Jerryd Bayless is not a fan of Kevin O'Neill
Posted on: May 29, 2008 8:19 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2008 12:29 pm
ORLANDO -- You might think O.J. Mayo is looking back on his college experience as a disaster considering he was bounced in the first round of the NCAA tournament and is now in the middle of a scandal that has tarnished his reputation.
But if you think that, you're wrong.
At least that's what Mayo said Thursday.
"Not at all," Mayo answered when asked if he was disappointed with how his college career unfolded. "USC helped me a lot."
Meantime, Jerryd Bayless isn't so chipper.
In his interview session Thursday here at the Hyatt Grand Cypress, Bayless seemed frustrated pretty much any time he was asked about his one season at Arizona, where he signed to play for Lute Olson but ended up playing for Kevin O'Neill and in the process became a part of the circus that at the moment defines Wildcat basketball. I'm not saying Bayless didn't like playing for O'Neill, but when I pointed out how he could be drafted fifth by Memphis and reconnected with his former coach -- who is now an assistant with the Grizzlies -- Bayless didn't seem all that excited about the possibility.
"Hmmm," Bayless responded. "Yeah."
(Note: I know that quote doesn't say much, but try to picture Bayless saying it with a look of total disgust on his face and with his eyes slighly rolling. Then you'll get the idea.)
With Bayless being projected as a possible top five pick, it's reasonable to suggest he would've withdrawn from school and entered this draft even if the situation at Arizona was less bizarre. He doesn't deny that. But Bayless scoffed at the notion that the instability around the program hasn't played a role in his decision because he was always planning to be a one-year student-athlete anyway.
"That's the furthest thing from the truth," Bayless said. "I came to college for an experience that I definitely did not receive."