Jeronne Maymon

Knee injury forces Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon to redshirt

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One question throughout the non-conference portion of the schedule was how much of an impact would power forward Jeronne Maymon have on the Tennessee Volunteers upon his return from an injury to his left knee.

Unfortunately for Maymon and the Volunteers they’ll have to figure things out without their leading rebounder from a season ago, as a slow recovery led to the decision to sit out the remainder of the 2012-13 season.

Maymon will redshirt this season and plans to return for his fifth year according to the school release.

“It’s really tough to know that I can’t be on the court with my teammates this season. But I have confidence in them, just like I have confidence in these coaches and our medical staff,” Maymon said in the release. “I know this is in my best interest, and I am going to work incredibly hard to come back as an even better player and teammate next season. I love Tennessee.

“I believe everything happens for a reason, and I see this injury as a blessing in disguise. God does not make mistakes.”

Maymon averaged 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game last season, and with Jarnell Stokes having a full offseason in the Tennessee program (he didn’t join the Vols until January last season) the native of Madison, Wisconsin was expected to be one of the SEC’s best front court players.

But Maymon underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee in June, only to suffer a setback in the recovery process in November. He didn’t participate in a single practice this season.

With Maymon ruled out the question for Tennessee (8-4) as they begin SEC play is whether or not Cuonzo Martin’s team can improve its production on the offensive end. Tennessee is averaging 64.5 points per game and shooting 42.6% from the field, numbers that rank 11th and 10th in the SEC respectively.

The Volunteers posted their second-highest point total of the season in Friday night’s 85-80 loss to Memphis, shooting 43.6% from the field and scoring 17 second-chance points.

Jordan McRae (26 points) and Josh Richardson (20 points, nine rebounds) led the way, and those two will be key figures going forward in the Volunteers’ quest to return to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season.

Tennessee opens SEC play on Wednesday night, hosting Ole Miss.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Louisville campus police reviewing escort allegations

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Louisville campus police now say they are reviewing allegations that a former men’s basketball staffer hired escorts to dance and have sex with recruits and players in a dormitory.

Katina Powell has alleged in a book released online over the weekend that former Cardinals director of basketball operation Andre McGee paid her $10,000 for dancers to perform 22 shows from 2010-14 at the players’ Billy Minardi Hall dormitory. The school reported those allegations to the NCAA and has launched an investigation.

“The University of Louisville Police Department, in consultation with the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, is reviewing allegations regarding the men’s basketball program,” University police chief Wayne Hall said Tuesday in a statement.

It was the first confirmation that police are looking into the allegations. When contacted last week, a campus police operator said they weren’t aware of the book allegations, and it was unclear at that time if an investigation had been launched.

Cardinals coach Rick Pitino has said that McGee denied Powell’s allegations.

McGee left in 2014 and is currently an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City, which has put him on paid leave.

Pitino said Saturday that he hasn’t read Powell’s book titled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” and doesn’t plan to. The 104-page book was published by an affiliate of the Indianapolis Business Journal and is scheduled for hardcover release Oct. 12.

The woman said that she and three of her daughters, along with other women, danced and stripped for Louisville recruits and players and performed sex acts with them, according to the book. Powell, 43, also said McGee offered recruits alcohol at those parties.

Upon hearing of the allegations, Pitino said he did some investigating on his own before being told by the school’s compliance department not to talk to players. But the coach said he talked to other assistants about the allegations and all of them denied knowing of the activities outlined in Powell’s book.

“I’m going through 15 people who worked here, and not one person even had a premonition of something wrong,” Pitino said. “Not one person living in the dorm had even the slightest premonition. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Louisville has hired Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group, which assists schools in NCAA cases, to review the allegations.

McGee left Louisville in 2014 to become an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City under Kareem Richardson, who was a Cardinals assistant from 2012-13. He was placed on paid administrative on Friday and has been unavailable for comment. McGee’s Louisville attorney, Scott Cox, didn’t comment because the investigation is ongoing.

St. John’s hires Mitch Richmond as a special assistant

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St. John’s added its second Hall of Famer to the coaching staff on Tuesday, announcing Mitch Richmond had been hired as a special assistant to first-year head coach Chris Mullin.

Mullin and Richmond, along with Tim Hardaway, made up Run TMC, the short-lived, high-scoring offense the Golden State Warriors played from 1989-91.

Mullin was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2011. Three years later, he was a presenter to Richmond’s enshrinement in Springfield.

“Mitch is committed to helping us build this program and develop an environment for sustained success at St. John’s,” Mullin said in a statement. “He has tremendous basketball insight, a vision for the game and a passion to share his knowledge. Obviously, his experience in different roles throughout his career as a player, scout and mentor will have an impact in many areas.”

Earlier this summer, Mullin bolstered his coaching staff with the additions of associate head coach Barry Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih. Greg St. Jean was hired later in the summer.

The Red Storm open the 2015-16 season on Nov. 13 against Wagner.