|Team: NON-NBA College Team:
H: 6' 8"|
W: 227 lbs
(27 Years Old)
|RSCI: 131 ||
High School: Garner
Hometown: Garner, NC
|Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert||Bench Press||Lane Agility||3/4 Court Sprint||Class Rank|
|6' 6.75"||6' 7.75"||227||7' 1.75"||8' 9"||8.8||29.5||35.0||13||11.23||3.19||NA|
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|NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Day Four|
May 31, 2008
James Mays had another solid, but unspectacular game doing the dirty work for his team, finishing with 10 points and 6 rebounds and 21 minutes. His strength, length and athleticism were on full display once again, as were his toughness and activity level inside. He did a good job facing up and attacking his man off the dribble, looking fairly aggressive and finishing well at the rim.
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Top NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC (Part One: #6-#10)
September 28, 2007
James Mays will certainly be a player worth watching in the ACC this season. The senior has slowly developed in his first three years at Clemson, and as his minutes have increased, so has his production. He will be a major factor in the success of the Tigers this season.
As a power forward, Jamesí size is not unique at 6í9Ē, but that is where the physical shortcomings end. James has a good frame, weighing 220 pounds with the potential to add much more. He is fairly strong, often bowling over opponents on his way to the basket, or while trying to establish position. He has great length (7-1 Ĺ), but most impressive is his quickness. James has a great first step and is surprisingly agile for a big man. While his skills in nearly every facet of the game need to improve, his athleticism is such that it isnít improbable for James to one day play out on the perimeter as a face the basket power forward at the next level.
Offensively, James makes his living primarily in and around the paint. He is very raw in the post, with an underdeveloped back-to-the-basket game, but is able to make up for it with his strength and explosiveness. James is fantastic at establishing position on the block, and once he has the ball with a defender on his back, he will generally use a pseudo drop step to power his way to the rim. Once in a while he will use his quickness to pull off a quick spin move to the baseline. Where James gets into trouble on the block is he has a tendency to sometimes lose track of where he is on the floor, resulting in tough angle shots, or even shots from under the basket. A great shot-creator heís not, but his athleticism allows him to do some things that most players canít at the collegiate level.
Jamesís quickness and explosiveness extend away from the basket as well. He is a great finisher in transition, often ending a Clemson fast break with a thunderous dunk. He has really strong leaping ability, which allows him to elevate over most defenders. Another major part of Jamesís game that is still developing is his ability to drive from the perimeter. He is quick enough to beat most big men off the dribble in a straight line, and those that can stay with him; he often overpowers going to the basket anyway. His touch certainly needs to improve around the basket, but he did draw a fair number of fouls last season, averaging over four free throws per game.
James has started to step out and extend his range a little bit in the last year. He is by no means a polished shooter, though. His form is awkward, and often results in him overshooting the ball. He is however starting to show more confidence, attempting thirty-one three pointers last year, but only connecting on 22.6% of them. James has shown some ability to create shot opportunities for himself and shoot off the dribble, but again, these abilities are very raw right now.
Defensively, James has shown loads of potential. He struggles on the perimeter closing out on shooters and staying in front of ball handlers, but his interior play has been solid. He is almost always hustling and making things happen, whether it be deflecting and intercepting passes with his long reach, or coming down with rebounds in a crowd. His court awareness needs to improve, as he often was caught napping on the weak side or help defense last season. With his athleticism though, James could be a disruptive force at the next level, blocking shots and making hustle plays. Heís already Clemsonís top option at the top of their press, where his length, athleticism and tenacity allow him to wreak havoc on opposing defenders and help the Tigers come up with at least a few possessions every single game.
James is already on a lot of NBA teamsí radars simply because of his physical tools. Now he needs to develop his game. Both his post game and his perimeter game need work, but the fact that he is showing the potential to play inside and outside will only help his stock. He already makes plays on the defensive end, but increased awareness could make him one of the better disruptive defenders in the conference.
