Shot Creator

Xavier Rathan-Mayes Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Xavier Rathan-Mayes finished 27.2% of Florida State’s possessions with a shot, foul shot or turnover when he was on the floor in his first year at Tallahassee, according to basketball-reference. That usage rate went down to 22.7% last season to accommodate the arrivals of Malik Beasley and Dwayne Bacon and is down again this year, to 20.2%, with Jonathan Isaac joining the team, even with Beasley already gone to the NBA.

Rathan-Mayes’ transition into more of a lead ball handler looked appealing given his six-foot-four, 208-pound frame but his production hasn’t really improved a whole lot over the years. His assist and turnover rates have been about the same each of the last three seasons, though his true shooting percentage has gone up a bit because he’s getting to the rim a little bit more and shooting the three-pointer a little bit better.

Given the lack of a particularly impressive statistical profile and the fact he’s about to turn 23 in April, Draft Express does not rank Rathan-Mayes in its top 100 at the moment.

OFFENSE

Rathan-Mayes’ top skill is his collection of dribble moves. He has a nice handle and a lot of body flexibility to shake his defender off balance – able to crossover side-to-side, hesitate-and-go, dribble in-and-out and split double teams at the point of attack.

Rathan-Mayes hasn’t shown a lot of explosiveness turning the corner out of the pick-and-roll or blow by his man in isolation but has strength in his 208-pound frame to maintain his balance through contact against opposing point guards and get all the way to the basket or earn foul shots. According to hoop-math, he’s taking 30.5% of his shots at the rim this season, while also averaging 5.4 free throws per 40 minutes.

Rathan-Mayes has consistently finished well at the basket each of his three seasons in college, currently converting 66% of his attempts this year. That’s very impressive considering he lacks explosiveness to elevate off one foot to go up strong in traffic and length (six-foot-five wingspan) for overextended finishes against rim protectors. I think what this shows is that Rathan-Mayes has great feel for when he can attack the basket safely and when launching a floater from the in-between area or pulling up from mid-range is a better option.

Rathan-Mayes has nice touch on his floater and has proven himself a credible threat taking jumpers off the bounce, stopping-and-popping in rhythm out of the pick-and-roll, even from three-point range. He’s nailed 41.5% of his two-point jump-shots and eight of his 23 three-point makes have been unassisted.

As a weak-side threat, Rathan-Mayes has often looked hesitant to let it fly off the catch. A true jump-shooter off the dribble, he’s looked kind of a set shooter off the catch this season, getting little elevation and releasing from a low point. The ball is getting out clean, though, and Rathan-Mayes has made those shots at about an average clip – as he’s nailed 34.8% of his 66 three-point shots.

As a passer, Rathan-Mayes has flashed the ability to pass across his body to the opposite end of the court and can play with pace in the pick-and-roll, showing the ability to hang dribble and then lobbying to his screener rolling to the rim behind the defense on slower developing plays. But he’s collected most of his assists on simple drive-and-kick’s instead of making advanced passes on a consistent basis, though he’s been an above average shot creator for others, assisting on 28.8% of Florida State’s scores when he’s been on the floor.

That said, his 17.2% turnover rate is sky high in the context of his 20.2% usage rate.

DEFENSE

Rathan-Mayes is only so-so on the other end of the court.

He can defend in space well when he is engaged, unable to contain dribble penetration through contact but possessing enough lateral quickness to stay in front and acting as a credible threat to pickpocket smaller opponents thanks to his reach – as he’s averaged 1.5 steals per 40 minutes.

Rathan-Mayes can go over screens in the pick-and-roll but doesn’t often show a lot of urgency looking to track his man back quickly. And he often loses his man chasing him off side screens, exposing their entire defense.

As a weak-side defender, he can closeout to shooters and run them off the three-point line but sometimes sells out to do so and gives up an easy escape dribble. Rathan-Mayes also hasn’t shown any ability to make plays at the basket in help-defense, though he has collected 10.5% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season – which is a decent mark for a point guard.

Given his built, Rathan-Mayes might be strong enough to credibly pick up bigger players on switches from time to time but Florida State plays a conservative style that hasn’t provided any opportunities for him to show if that’s something he can do, though that’s probably not the case given he doesn’t play with a lot of tenacity.

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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