DECISION: Entering NBA draft/has not indicated whether he'll sign with an agent
2018/19 stats: 13.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists
A rock in Baton Rouge's lineup this season, Skylar Mays' announced his decision to enter his name in the NBA draft on Friday.
The junior from Baton Rouge announced his decision in a letter on social media, but did not indicate whether he'd sign with an agent. With one year of eligibility remaining, Mays could still opt to return.
"The past three years have given me an opportunity to fulfill several of my dreams. Being able to represent the best school in the country, in my hometown, has been no less than a blessing," Mays wrote.
STORY: Skylar Mays to enter NBA draft, LSU's 3rd player this week to announcing jump to pros
He continued: "To the loyal fans of LSU, words cannot express how thankful I am for your love and encouragement throughout my career."
Mays consistently made key plays in big moments throughout the season, none more so than in the final minutes of LSU's Round of 32 victory over Maryland. Before teammate Tremont Waters -- who announced his choice to go pro on Thursday -- made the game-winner, Mays had a blocked shot in transition, and later secured an offensive rebound that earned two free throws to tie the game with just over a minute left.
On the ensuing LSU possession, Mays drained a 3-pointer that put LSU ahead with 40 seconds left, setting the stage for Waters' heroics after Maryland made a 3-pointer of their own to tie game.
Mays, like many of his teammates, struggled offensively in the team's season-ending loss to Michigan State, scoring seven points and grabbing three rebounds.
After the game, Mays was tearful in front of his locker -- an incredible run with his teammates at an end, according to a report from Amie Just of Nola.com.
“I’m going to miss playing with these guys,” Mays said in the report. “... This is what team sports are about.”
Mays averaged 13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his junior season, with improved scoring but fewer assists than in his sophomore season. His best game came in LSU's stunning overtime victory over Missouri. Mays had 24 points -- 11 in the final three minutes -- as his Tigers rallied from 14 down with 2:08 remaining, eventually winning in overtime.
If Mays does opt to return, it will be with a vastly different supporting cast than the one that earned its first SEC regular season title in a decade. Naz Reid, Tremont Waters both announced they'd enter the NBA draft earlier in the week, and Javonte Smart was also noncommittal about returning.
The departures came after a trying month for the program with questions surrounding what will become of suspended coach Will Wade, embroiled in a scandal over wiretaps and potential recruiting violations.
STORY: Basketball and books ... How LSU guard Skylar Mays, an Academic All-American, is making it all work
While he has an eye on the NBA Mays’ future could just as quickly involve a stethoscope as it could a basketball. The prolific athlete is also a star in the classroom. His skills and smarts learned him a first-team nod on the CoSIDA Academic All-America team, and he was named SEC scholar-athlete of the year.
Mays has talked about his plans to go to medical school, which is why interim coach Tony Benford’s given nickname for the 6-foot-4 guard is “doctor” or “Dr. Mays.”