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Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Day Three
June 1, 2007
James Mays didnít play as well as he did yesterday, not getting out on the break as frequently as he did then, looking a bit less energetic here today, but he still played decently, and didnít hurt his stock with his performance, just not really standing out on many plays. He was going to his outside shot again today at times, showing confidence with it, and hitting on one occasion from 20 feet out, missing on another from 18 feet. Mays got another of his field goals on an and-1 lay-up off a putback of his own missed lay-up in transition, going up strong and showing good persistence around the rim. His last field goal came on a long cut to the basket where he went up for a composed left-handed lay-up off the glass. Mays also got to the free-throw line a few times, doing so on a spin drive from 10 feet out on the baseline and on a putback attempt where he went up strong. Maysí misses came on lay-ups around the rim in transition and the halfcourt, not showing the ability to convert on some tougher shot attempts like scoop shots or shots amidst a crowd.
In the hustle areas, Mays didnít play as well as he did yesterday, not making as much of an impact on the boards, defense, or in transition, looking a step slower today for whatever reason, not really displaying the energy he showed yesterday. He made a few nice rotations on the defensive end, but wasnít always able to beat the driving opponent to the corner, just not fully finishing on the plays. His presence on interior defense was also lacking, not making much of an impact in altering shots around the basket when he was there. Mays did have one excellent, perfectly timed block from behind on a drive on one occasion, but it was called a foul on a very bad call.
Mays hasnít really elevated his stock from an early second rounder, but heís held his own well here against the competition, showing some nice qualities that should translate to the NBA, if he can consistently maintain his energy, which he didnít do today in a rare performance. His improved/improving mid-range shot will definitely help his transition to the NBA, and give him something else he can consistently contribute to an NBA team in time.
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Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Day Two
May 30, 2007
Throughout his sophomore season, Mays displayed awesome physical tools and the ability to be a presence inside, but struggled with poor decision making and the tendency to float around on the perimeter. He decided to focus on using his tools inside during the first day of pre-draft camp, and the decision yielded positive results on the floor.
During the skills portion of the drill, we were able to get a nice look at the shooting mechanics of Mays. The release point needs to become more consistent and his form appears to be a little awkward, but the tools are in place for Mays to become a consistent threat to hit the open mid-range shot. He air-balled his first of three attempts during the transition drills in the morning, but bounced back and knocked down his next two 15 footers.
In the game, Mays made an impact immediately near the basket. Every time a shot attempt went up, the Clemson sophomore immediately fought his way inside in anticipation of the rebound. On one possession early in the game, Mays barely missed a tip-dunk while crashing the glass from the perimeter, but he was still able to adjust to get his own rebound and lay the ball in. Later on, the big man showed his explosive vertical leaping ability by leaping off the ground and tipping in a missed shot in one motion.
Mays is at his best when picking up garbage points on the offense end, but he also created his own offense a number of times. His nicest move of the day occurred on the right block, when he used a jab towards the middle to fake out the defender before spinning to the basket for a lay-up. In addition, he knocked down a few open jumpers from 15 feet, though he lacked the same accuracy from any distance further away from the basket.
Throughout his career at Clemson, Mays has become known for his ability to make passes that most big men arenít capable of. The problem here results from the many ill-advised passes he tries when his teammates lack the proper spacing on the court. The added space on the NBA floor will help Mays in this area.
Defensively, Mays was often a step slow when closing out on jump shooting big men like Justin Doellman, but he did provide a physical presence when allowed to bang inside. As a weak side defender, he could become better as a shot blocker and better work on putting himself in the right spot to cut off guards on their way to the basket.
James Mays remains one of the more intriguing prospects at the pre-draft camp this season. His athleticism and ability to make aggressive plays inside give him the upper hand over many of the other big men here in Orlando. He has the option to return to Clemson for his senior season, and a strong performance here could potentially give him a promise that would keep Mays in the draft this season.
