Matthew Mayer is a part of our Heartland College Sports Big 12 men’s Top 25 returning players countdown as we get closer to the 2021-22 college basketball season opener.
No. 9: Matthew Mayer, F, Baylor
Where he left off: Mayer averaged 8.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and one assist per game for the national champion Bears, coming primarily off the bench. He scored a season-high 19 points against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Tournament. He doubled his scoring average from 2019-20 to 2020-21. He shot nearly 40 percent from the 3-point line and nearly 50 percent from the floor.
He poured in 17 against Wisconsin and 12 against Houston in the NCAA Tournament. He earned Big 12 Honorable Mention honors. He declared for the NBA Draft in an effort to get his scouting report card and returned to the Bears just before the NBA Scouting Combine.
Where he’s headed: NBA scouts love his length and his shooting touch from deep, and he’ll get a chance to show that off in full this season as he should slide into the starting lineup. He will be the Bears’ primary frontcourt scoring option and, frankly, he has the ability to double his scoring average again this season (that would be 16.2 points per game). Last year’s offense flowed through Baylor’s talented guards. This year’s offense will be more balanced. Don’t be surprised if Mayer handles the ball in some cases on the perimeter and drives to the basket even more than he did a year ago. He emerged as a capable, dogged defender late last season. He should build on that too. He has the talent to be an All-Big 12 First Team selection, depending upon how he produces.
Top 25 criteria: ONLY players that played in the Big 12 last season were considered. Rankings are based on where players left off at the end of last season, as we are not able to make assumptions about the improvements players have made this offseason.
Heartland College Sports Big 12 Basketball Preview
Top 25 Returning Players: No. 25 Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua| No. 24 Christian Braun | No. 23 Rondel Walker | No. 22 Umoja Gibson | No. 21 Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe | No. 20 Nijel Pack | No. 19: Marcus Santos-Silva | No. 18 Mike McGuirl| No. 17 Jalen Bridges | No. 16 Kalib Boone | No. 15 Kevin McCullar | No. 14 Isaac Likekele | No. 13 Adam Flagler | No. 12 Jalen Coleman-Lands | No. 11 Sean McNeil | No. 10 Taz Sherman
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.