Vols ready with or without Jeronne Maymon

Junior's knee remains an issue

Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon (34) warms up with teammates prior to the game against Ole Miss during the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La., Friday, March 9, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon (34) warms up with teammates prior to the game against Ole Miss during the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La., Friday, March 9, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Cuonzo Martin on upcoming game against MTSU

Jeronne Maymon has pedaled on an exercise bike and spent time on a treadmill, but Tennessee's most valuable player has yet to get back on the basketball court this week to prepare for Middle Tennessee State.

UT coach Cuonzo Martin revealed on Friday that the junior's bruised right knee will continue to be evaluated daily as the second-round NIT game on Monday (TV: ESPN, 7 p.m.) at Thompson-Boling Arena approaches.

"It hasn't been determined if he'll play,'' Martin said. "If Jeronne is done, he's done. If he can play, he can play. If he can't, he can't.

"The guys will be OK; they'll just have to find a way to get it done.''

Tennessee (19-14) won without Maymon in Tuesday's NIT opener, beating Savannah State 65-51.

The Blue Raiders (26-6) represent a more difficult challenge with Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year LaRon Dendy, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound senior transfer from Iowa Sate who averages 14.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

Maymon likely would draw the matchup, though Martin said even if the 6-7, 265-pound power forward were to play, he wouldn't be at full strength.

"You have to make sure he's healthy, first and foremost,'' Martin said. "He won't be 100 percent if he's out there; if he can help us, he'll help us. But we have to make a decision to do what's best for Jeronne.''

Maymon suffered the bruised knee in a 74-69 overtime victory at LSU on Feb. 29. He played on March 3 against Vanderbilt as well as the overtime loss to Ole Miss in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament on March 9.

Maymon, a second-team All-SEC selection, averages 12.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

"He hasn't been on the floor since the Ole Miss game,'' Martin said. "We're going as if he isn't playing.''

Freshman center Yemi Makanjuola started for Maymon against Savannah State.

Uptempo: Martin said the Vols have added a new element to their recent practices with hopes of improving an offense that has appeared sluggish at times the past two games.

"We've used a 24-second shot

clock getting up and down the court, being aggressive, running and really pushing the ball,'' Martin said. "It's more for us, as opposed to Middle Tennessee, even though their big guys do a great job of running the floor.''

Block Party: The Vols' 145 blocked shots this season rank as the fifth-highest season total in UT history.

Kenny Hall, who remains suspended indefinitely, leads the Vols with 25 blocks while Jordan McRae has 24 and mid-term freshman enrollee Jarnell Stokes has 22.

Blue Monday?: UT point guard Trae Golden said he has a feeling there will be a lot of Blue Raiders' fans in Thompson-Boling Arena on Monday night.

"I expect it to be a great crowd like our fans always bring; I expect it to be a really good game,'' Golden said. "I know there will probably be a lot of Middle Tennessee State fans there, but I'm pretty sure our fans will out-number them.''

Golden said the Vols' opening-round NIT crowd of 6,289 made its presence known.

"It seemed like it was closer to that Vandy game from a noise aspect,'' Golden said, referring to the sold-out crowd of 22,172 at UT's regular-season ending game. "That was huge for us. We always feed off the crowd.''

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitterhttpcom/MikeGriffith32

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Comments » 42

1vavolfan writes:

Maymon will play if he has any toughness at all, I can see sitting out Chaminade and Savannah State but this game does not count as a gimme. Nice of the tournament committee giving us 6 days off in between games.

born2ride writes:

Does anybody care about the NIT?

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

Hope Maymon is healthy enough by Monday night. He is our version of Willis Reed (for us oldtimers). I can see him bringing a gimpy leg to TBA. But if "Willis" can't go, then maybe he can encourage the rest of the team to bring it strong. I like the Blue Raiders, but let's send 'em home.

bigdisbig writes:

the sissy needs to man up and play thru the pain. He would never make it on the football team. I played football with bruised thighs, knees and a broken collar bone. Guys these days are coddled like little kids.

SJB writes:

some of you guys are awful tough sitting behind your monitors. of all people, if maymon says he's hurt, his word is good with me.

and personally, i don't care if they're playing Knox Webb in Anchorage, i'm interested.

but then again, i'm a UT fan...

BolivrBob writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

the sissy needs to man up and play thru the pain. He would never make it on the football team. I played football with bruised thighs, knees and a broken collar bone. Guys these days are coddled like little kids.