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Metro New York Workouts: Day 2 (James Mays, Roy Bright, etc)
May 29, 2007
Mays was definitely the headlining prospect of this workout, as the other three participants likely wonít even be in the draft this season. Mays is currently projected as a mid-to-high second rounder, though he hopes to move into the first round with a strong showing at the Orlando pre-draft camp, a setting that should be beneficial to his energetic style of play. Mays was a really good hustle player at the college level, possessing excellent athleticism and physical characteristics, spearheading Clemsonís pressure defense and making his impact felt on the boards and by finishing around the basket. His game isnít especially polished otherwise, though he showed a few flashes in terms of post moves at times, but these are things heís working on hard this summer in preparation for the draft.
After his impressive physique, the first thing youíd noticed about Mays in this workout would have to be his shooting mechanics, as theyíre fairly unorthodox and not especially pretty. He has a very awkward shooting motion, with a bit of a push shot thatís in front of his body, not fully extending his shooting arm, which has a tendency to drift right at times. For all the ugliness of his mechanics, though, Mays has excellent touch, and one thing he is consistent with is his wrist motion, which doesnít have any problems, as he always gets excellent rotation on the ball and gets good bounces off the rim. He also looked decently effective shooting the ball from the mid-range here, hitting for 40-of-66 from 15 feet out, and Hernandez said theyíre doing some work on his shooting mechanics, specifically with his shotís trajectory. Still, thereís only so much you can do in the three or four weeks they have to prepare prior to Mays going off to workout for NBA teams, so this is something Mays will have to continue working on in the future.
Mays showed off some of his explosiveness in the post-up drills, finishing with some powerful jams off of his dropsteps, which he showed good footwork on, something he occasionally flashed at Clemson this past season. Mays also looked good with his touch on finesse moves, especially on his right-handed hook shots, though he struggled a bit converting on left-handed shots, even though he looked fairly comfortable with them. Mays looked fluid going between shot-fakes and moves, as heís obviously put in a lot of work going through Hernandezís various series of drills in the past few weeks.
After working on the low-block for awhile, the drills moved to the mid-block, where Mays would have to put the ball on the floor for a few dribbles while also mixing in some moves. He looked much more comfortable with the moves that were predominantly right hand-based, doing a good job going through and into all the fakes and step-through moves, albeit without a defender on him. He did a good job of holding his pivot and displayed good footwork throughout the workout, hopefully adding some more moves he can consistently go to on the block in real-game situations, something he didnít show a great propensity for in college.
Next the workout moved onto some drills that also incorporated mid-range and three-point shooting, where Mays was actually able to hit a few college three-pointers. The workout concluded with some extensive pick-and-roll drills, with Hernandez diagramming out six different ways to play the pick-and-roll, with him playing the point guard role and Mays playing the big man role, communicating with one another throughout the drill to designate which pick-and-roll move to run. Mays did a good job communicating with Hernandez on the drill, and with his explosiveness and good touch, he should be a solid pick-and-roll player at the next level, while also having the potential of becoming a reliable pick-and-pop player if he continues working on his jump shot.
Mays will be playing at the Orlando pre-draft camp beginning tonight, where he should try to have an impact performance along the lines of what energy players Renaldo Balkman and Louis Amundson did last year. If he can do that and exhibit some skills he didnít show consistently at Clemson, he could put himself in late first round discussions for this yearís draft. Further down in this article, Mays sat down to answer a few questions about his training and his potential at the next level.
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NCAA Weekly Performers, 1/24/07-- Part Two
January 25, 2007
Athletic power forward James Mays showed some promise in his sophomore year, but his season was ended before conference play even began due to academic ineligibility. Now a junior, Mays has returned to the court, and heís been a huge reason why Clemson is off to an 18-2 start. Mays stands 6í9 with long arms and a solid frame while boasting very impressive athleticism to boot, which makes him a prospect the NBA will consider almost by default.
