Jeronne Maymon's return from injury remains a mystery

Tennessee's Trae Golden tries to move the ball past Victory's Srdjan Stamenkovic during an exhibition game at Thompson-Boling Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.  (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee's Trae Golden tries to move the ball past Victory's Srdjan Stamenkovic during an exhibition game at Thompson-Boling Arena, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Life without Jeronne Maymon is about to begin.

It's still unknown how long it will last.

Tennessee's big, bruising 6-foot-7 power forward remains on the mend, an injured knee being the culprit. The latest development isn't a good one.

Maymon, who underwent arthroscopic surgery to address a torn meniscus in March, has recently been spotted hobbling along on crutches.

As of last week, he was walking on his own.

Vols coach Cuonzo Martin has remained close-lipped on the subject. Last asked for an update following Monday's 99-57 exhibition win over Victory University, Martin shrugged and said, "I couldn't tell you to be honest with you."

UT should survive comfortably without Maymon in its season-opener against Kennesaw State on Friday. The Owls went 3-28 last year.

The road ahead, though, isn't quite as tamable. Next week brings three games in four days at the Puerto Rico Tipoff.

Maymon's absence trumps any other early season concern for the Vols.

Look beyond his 12.7 points

and 8.1 rebounds per game last season.

Maymon was UT's safety valve. If jumpers stopped falling or the offense stalled, the team looked his way.

He accounted for 18.4 percent of the Vols' total made field goals. He ranked 10th in the SEC with a floor percentage of 56.2, a stat kept by statsheet.com measuring the percentage of possessions resulting in points when an individual player is on the floor.

If Maymon didn't score, he went to the line. He attempted six or more free throws in nine of the Vols' last 11 games. His 184 total free throw attempts ranked third in the SEC and 28.8 percent of his total points came from the stripe.

He made good things happen.

Then there's Maymon's rebounding, arguably his greatest asset. He ranked in the top five in the SEC in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage (the number of rebounds controlled relative to the number of rebound opportunities).

For the foreseeable future, Martin and the Vols will look to replace Maymon by committee.

No easy task.

In Kenny Hall's final two games last year, the 6-foot-9 forward grabbed 10 rebounds in 32 minutes against South Carolina and scored eight points on 4-of-8 shooting in an upset win at Florida.

Then his season ended in suspension.

Hall will hold Maymon's spot in the starting lineup on Friday.

Asked Tuesday if supplanting the Vols' second-leading scorer and leading rebounder would change his approach, the senior replied, "I'm not going to try to do anything out of my element."

Redshirt freshman Quinton Chievous, meanwhile, offers an entirely different look.

He's 2 inches shorter and 60 pounds lighter than Maymon, and has recently shifted from guard to power forward.

Toss in developing 6-foot-9 center Yemi Makanjuola and the committee replacing Maymon will be fluid and unpredictable.

That's life, until Martin says otherwise.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 18

mocsandvolsfan writes:

LOL Q? You wouldn't be the first player to be scored on by weaker talent. I'm 99.99999% certain you're more talented that that big. But I didn't see the scrimmage and don't really know so I guess that % is skewed. 99.0 % maybe.

VolGrad writes:

Deja... Q?

Same story, different headline.

Ironcity writes:

Good luck Jerone. Even when Maymann returns I doubt he will be nearly as effective as he was last year for at least a month. I may be wrong but I don't think he has played much ball nor practiced at all since his surgeries.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

LOL Q? You wouldn't be the first player to be scored on by weaker talent. I'm 99.99999% certain you're more talented that that big. But I didn't see the scrimmage and don't really know so I guess that % is skewed. 99.0 % maybe.

hmmm. KNS??? How did my above posts get on this article? That post was for Q in the scrimmage against Victory's big??
Now as far as Maymon goes. I'd rather have him against SEC if we have to have him sit out some.
My guess is they did some repair to the repair on his knees. Hopefully just some small clean up inside and nothing that won't heal quickly. Hopefully. Meanwhile let's use our other bigs to win some and make Maymon happy in the healing process.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

"I'm not going to do anything out of my element"

Sounds like Hall's listening to his coach. Good job Hall. Your "element" can be pretty darn good if you do it right.

brod writes:

this is worse than i thought.

mancell1871 writes:

Here's the problem with this. If Maymon's out for some time UT could be in trouble with only 3 true bigs on the roster. Let's all hope that Maymon returns quickly. Q can play PF against the Kennesaw states of the world but not the NCstates.

lomas98 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Good luck Jerone. Even when Maymann returns I doubt he will be nearly as effective as he was last year for at least a month. I may be wrong but I don't think he has played much ball nor practiced at all since his surgeries.

