Jeronne Maymon: 'I should be 100 percent by the end of July'

Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon leads teammates in a pre-game huddle before the matchup against Florida at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon leads teammates in a pre-game huddle before the matchup against Florida at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

#34 Jeronne Maymon

#34 Jeronne Maymon

Jeronne Maymon’s road to recovery has been one pockmarked by setbacks, speculation and self-motivation.

The Tennessee forward played his last basketball game on March 19, 2012.

Complications from left knee surgery washed away his 2012-13 season. Now, though, Maymon says his road is clear and paved. The redshirt senior is participating in workouts, playing occasional five-on-five games and slowly rounding back into form.

“I should be 100 percent by the end of July,” he said Saturday.

Maymon spoke with optimism confined by experience.

He was supposed to be 100 percent prior to the Vols’ trip to Italy last summer. He wasn’t.

He was supposed to be 100 percent by preseason workouts. He wasn’t.

After missing the beginning of the season, he was supposed to be 100 percent by midyear.

Nope.

“It’s been very frustrating,” said Maymon, an All-SEC second team selection in 2011-12 after averaging 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game as a junior. “I’m really impatient right now. I want the season to be here and I want to be healthy.”

There is no longer any swelling in Maymon’s knee, and while running and jumping are still chores, both are at least pain-free. His current goals include losing some weight, strengthening his left quadriceps and improving his conditioning.

“You’ve got to be patient,” he said. “Sometimes I’m at home and I’m upset and angry. I can’t just go out there and play in an open gym anytime and do things I used to do. And when I am able to play I still think I can do certain things without having my strength, but I can’t.

“Right now I don’t really know the level that I’m at — it’s hard to put a number on it. I’m doing really good, but I can be so much better when I get my strength back and my ability to jump and can move without thinking.

“If I’m diligent in my work, everything is going to be fine.”

UT coach Cuonzo Martin was asked about Maymon last week during the SEC meetings in Destin, Fla. He was unflinching in responding, “I think he’ll be basketball-ready. He looks on pace to be 100 percent.”

It’s a prudent pace. Maymon says he isn’t rushing anything. His two-a-day workouts consist mainly of lifting and conditioning. He doesn’t do much unnecessary running, opting instead for a stationary bike.

He wants to scrimmage as much as possible, but team doctors, led by associate director of sports medicine Chad Newman, cage him at times.

“If I lose some weight and gain my strength back, I’ll feel like myself again, but right now, I just feel a little slow out there with the ball; a little sluggish,” Maymon said. “I think it will come back in time.”

Frustration aside, Maymon’s focus is trained on November 2013 — his scheduled return to Tennessee basketball.

He’s hoping for a one-way street.

“God willing, I’ll be out there, 100 percent, and doing everything I used to do and better,” Maymon said. “I’m really excited. I’m really anxious.”

Newcomers onboard: Freshmen Robert Hubbs III, Darius Thompson and A.J. Davis, and junior college transfer Rawane Ndiaye are all enrolled in UT’s first summer session and participating in team workouts.

Hubbs is listed at 6-foot-5, 180 pounds, while Thompson is 6-4, 180, Davis is 6-8, 200 and Ndiaye is 6-10, 250.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 29

cdldoc#211897 writes:

I don't think this bodes well. For Maymon to be the player he was things should sound much better today than it sounds. He may play but I am afraid he will not meet his own expectations.

elbtenn#502977 writes:

You got ALL summer, dude!

Caspian writes:

This is the most mysterious and slowest healing injury I've ever seen.

Germanicus writes:

Brendan, how much weight has Jeronne gained? Is 10 or 15 pounds over or 25-30?

NowHearThis writes:

A dude that big NEVER returns 100% after a knee injury. Plus, as much as he has been hyped, he would need to be Lebron James II to live up to Vols fans expectations.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

"All things are possible" Jeronne. Just give it all. you'll be fine.

HooRay_Vol writes:

Hoo-Ray for Maymon! I think we will be in good shape next year. Should make the big dance!

murrayvol writes:

in response to NowHearThis:

A dude that big NEVER returns 100% after a knee injury. Plus, as much as he has been hyped, he would need to be Lebron James II to live up to Vols fans expectations.