Well Dang, We just ought to give you a friggin parade

Stooley_Dinks writes:

I have no reason to question Maymon. He has really made a move this season into a factor in the SEC. So, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Having said that, the title of this article is a lie. Without Maymon, we will struggle. I know Richardson made some plays against Savannah Community College State Tech Trade School, but I do not like to watch this team offensively when Richardson and McCrae are the ones shooting.

We got away with relying on Richardson and Yemi once, but I do not think we will do it again.

We flat out need Maymon!

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to BolivrBob:

Well Dang, We just ought to give you a friggin parade

BB, remember, the true tough ones are the quiet ones. I read that late during one particular NFL football game, Doug Adkins leveled Johnny Unitas. According to the article, Adkins said, "well, I guess you're about done for the day". Unitas answered, "not yet." Unitas took his team down the field on a game-winning drive. Two words, and a win.

I don't think Maymon is much of a chatterbox either. If he can play, he'll play. With his leg, not his mouth.

wildcatbasketball writes:

in response to born2ride:

Does anybody care about the NIT?

Go to ESPN.com and try to find anything on it. Can't even find a link anywhere. To your point born2ride.Nobody cares...

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

Go to ESPN.com and try to find anything on it. Can't even find a link anywhere. To your point born2ride.Nobody cares...

you care enough to post about it

SouthDakotaBob writes:

in response to born2ride:

Does anybody care about the NIT?

Here's a hint. Fans like to watch their team play. Tennessee is still playing. Need more? GBO

VolAtUGA11 writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

the sissy needs to man up and play thru the pain. He would never make it on the football team. I played football with bruised thighs, knees and a broken collar bone. Guys these days are coddled like little kids.

Yes, basketball and football are the exact same sports and can be directly compared. Oh wait, the two are very different?

Don't go flying off the handle then, calling someone a sissy or coddled if he can't run, make shots.

Just because you played football with a broken collarbone and bruises doesn't mean you know what's best for Maymon and the team. Leave that up to the coaches and trust them, why don't you?

As for who cares about the NIT? UT fans, that's who.

Sir_Spanky writes:

I guess posters 2 and 4 above are trying to see which one can "out-stupid" the other. So far it looks pretty even. #2 dumps his stuff about every time, kinda like a dog you can't get house-trained, but to #4 I'd suggest that maybe he oughta go stand in front of JM and tell him that garbage to his face.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to Stooley_Dinks:

I have no reason to question Maymon. He has really made a move this season into a factor in the SEC. So, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Having said that, the title of this article is a lie. Without Maymon, we will struggle. I know Richardson made some plays against Savannah Community College State Tech Trade School, but I do not like to watch this team offensively when Richardson and McCrae are the ones shooting.

We got away with relying on Richardson and Yemi once, but I do not think we will do it again.

We flat out need Maymon!

Have to disagree with you on Savannah State. They won the MEAC by a game over Norfolk State.Anyone who wins their conference is someone to be reckoned with. Look at Bucknell in the NIT and Norfolk State and Lehigh in the NCAA. I think Maymon plays if UT recognizes the magnitude of the game. If they save him for the regional final we will be watching it on TV. A sore knee is tough but something that can be played through. If I had to pick our most mentally and physically tough player it would be Jeronne.And yes I do care about the NIT! I will be driving down from Bristol to sit with my redneck brethren in coveted donor seats.

mlynn1 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Does anybody care about the NIT?

Your an absolute knucklehead

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to born2ride:

Does anybody care about the NIT?

I like a good NIP to warm the bones. Oh, you said NIT. Who knew?

Bubba_Knows writes:

This team could lose to MTSU with Maymon playing at 100%. You figure it out whether Maymon is needed to win. I hope we don't get embarrassed in the Loser's Tournament. Spreading the Love. Boners Never Lie.

RockyTop1_old writes:

in response to born2ride:

Does anybody care about the NIT?

Yes, b2r, a good showing would help us in recruiting and improve our chances for the NCAA if on the bubble next year.

Let's not forget about some momentum going into next year!

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to born2ride:

Does anybody care about the NIT?

No need to be writing about women's body parts on here. Oh you said NIT. Who knew? Devil Woman - Bring my reading glasses.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Bubba_Knows:

This team could lose to MTSU with Maymon playing at 100%. You figure it out whether Maymon is needed to win. I hope we don't get embarrassed in the Loser's Tournament. Spreading the Love. Boners Never Lie.

Witch Doctor say gives you something to whine about all day dont it? hahaha Witch Doctor say Bubba_knows_passive_aggressive. haha
BONES never lie.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor see Rucker and his wife are on here again drumming up subscriptions to their pay site..good work guys! hahaha
Bones never lie.

