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