Overall, he is a pretty raw player, but due to his physical tools and his energetic style of play, heís able to contribute a lot to his team, and he has the potential to become a very interesting player if he improves on his skill set. Offensively, Mays shows some flashes in virtually all areas, but he lacks a skill that can be consistently relied on. In this game, Mays took a few spot-up shots from around 18-20 feet, but he missed them all. He shows pretty decent form on his jump shot, but he doesnít hit it consistently and he could use a little more elevation as well. Maysí ball-handling could use some work, but he showed in this game that he can take one or two dribbles to the hoop in a straight line when the path is there for him. He scored on dribble-drives on two occasions in this game, but both occasions were with his defender out of position and neither required him to change direction.
Maysí post game is very raw at this stage of development, but one thing he does very well is establish position down low. He fights hard for his position in the paint, and this often gives him opportunities to get the ball around five feet from the basket. Unfortunately, Mays doesnít consistently capitalize on these opportunities, not having the greatest touch and not possessing a strong array of post moves. He shows flashes of the ability to create his own shot here, but oftentimes he just goes straight up with the ball, and his predictability led to his shot being blocked frequently in this game. Mays needs to work on adjusting his shots when defenders are contesting him, and just being more creative with his moves.
On one occasion in this game, Mays did make an extremely expressive move from about 10 feet away from the basket. Catching the ball with his back to the basket on the mid-block, Mays used his left foot as a pivot while faking a hook shot across the lane, only to quickly come back in the other direction with an explosive drop step around his man, making one big stride towards the hoop for a lay-up.
Mays grabbed 15 rebounds in this game, 10 of which came on the offensive end, though those numbers are partly deceptive. Most of Maysí offensive rebounds came in batches of two or three, when his shot was being blocked back into his face. Oftentimes he proceeded to go up two or three times while being successively blocked, sometimes not even finishing the final putback attempt. To Maysí credit, he does a good job using his length and athleticism to track down rebounds when heís not in position, and he did score on a few of his putbacks on the night. When in position on the defensive end, Mays usually blocks out his man to pull in the rebound.
Mays shows solid passing for a power forward, making a few nice assists and passes that led to open shots in this game. He showed the ability to feed the post from the perimeter, hit cutters, and feed from post to post as well. His passes are strong and crisp, and he seems to have a decent eye for the open man. Heís averaging 2.5 assists on the season, which isnít bad for a power forward.
Defensively, Mays is very active, playing a major role in Clemsonís full-court press, using his length and athleticism to disrupt the opposition from baseline to baseline. He constantly is forcing tough passes, deflecting passes, and also picking off the occasional pass. In the half-court, Mays struggles a bit on the defensive end, lacking in awareness and making some bad decisions. In this game, Mays was often defending his man straight up in the post, but heíd always try and reach out from behind to pick off the entry pass when there was no one on his team behind him to pick up his man. He didnít successfully break up a single pass, but his over-aggressiveness led to about four or five wide-open dunks or lay-ups for the opposition. Mays also was very inconsistent hedging on pick-and-rolls, on one occasion standing with his hands at his side while the ball-handler drove right past him to the basket, and on another not stepping up on the shooter who was given a wide-open jump shot. His defensive awareness could use a lot of work, and itís clearly exposed when the opposition settles into half-court sets.
From what weíve been told by more than one source, Mays is openly discussing entering his name in this yearís draft. As a junior, he can ďtest the watersĒ this year to gauge what NBA teams think of him, without risking his college eligibility. Although heís made some big strides in what is essentially his first full season of college basketball, itís hard not to think that he has a lot to gain by returning for his senior year. The natural tools he possesses cannot be denied and will surely give him every opportunity needed to make an NBA team when the time is right, but his all-around skill-level and court savvy still leave a lot to be desired. Scouts will surely be monitoring his progress as the year moves on, though, since Clemson has the makings of a team that can cause some serious damage in the NCAA tournament should they be able to keep up their strong play.
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