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to decades_vol:

Hope Maymon is healthy enough by Monday night. He is our version of Willis Reed (for us oldtimers). I can see him bringing a gimpy leg to TBA. But if "Willis" can't go, then maybe he can encourage the rest of the team to bring it strong. I like the Blue Raiders, but let's send 'em home.

Dang - you are an old fart! Just kidding. Right there with you bro.

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say gives you something to whine about all day dont it? hahaha Witch Doctor say Bubba_knows_passive_aggressive. haha
BONES never lie.

Spreading the Love. BersNL

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Bubba_Knows:

Spreading the Love. BersNL

Witch Doctor bet you got the greenest lawn on the block! lol
Bones never lie.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Stooley_Dinks:

I have no reason to question Maymon. He has really made a move this season into a factor in the SEC. So, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Having said that, the title of this article is a lie. Without Maymon, we will struggle. I know Richardson made some plays against Savannah Community College State Tech Trade School, but I do not like to watch this team offensively when Richardson and McCrae are the ones shooting.

We got away with relying on Richardson and Yemi once, but I do not think we will do it again.

We flat out need Maymon!

Yeah, I'm afraid it's more a matter of "Ready or not, here we go." Can't believe the baloney from those questioning Maymon's toughness or heart. If it were up to him, I'm sure he would play with his leg in a cast. He toughed it out against Ole Miss and Vandy, but it probably didn't do his knee any good. The rest of the Vols had better play the games of their lives if he can't go.

brokebackvol writes:

You better believe MTSU will be there with a bunch of their loudest obnoxious fans, and I'm hoping the VOLS and their fans outnumber and give MTSU a beatdown. So there.

dillpic writes:

in response to born2ride:

Does anybody care about the NIT?

Yes.

VolGrad writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You've got the wrong link. You must be using an abacus.

This is it: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-baske...

bigdisbig writes:

in response to Sir_Spanky:

I guess posters 2 and 4 above are trying to see which one can "out-stupid" the other. So far it looks pretty even. #2 dumps his stuff about every time, kinda like a dog you can't get house-trained, but to #4 I'd suggest that maybe he oughta go stand in front of JM and tell him that garbage to his face.

I definitely am big enough to face Maymon and tell him to "man up" and play the game. I also know that perhaps his injury is worse than a bruised knee but for the record....If I could at least walk, wild horses could not keep me on the bench in a tourney game. Maybe Cuonzo wants to coddle Maymon but from what I have read the dude can walk and run. I'd rather have a sore Maymon under the basket than a healthy Yemi. Put Maymon in the game, give him the ball and watch him forget he has a sore knee. From those who have disagreed with my post I am certain their boys are mamma's boys who cry over a splinter. I am an ex marine who was brought up and taught toughness. It sickens me to see how soft this society has become.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

I definitely am big enough to face Maymon and tell him to "man up" and play the game. I also know that perhaps his injury is worse than a bruised knee but for the record....If I could at least walk, wild horses could not keep me on the bench in a tourney game. Maybe Cuonzo wants to coddle Maymon but from what I have read the dude can walk and run. I'd rather have a sore Maymon under the basket than a healthy Yemi. Put Maymon in the game, give him the ball and watch him forget he has a sore knee. From those who have disagreed with my post I am certain their boys are mamma's boys who cry over a splinter. I am an ex marine who was brought up and taught toughness. It sickens me to see how soft this society has become.

Witch Doctor say how old are you 10? "IM big enough to tell him" hahahaha
Bones never lie.

VolGrad writes:

Everything I've read about Cuonzo Martin and his personality pretty much blows the "coddle" remarks out of the water. Not sure what the motivation is for suggesting such a thing. This is the kid from the East Side of St. Louis, the man who held on to beat advanced stage non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

To suggest Coach Martin is "coddling" anyone is a slur to the man. It is based on nothing but either a lack of knowledge about the man and the situation (which is unwise at best) or a personal bias against him for no know logical reason (which is stupid at best).

And if anyone takes offense at my statement, man up and rub some dirt on it. You'll get over it soon enough.

VolGrad writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

I definitely am big enough to face Maymon and tell him to "man up" and play the game. I also know that perhaps his injury is worse than a bruised knee but for the record....If I could at least walk, wild horses could not keep me on the bench in a tourney game. Maybe Cuonzo wants to coddle Maymon but from what I have read the dude can walk and run. I'd rather have a sore Maymon under the basket than a healthy Yemi. Put Maymon in the game, give him the ball and watch him forget he has a sore knee. From those who have disagreed with my post I am certain their boys are mamma's boys who cry over a splinter. I am an ex marine who was brought up and taught toughness. It sickens me to see how soft this society has become.

