Similarities between Sean May and Luke Maye


Here are a few similarities between former North Carolina Tar Heel forward Sean May and future Tar Heel Luke Maye.

They may spell their names differently but make no mistake—Sean and Luke are related on the court. UNC’s newest recruit is a 6’7”, 225 pound power forward who is built much like Sean May was—stocky but surprisingly strong on the block. Both are built like tree trunks. The comparisons don’t stop there, either. Luke Maye throws low post pump fakes, is a phenomenal outlet passer and just flat-out gets buckets, all calling cards of Sean May. Will Luke ever be a human highlight reel? No but he’ll be a bucket machine, much like Sean was.

Let’s take a look at a few similarities between Sean May and Luke Maye.

Quiet Assassin

Hailing from outside of Charlotte, NC this Cornelius power forward is deceptively effective. He’s the guy who you barely remember playing—but dropped a 22-and-14 performance against your squad when you remember more of a 12 point, 5 rebound kind of night.

Absolutely zero of Luke Maye’s highlight reels have him dunking. Let me repeat that. This four star power forward recruit did not dunk once in any highlight reel. It remains to be seen if he can. However—just because Bigfoot also remains to be seen doesn’t mean I’m going to go looking for him. For now, I’ll just trust it’s a fact that both Bigfoot exists and Luke Maye can dunk.

What he lacks in vertical, Luke Maye makes up for in stutter steps, angles of attack and body control.

Many fans don’t realize that purely athletic post players are the easiest to score on. They may jump through the gym but their biggest strength is also the greatest Achilles heel in their game—they want highlight reel moments. These defenders are on the hunt for blocks. Any pump fake, hesitation and stutter step will get them off the floor. That’s what Luke Maye thrives on.

Three-Point Shot

This is perhaps the single greatest asset to Maye’s game. The dude can flat-out shoot the basketball. High, arching shots with plenty of backspin is the tale of the tape available. He stretches the defense by knocking down open three pointers and mid-range jump shots. This puts the defense on their heels and will allow UNC to do some damage.

Creates His Own Offense

Perhaps most surprisingly, Luke Maye can flat-out get open. He has a nice step-back jumper, can catch-and-pop from the top of the key to the baseline and owns three pointers. He’s got a lot of weapons.

Most importantly, Maye does a great job of moving without the ball and not forcing things. If a defender is draped all over him, he’s not going to try to out-athlete the opposition. That’s not his game. Luke will pass out of the situation and bide his time. Then, when defender collapses on a driving teammate, Luke cuts to the basket with his hands up. He makes himself an easy target for a pass—then he finishes.

How He Helps UNC

More from North Carolina Tar Heels

Two words: Half Court. The Tar Heels were woeful last season at scoring in a set offense. They could out-run and score with the best of them—until they ran into Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament. The truly great teams will never be beat by UNC being better athletes. Chapel Hill needs an X’s and O’s strategy to grind out victories over great squads.

Luke Maye stretches the defense, creates his own shot and makes smart basketball plays over and over again. He can catch-and-pop from the baseline and clean up the garbage points that are needed in every victory. Is Luke Maye the flashy decision? No but he’s the right one.

Oh—and if UNC wants to run, Luke throws pretty good outlet passes too.


Remember, Sean May was the 51st ranked player in ESPN’s Basketball Recruiting ranks for the Class of 2002. Maye is 95th this year. The players may differ in how the scouts rank them among their peers, and nobody is promising that Maye will go on to have a career as good as May just yet. But, there are more than a few similarities between these two forwards.