’t know, its human nature. You don’t have to like somebody. I’m not really pressed if someone does like me and I’m really not pressed if they don’t. I just go out and play my game.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to rodger.bohn@draftexpress.com .

 

Keenan Ellis
Full Profile
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 11/15/1987
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: American Christian Academy
Previous Team: UAB , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF/C


Bill Walker
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 10/09/1987
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: North College Hill
Previous Team: Kansas State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #17 in 2008 Draft
by the Wizards
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
14.7 Pts, 5.6 Rebs, 1.8 Asts


Kevin Love
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 255 lbs.
Birthday: 09/07/1988
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Lake Oswego
Previous Team: Cavaliers , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #5 in 2008 Draft
by the Grizzlies
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
16.5 Pts, 9.9 Rebs, 2.4 Asts


Paul Harris
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 10/15/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Notre Dame Prep
Previous Team: Gaziantep , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
10.7 Pts, 6.3 Rebs, 1.3 Asts


Ron Artest
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 244 lbs.
Birthday: 11/13/1979
35 Years Old
Teams:
High School: LaSalle Academy
Previous Team: Sichuan , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #16 in 1999 Draft
by the Bulls
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
21.6 Pts, 6.6 Rebs, 0.9 Asts


Joey Graham
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 217 lbs.
Birthday: 06/21/1982
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Brandon
Previous Team: Oklahoma State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #16 in 2005 Draft
by the Raptors
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
19.3 Pts, 6.5 Rebs, 2.6 Asts


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