Friday, March 7, 2014

Jeronne Maymon Deserves Our Appreciation Saturday

Remember Jeronne Maymon’s 32 and 20 game against Memphis in Maui?

It was all anyone could talk about for weeks concerning Tennessee basketball. Pearl had just been fired. No one knew how to spell Cuonzo. Stokes hadn’t yet joined the team. Maymon’s epic performance was the bright spot that gave everyone hope that all was not lost. 

It’s difficult to watch Maymon play now. He looks like he’s in constant pain during every game, and his knee seems like it could fail him at any moment. He doesn’t look at all like the guy he was two years ago. His stats are similar, with a slight dip in PPG (12.7 in 2011-12 to 10.4 this season), but he seems more like a guy keeping his fingers crossed he can make it down this home stretch.

I’ve always liked him as the heart of the team. I don’t know if he is or isn’t in the locker room, but he embodied Martin’s tough style and gritty attitude. When Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson left, Maymon stepped in as the face of Tennessee basketball when it needed it most.

Saturday is senior night. It’s been overshadowed by all the talk swirling about making the tournament or Martin’s future with Tennessee, but it will be the final home game for Maymon and Jordan McRae. McRae clearly has a future as either a role player off the bench in the NBA or playing overseas, but Maymon’s playing days are likely drawing to a close. Speculation about the future of the program sucks me in as much as anyone else, but lets not let Saturday come and go without appreciating who Maymon was to the program and who he was to us as fans. He gave his all for Tennessee.

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