Not really. I'll settle for him being sound enough to take the pressure off Stokes in the low block.

BUBBANUTS48 writes:

Sounds like there's more to it than he says! Stay strong Maymon you'll be just fine at the start of the new seson!!!!! GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!

StoneJackBaller writes:

This doesn't sound good...at all. I don't expect much from him next year. Hopefully Hubbs and company can step it up.

brod writes:

hope he heals. won't be able to redshirt again.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to brod:

hope he heals. won't be able to redshirt again.

I'm sure it's crossed his mind. He knows it is unlikely that he could be drafted into the NBA, based on his career performance and recent medical history. He has had pretty much one productive season as mainly a post player at about 6'6" and 250 or so. He has hasn't proven to be a great perimeter shooter or defender. If he has any hope at all of making the NBA, he needs to have a 1st team All-SEC type season with a fairly well fleshed-out perimeter game. That means he has to be fit enough to play the fastest game possible in order to show he has the stamina and footspeed to play the whole court. I don't blame him for taking time getting ready and for trying to damp down expectations, but any future pro career will depend on him being, well, pretty much what the optimists have always hoped he would be when he finally got back on the floor for real.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Very cautious optimism. Don't expect the old Maymon, Vol fans.

VolGrad writes:

I think he is just trying to psyche out the rest of the SEC. Well, I hope that's it. :D

FanNotSheep writes:

He needs to be 100 percent or Martin may need to worry. With Maymon playing the way he did before the injury and the newcomers providing ball-handling and scoring on the perimeter, the Vols should be Sweet 16 or Elite 8. But if they lack Maymon's inside strength and if the new guys aren't what they're supposed to be… I don't see a lot of patience if the season starts sliding towards another NIT appearance.

This is make or break year for Martin.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

He needs to be 100 percent or Martin may need to worry. With Maymon playing the way he did before the injury and the newcomers providing ball-handling and scoring on the perimeter, the Vols should be Sweet 16 or Elite 8. But if they lack Maymon's inside strength and if the new guys aren't what they're supposed to be… I don't see a lot of patience if the season starts sliding towards another NIT appearance.

This is make or break year for Martin.

Baloney. nonsense. Wha? HEY YOU! Go away. getouda he! skidaddle.Skoot. run along now. Got outside and play and let us have some peace.

AND everything else I've been told when I was being annoying.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Uhhh GO not "got"

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Baloney. nonsense. Wha? HEY YOU! Go away. getouda he! skidaddle.Skoot. run along now. Got outside and play and let us have some peace.

AND everything else I've been told when I was being annoying.

What part is nonsense? Vols have most talent on the 2013 roster than any season since Pearl era and need to make most of it. Maybe Martin can replace Stokes, Maymon and McRae with 5-star recruits -- or maybe he can't. I say he needs a Sweet 16 or I'll be disappointed. Another NIT with the talent on this team and there will be trouble.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

What part is nonsense? Vols have most talent on the 2013 roster than any season since Pearl era and need to make most of it. Maybe Martin can replace Stokes, Maymon and McRae with 5-star recruits -- or maybe he can't. I say he needs a Sweet 16 or I'll be disappointed. Another NIT with the talent on this team and there will be trouble.

I've always been a little less skeptical of CCM than you seem to be, but I pretty much agree with you on this. The stars will likely never again be so perfectly aligned for UT basketball success unless CCM gets better, as a coach and as a recruiter. All of the known experienced talent, especially the offensive threats, will be gone after next season. There will still be a good deal of experience on the squad, but it will be the likes of Richardson, Moore, Reese, Chievous, Hubbs, and Thompson, to name a few. If Hubbs and Thompson can play at a high level and the others continue to improve, that is not a terrible nucleus.

BUT the front-court situation becomes critical. The only real chance CCM has to impress some good young big men is for this year's post tandem to kick serious butt with good fundamentals, and for the perimeter players to show that they can feed the post, protect the ball, drive the lane, run full-court, and make open perimeter shots. The whole team needs to show more purpose, cohesion, and execution in the half-court offense, especially against zones. They need out-of-bounds plays they can rely on for scores. They need to manage all the standard, routine game situations--time-outs, substitutions, tactical and strategic adjustments, foul trouble both ways, etc., i.e., all the ways to steal points and time that usually determine who wins the close ones. If all those things happen, then CCM might have a real shot at some (more) real difference-making talent. If not, well....