There is no such thing as an "ex-marine."

BR_549 writes:

I know this is off topic but watching this Ohio State game every time they show a picture of Aaron Craft I crave a barbeque sandwich. I wonder what CBP says under his breath when he sees him on TV.

kyletrktr writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

the sissy needs to man up and play thru the pain. He would never make it on the football team. I played football with bruised thighs, knees and a broken collar bone. Guys these days are coddled like little kids.

Dude, chill out. Based from what I've seen from our coach, it's not Maymon's decision wether he plays or not. Go tell Maymon that to his face, and I bet he'll show you how much of a man he is... by walking away and being a real man.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

I definitely am big enough to face Maymon and tell him to "man up" and play the game. I also know that perhaps his injury is worse than a bruised knee but for the record....If I could at least walk, wild horses could not keep me on the bench in a tourney game. Maybe Cuonzo wants to coddle Maymon but from what I have read the dude can walk and run. I'd rather have a sore Maymon under the basket than a healthy Yemi. Put Maymon in the game, give him the ball and watch him forget he has a sore knee. From those who have disagreed with my post I am certain their boys are mamma's boys who cry over a splinter. I am an ex marine who was brought up and taught toughness. It sickens me to see how soft this society has become.

My Daddy's tougher than your Daddy! I can spit further than you too. btw most people think than playin' with a broken collar bone or any broken bone is the act of a "bonehead". However I am NOT calling you one. or Maymon. I'm definitely NOT big enough to fight either of you. I guess that makes me pretty much a useless human being. On well. Society nowadays.

Now that said I DO want to thank all marines and soldiers of the USA armed forces!! Seriously. What ever your mental status. I regret having not served...I had broken my pinky at the time.

Theo writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

I definitely am big enough to face Maymon and tell him to "man up" and play the game. I also know that perhaps his injury is worse than a bruised knee but for the record....If I could at least walk, wild horses could not keep me on the bench in a tourney game. Maybe Cuonzo wants to coddle Maymon but from what I have read the dude can walk and run. I'd rather have a sore Maymon under the basket than a healthy Yemi. Put Maymon in the game, give him the ball and watch him forget he has a sore knee. From those who have disagreed with my post I am certain their boys are mamma's boys who cry over a splinter. I am an ex marine who was brought up and taught toughness. It sickens me to see how soft this society has become.

Blah, blah, blah.

volcraze writes:

in response to Stooley_Dinks:

I have no reason to question Maymon. He has really made a move this season into a factor in the SEC. So, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Having said that, the title of this article is a lie. Without Maymon, we will struggle. I know Richardson made some plays against Savannah Community College State Tech Trade School, but I do not like to watch this team offensively when Richardson and McCrae are the ones shooting.

We got away with relying on Richardson and Yemi once, but I do not think we will do it again.

We flat out need Maymon!

Savannah CCSTTS---hilarious. I'm still laughing.

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

I definitely am big enough to face Maymon and tell him to "man up" and play the game. I also know that perhaps his injury is worse than a bruised knee but for the record....If I could at least walk, wild horses could not keep me on the bench in a tourney game. Maybe Cuonzo wants to coddle Maymon but from what I have read the dude can walk and run. I'd rather have a sore Maymon under the basket than a healthy Yemi. Put Maymon in the game, give him the ball and watch him forget he has a sore knee. From those who have disagreed with my post I am certain their boys are mamma's boys who cry over a splinter. I am an ex marine who was brought up and taught toughness. It sickens me to see how soft this society has become.

Lighten Up Big Francis!

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to doesitmatter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree. The NIT is a joke and for LOSERS!

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor bet you got the greenest lawn on the block! lol
Bones never lie.

LOL

johnlg00 writes:

in response to doesitmatter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Depends on which games you were watching. Some of those games were real stinkers. No question in my mind that if the Vols WERE in the tournament, they would be a lot better than some of those that are.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

True NIT critics would maybe post once about it and move on to the beloved NCAA. However, these same critics post several times after each NIT article. Go on and just leave the site until the accursed NIT is over. Go fill out your Big Dance brackets. As for the rest of us, we'll support UT in the NIT because this is simply our tournament for this year. Go support your bandwagon teams and high-five over which number-one seed you so happen to like. Go embrace CBS and TBS in a big love-fest. Hey, I'm watching the Big Dance too, but I'm also watching the Big Orange come Monday night. And hoping for a win (which not everyone seems to want).

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