While teammate Javonte Smart has indicated he will withdraw from the NBA draft and return to school, LSU guard Skylar Mays will take a little longer to decide if he'll stay in or come back for his senior season.
Mays, one of six LSU players to put their names in for the NBA draft last month, told The Advocate on Wednesday that he will wait until closer to the May 29 deadline to make a decision.
The former University High standout and three-year letterman for his hometown Tigers, said the decision has been more difficult than he could have imagined when he announced April 5 that he'd be an early entrant for the June 20 draft.
“It’s all really fast-paced,” Mays said Wednesday afternoon. “It’s not something I’m really used to. … It’s a tough decision.”
They're the first public comments made by Mays about his decision to enter the draft.
Mays, a first-team Academic All-American this season, said he received an evaluation from the NBA undergraduate advisory committee before entering the draft, but declined to divulge what he was told.
He explained that he was just being cautious to not jeopardize his remaining NCAA eligibility should he decide to return to school.
Monday could be a huge day for the LSU men’s basketball program.
Mays did confirm that he's visited and worked out for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Memphis Grizzlies and Atlanta Hawks.
“Everything’s kind of like what I expected … actually, a little better than what I expected with all the stuff that's going on,” Mays said. “I really got some good feedback, that’s what is making it a tougher decision than I thought it would be.”
Mays said the situation with Tigers coach Will Wade earlier this spring had nothing to do with his decision to enter the draft.
“Coach Wade and I talked about me potentially leaving for the NBA before (last) season even started, so it was never about the stability of his job,” Mays said. “That never had much of a play in it.
“We had talked about me at least testing the waters and stuff, so all that stuff was just kind of a weird-timing type thing with everything that happened. … That never even played a role in it.”
Mays, a 6-foot-4 combo guard, has improved his game each of his three seasons with the Tigers.
He was LSU’s third-leading scorer at 13.4 points per game this past season while helping the Tigers win the Southeastern Conference regular-season title and reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
They had to wait a while, but it was worth it.
A 4.1 GPA student who’s majoring in kinesiology with a concentration in human movement science, Mays also averaged 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in starting all 35 of LSU’s games.
He’s averaged 11.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 99 career games.
Smart announced via social media on Saturday night that he would be coming back to LSU.
Smart presumably will have the inside track to the starting point guard job this season after Tremont Waters, as expected, said last week that he will remain in the draft and forego his final two college seasons.
Forward Naz Reid will also remain in the draft since he’s being projected by many as a first-round pick.
It’s not known if forward Emmitt Williams or guard Marlon Taylor, who also put their names in the draft, will stay in or return to school.
Williams has posted on social media photos of workout gear from the Thunder and Celtics, while Taylor tweeted a photo from center court of the Golden State Warriors’ Oracle Arena in Oakland.