The preseason hoops coverage marches on despite fall sports setbacks! As we highlight the full roster of our Nebraska Cornhuskers hoops team, up today is the newcomer from down under Lat Mayen.
Mayen was originally part of the 2017 recruiting class and committed to the TCU Horned Frogs as the top rated prospect out of Australia. He came to Australia by way of Sudan. Mayen redshirted his first year, and then played in just 17 games his second year as he battled the injury bug. He proceeded to transfer to Chipola College, a junior college in Marianna, Florida in the panhandle not far from the borders with Georgia and Alabama. Mayen played one season with the Indians and is now in Lincoln. He is a three star composite per 247 Sports, is ranked 19th nationally at the JUCO level, and is ranked No. 4 at power forward.
While at TCU Mayen averaged 7.9 minutes in the 17 games he played. He averaged just 2.1 points per game while managing a career 42.3% from inside three point range on 26 total attempts. He also averaged 2.1 rebounds per game with a career best performance of 12 points and six rebounds against West Virginia. After two seasons at TCU he transferred to the JuCo ranks.
Lat Mayen was a first-team all-conference performer at Chipola College this past season where he averaged 11.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Mayen shot 47% from the field and 38% from three-point range (38-for-99).
That’s all fine and good, but what should we expect out of him this season? The 6-foot-9 power forward weighs in at just 205 pounds. He is hardly going to be posting up on the other big men in conference play. However, that is not the primary style of play Hoiberg tends to employee for his four position.
Mayen’s generally considered to be a stretch big that can offer length and athleticism to guard any player on the floor. However, I would withhold final judgement on the suggestion he can guard a player like Luka Garza or Kofi Cockburn until we see him in action in the Big Ten.
While the tape is a bit old, some of his highlights from his days in Australia playing pre-college offer a good view of why he’s potentially a big pickup for Coach Hoiberg’s system. His ball handling is good for a player his size and he has a knack for reading the driving lane to take it to the rim as a stretch four. However, he is a good enough shot that if you play off him too much you can bet he will pull up and have a high probability of making you regret it on the scoreboard.
I think we should expect to see some good minutes from Mayen, though I will not guess whether he plays his way into a starting spot or comes off the bench for those minutes just yet. However, whichever proves true he should offer a solid shooting option and help space the defense for his teammates when not holding the ball.