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I've always been a little less skeptical of CCM than you seem to be, but I pretty much agree with you on this. The stars will likely never again be so perfectly aligned for UT basketball success unless CCM gets better, as a coach and as a recruiter. All of the known experienced talent, especially the offensive threats, will be gone after next season. There will still be a good deal of experience on the squad, but it will be the likes of Richardson, Moore, Reese, Chievous, Hubbs, and Thompson, to name a few. If Hubbs and Thompson can play at a high level and the others continue to improve, that is not a terrible nucleus.

BUT the front-court situation becomes critical. The only real chance CCM has to impress some good young big men is for this year's post tandem to kick serious butt with good fundamentals, and for the perimeter players to show that they can feed the post, protect the ball, drive the lane, run full-court, and make open perimeter shots. The whole team needs to show more purpose, cohesion, and execution in the half-court offense, especially against zones. They need out-of-bounds plays they can rely on for scores. They need to manage all the standard, routine game situations--time-outs, substitutions, tactical and strategic adjustments, foul trouble both ways, etc., i.e., all the ways to steal points and time that usually determine who wins the close ones. If all those things happen, then CCM might have a real shot at some (more) real difference-making talent. If not, well....

I'm skeptical of everyone until they convince me they know what they're doing.

I wish Martin nothing but success. Now, do I wish Pearl was still court-side for the Vols? Sure I do. He was the best coach the school has had in nearly a half-century (I give Mears the benefit of the doubt that if more than 16 teams could make the NCAA field back then the Vols would have made something happen a few times) and the penalty Bruce paid was way way beyond the crime.

If Hamilton and his inferiors in the UT administration had half the guts Doug Dickey had, Pearl would still be the head coach. That's my opinion, of which I am entitled. No one need agree with it. I've been a UT basketball fan since Mears coached Justus and Boerwinkle. I am no expert but I know the Pearl years were the most fun of any I witnessed. Especially the first two or three seasons and all the huge wins against Florida. I am glad I got to see them play. It was a privilege.

I think the upcoming team can be Elite 8 good, maybe better. Or they could fail to play together, suffer from lack of experience at the point, face injuries, etc. I want something good to happen for Tennessee Men's Athletics soon. And this is the best opportunity for at least the next couple years.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

What part is nonsense? Vols have most talent on the 2013 roster than any season since Pearl era and need to make most of it. Maybe Martin can replace Stokes, Maymon and McRae with 5-star recruits -- or maybe he can't. I say he needs a Sweet 16 or I'll be disappointed. Another NIT with the talent on this team and there will be trouble.

I was only goofin' around! But I don't think this should be a make or break year for Martin. He'd have to have less than 20 wins (in my opinion) to get canned. Anything over 20 will keep him here a couple of more years I think. I may be wrong on that. We'll see if that scenario happens. I certainly hope not. I'd love to see us back up to 25 wins or more this year. 25 wins should draw some future talent.

johnlg00 writes:

I have no problem with any of this. We would seem to be rough contemporaries in terms of fandom. I do remember watching games in the old Alumni Gym, but I didn't follow the team closely until at least HS age. I saw virtues in every Vol team and coach as well as such flaws as I noticed as I learned more about the game.

I appreciated the Pearl years as much as anyone could who couldn't attend many games, catch all the local media, or converse with any other Vol fans except on here. I know that a LOT of people were, first, outraged at Pearl's dismissal and, second, outraged at the AD for not hiring a proven big-time winner to follow him. Much of the excess of this outrage has seemed to fall disproportionately, IMHO, on CCM.

I wish he had made the kind of immediate impact that Pearl did, but there are just a lot of variables in how teams come together and perform, of which coaching is only one. I was impressed enough with what I knew about his background and his recent coaching record, which included a more-than-credible performance against Pearl's Vols in TBA.

