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.