Travis Mays, one of the nation’s top recruiters, enters his fourth season as an assistant coach at LSU.
Mays, a native of Ocala, Fla., came to LSU after a three-year stint as an assistant coach for Jody Conradt at his alma mater, the University of Texas.
Mays has played a crucial role in LSU’s recruiting process that has landed three straight top 20 classes, including the nation’s No. 4 class in 2008 by ESPN HoopGurlz.com. LSU signed the nation’s No. 16 rated class in 2010.
In three seasons, Mays has helped the Lady Tigers to a Final Four and three NCAA Tournament appearances. He regularly works with LSU’s perimeter players, which included the development of two-time All-American and 2010 WNBA Draft selection Allison Hightower.
Mays’ expertise helped Hightower improve her perimeter shooting in the summer of 2009. In 2009-10, Hightower responded with one of the finest seasons in school history as she ranked second in the SEC in points per game (18.2) and second in 3-point field goals made (45). Hightower, who was a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award and Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, finished her career ranked 13th in LSU all-time scoring (1,508 points) and seventh in career 3-point field goals made (108).
One of the most acclaimed players in Texas men’s basketball history, Mays is the number two scorer in Texas men’s basketball history and was a first-round NBA draft pick.
Mays played at Texas from 1986-90 and helped resurrect Longhorns basketball in the latter years of the Southwest Conference.
Prior to his time as a coach at Texas, Mays spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons coaching and scouting for the WNBA San Antonio Silver Stars franchise. He was an assistant coach during the 2002 season and spent the last year as head scout for the Silver Stars. He also coached AAU boys’ basketball for the Tennessee/Alabama “Pump” team in the summer of 2003.
Mays was an Associated Press Second Team All-American as a senior. He ranks second in UT men’s basketball all-time scoring (2,279 points) and also second in Southwest Conference all-time scoring. Mays’ career scoring average was 18.4 points per game. He scored in double-figures in 100 of 124 career games, and he is one of only two Texas men’s players in history to score more than 700 points in a season. Kevin Durant joined that club in 2006-07 with 903 points. Mays achieved the feat with 743 points as a junior and 772 as a senior.
In his final two seasons at Texas, Mays was part of the most prolific guard scoring trio in Texas history, alongside Joey Wright (1,819 points) and Lance Blanks (1,322). They came to be known as “BMW-The Ultimate Scoring Machine” and led Texas to the Elite Eight in 1990 before the Longhorns’ three-point loss to Arkansas.
Mays led Texas to the 1990 Elite Eight, scoring 24.1 points per contest. Against Georgia in the first round of the 1990 tourney, Mays poured in 44 points, which still stands tied for the 11th-best single game scoring effort in NCAA Tournament history.
He was the first player in SWC history to earn back-to-back Player of the Year honors as a junior and senior in 1989 and 1990.
Mays received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas in 1990.
A first-round NBA draft pick in 1990 by the Sacramento Kings, chosen 14th overall, Mays spent his first year in the NBA with the Kings (1991) and then spent two years with the Atlanta Hawks (1991-93). He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team, averaging 14.3 points per game in his first pro season.
Two games into his second season, Mays ruptured both tendons in his right ankle and was out for the season before returning for his final NBA season the following year. Mays had a NBA career scoring average of 11.1 points per game.
Mays’ pro career extended to European basketball as he played in Greece, Israel, Turkey and Italy. Highlights of his European career include selection to the European All-Star Game, leading Panionious (Greece) to the European Championship final eight with 27.5 points per contest. He was also a first team All-Star selection (1999-2001) on Italy’s Siena squad.
Mays was inducted into the University of Texas Men’s Athletics Hall of Honor in 2002. He was a scholastic All-America standout at Vanguard High School in Ocala, Fla.
Mays is married to Mirella and the two have two children, daughter Cherrell, 16 and son Trevor, 4.
The Mays File
Birthdate: June 19, 1968
Hometown: Ocala, Fla.
College: Texas, 1990
1986-90 University of Texas
1990-91 Sacramento Kings
1991-93 Atlanta Hawks
1993-01 European Pro Leagues (Greece, Israel, Turkey and Italy)
2002-03 Assistant Coach – San Antonio Silver Stars
2003-04 Head scout – San Antonio Silver Star Head Scout
2005-07 Assistant Coach, University of Texas
2007-present Assistant Coach, LSU