It occurred to me pretty early on that Martin seemed to be very focused on what kind of program he wanted to have, both off the court and in the image of toughness he wanted the team to project on the court. Looked at in the most limited way, some could say this means that Martin thinks he doesn't need or want talented players because he is going to teach everybody to play in such a way that they don't have to rely on great talent. In any case, he is at bottom more interested in molding players' characters than in some of the minutiae of the game. He may think that the simpler his system is, the better it will be executed, the more consistent the results, and the better chance you have of being competitive against anybody. It is not so much that Martin doesn't WANT talent as the fact that he hasn't HAD a lot of it and has had to make a virtue of necessity. That, ironically, is the main reason why the performance of this year's talented team is so important for recruiting going forward.

It's hard to argue with any of those objectives, IMHO, and if I have heard them right. The thing is, some feel that as deeply invested in the guts of the game as Martin seems to be, he has yet to master the subtlties that great coaches use to get the best out of any team. The team he could have for next year seems capable of playing with the very best. If it comes together in the best way possible, they could reach almost any heights.

If it doesn't, then the heat under Martin's seat will rise. My general thought about Martin is an echo of an old story. A fan was talking to his favorite team's head coach: "We love ya, coach. We love you win or tie. We'll love you if you lose, and we'll miss you, too!"

johnlg00 writes:

Apologies to all for the oration. It's a lazy, rainy Thursday morning and I have a few days off from a job I've been working on for a couple of months now. Hard work for an old man who is basically just earning golf money! FNS often gives me a viewpoint that prompts me to clarify my own.

vol98champ writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Apologies to all for the oration. It's a lazy, rainy Thursday morning and I have a few days off from a job I've been working on for a couple of months now. Hard work for an old man who is basically just earning golf money! FNS often gives me a viewpoint that prompts me to clarify my own.

john, you are one of the few posters who orate that I read thoroughly. Keep it up. I believe you are very basketball savvy. Not so sure about FPS.

FanNotSheep writes:

Johnig00: That was an awesome post and better than most of the articles on the site. Agree that Martin is a coach who cares about players and that's a great thing. I guess I just miss the excitement that Pearl's teams (not so much in his final season) generated on the court. I don't know if nearly all the credit should go to Pearl or be split fairly equally between him and his assistants, but there was genius there, and they took the same players Buzz Peterson got nothing out of and somehow built a great team that was fun to watch.

So much of college basketball now is very hard for me to watch. Defensive struggles are for purists, and though I can certainly appreciate the tough-nosed guys who grind it out, no Vol coach I ever saw put a team on the floor that played with a reckless abandon, was so energetic, so opportunistic and so above-the-rim brilliant as those teams. JuJuan Smith, Chris Lofton, Dane Bradshaw, even JP Prince -- I wish I could thank them for the best times I had, either at TBA or in front of my TV, in the 45 years of UT basketball I was old enough to even vaguely understand.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Gosh! Golly! Gee whiz!

We were all fans of Pearl's teams even till he let them goo up the last tourney. At least he was in the tourney.

However I've seen some progression in Martin's game plans. You have to admit that before last year you never thought you'd see any form of a zone.hehe I doubt we will this year either now that maybe we can contain the point using man. I bet with that off Martin's mind he can mix in some pressure defenses and maybe even some inboundin plays etc. I'm just not an Xs & Os guy to really suggest what plays.

I really think Martin will be here ahwile. For one thing he's a VFL type. He seems to like it here when we win at least. If so I hope he likes it here a lot. But I'm like most on here I DO want us to win 20+ games every uear and to be in the NCAAs every year. Beating the likes of Kentucky AND Florida goes a long way towards wanting Martin here now.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

PS Just so ya'll know...I love to see the Mocs back in the tourney too. It's been a while though since they've had any NBA potential on the team.

Moose McGary
GoGo Gordon
William Golden
Russ Shoene
Willie White
Gerald Wilkins

A few almost NBA and a few that made it for a while. Good days. In some ways just as strong a tradition as UT. McGary or perhaps Wilkins would be the only ones to even being close to a Bernard King. /while probably shot the 3 as well as anyone UT ever had. At least in the clutch(ok not counting Loften or even JSmith).

I think I'll step out of these thoughts now.lol They did make that sweet 16 run though. The mocs that is.
I guess that would only make sense to a UTC fan.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

UH That's White not While?
White shot the 3 well.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Hmmm. I guess I'm the only one who cares about the mocs.
Sorry 'bout that.

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