I think you are correct on his playing/practicing. I doubt he has seen much action since MTSU game. He won't be nearly as effective since the long layoff.

This is a huge problem for this team. Stokes is good but I'm afraid we will have trouble getting him the ball without Maymon in there. Both of those guys can beat you one on one and now Stokes will get a lot of double teams. I think Maymon's presence makes this team a pretty good bet for making the NCAA tournament. Without him and with the schedule we are facing, I see bubble team again. He needs to get healthy but I don't think this looks too good.

volfan2002 writes:

I don't think this will be all that long if there is no structural damage to the knee. A knee infection can be cured in a couple weeks tops and then he should be ready to go.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

On crutches?? That's not good.Recovery from artho surgery should be around 2 to 3 months so something is wrong here..Ive said it many times; the solution is Yemi. Yemi; Iam sure is somewhat improved but he has to be a creator instead of a put back guy

johnlg00 writes:

Gotta say this is sounding worse all the time. All we can do is hope CCM is just being super cautious to ensure he is completely healthy before throwing him into action. I think he might have gone back on the court too soon after his injury last year and that is why he was hobbling late in the season. Maybe they just want to be sure he is ready for the SEC season. Everybody do whatever you do for luck and wish Jeronne a complete and timely recovery!

WelovePat writes:

I had the same surgery in August and was off crutches that same week. I limped a bunch for awhile but am feeling pretty good now. Every now and then I am reminded when I turn a certain way that...HOLY phooey...I did have knee surgery. His tear must have been considerably worse than mine. I feel bad for him....get better soon big guy!!

Ironcity writes:

in response to mancell1871:

Here's the problem with this. If Maymon's out for some time UT could be in trouble with only 3 true bigs on the roster. Let's all hope that Maymon returns quickly. Q can play PF against the Kennesaw states of the world but not the NCstates.

Don't forget Miller. He is also hurt but he is a big dude with a lot of experience

Ironcity writes:

in response to volfan2002:

I don't think this will be all that long if there is no structural damage to the knee. A knee infection can be cured in a couple weeks tops and then he should be ready to go.

From someone who ahs now ahd 4 knee surgeries. YOu never know how its going to feel and how quickly you will heel. One problem is basketball is ahrdest sport on teh knee so its not like in baseball where guys come back in two weeks after having their knee cleaned out. That pounding that is taken with the body contact and the constant jumping will take a tool on the knees even when they are healthy. I get the feeling for Maymonn the knee is just not right. I had the same procedure done on both knees, in one case I was as good as new in 6 months in the other I had swelling and pain years after the procedure. I would not be surprised to hear that he has yet another surgery here in the near future. This may also be why UT is saving the scholarship for the spring.

CoverOrange writes:

My guess is the March surgery didn't heal right and they had to go do a second one, thus why crutches recently then walking on his own. Question is did the second one do the trick and how long to heal and play. Not to mention, is he even in basketball shape?

1vavolfan writes:

Well this stinks. The 2nd game in Puerto Rico against OK St or Akron will be tough, if we make it to the finals and have to play NC State we will miss Maymon. At UVA and G'Town will be tough as well.UT will be good this year, if everyone is healthy in March it could be special.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Well this stinks. The 2nd game in Puerto Rico against OK St or Akron will be tough, if we make it to the finals and have to play NC State we will miss Maymon. At UVA and G'Town will be tough as well.UT will be good this year, if everyone is healthy in March it could be special.

NC State is of course everybody's pick for #1 in the ACC this year, and with four returning starters and some good incoming freshmen, I see no reason to doubt them. On the plus side for the Vols playing them without Maymon, they really aren't very big. Their best post player is a sturdy 6'8" or so but has been foul-prone most of his career. In fact, size-wise, they look a lot like the Vols. CJ Leslie, their best player, is a rather slender 6'7" or so. Their biggest height advantage is at point guard, where Lorenzo Brown is about 6'5" compared to Golden's 6'2". No doubt it would be a big help if the Vols had Maymon, but they aren't likely to be "gorilla'd" without him.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

"Amy what you gonna do?" we're all a little nervous about this season. It may be from our too high hopes in football. I don't know. but I expect us to be pretty good even without Maymon. If he heals then we'll definitely be ok as soon as he gets back in court shape.
I'd love to think it'll all turn out well but we don't know. Plus as you know this site seems to be a place to let off steam. so for me I don't mind the ranting.

However. I find it odd that some of the "posterers" are posting good things for Martin but they were giving the football team He!!.
This inconsistency may just be to Martin's success but it makes me suspicious of anything they say.(collegegrove on other articles and brentrod on this)

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