Friday, December 18, 2009

Wrapping Up Jeronne Maymon (and Fun With Quotes!)

For as much as I’ve alluded this week to a discussion of it, I’m not sure there’s much that I can say about Jeronne Maymon’s departure from the Marquette basketball team that’s unique. It would be tough for nearly any reasonable person to look at the decision made by Jeronne Maymon and not think it’s a remarkably hasty choice that’s bound to impact him in a negative way. Coach Buzz Williams and Maymon’s father, Tim, have both confirmed that the departure is due to Maymon’s disagreement with the way that he is being utilized. Maymon has been asked to play primarily a post position, despite an understanding at the time of his commitment that he would be spending time at shooting guard and small forward.

What Maymon’s dismay with this situation overlooks is that Marquette is currently a team with a number of guards and without a healthy, legitimate post player above the height of 6'6". At 6'6" and 250 pounds, he was the player most well-suited to pick up minutes in the post and was the logical player to fill that hole for the Golden Eagles. Not an ideal situation for anyone, but given the current roster, Maymon playing down low was a borderline necessity. He should have been able to see this, particularly with senior teammate, Lazar Hayward, thriving in the role that Maymon likely wished to fill, after years of playing out of position in the post. Maymon was literally playing alongside a guy doing exactly what he wanted to do, and who had started exactly the same way as Maymon was starting out and somehow failed to notice. Making things even more frustrating, Maymon was showing nice progress on the court, and looked like he would have been a solid contributor for his career at Marquette had he continued to plug away. But ten games in, he apparently was frustrated that he wasn't there yet.

Of course, we’ll never know how good Maymon would have been at Marquette, because he was unable to show the patience to wait his turn and contribute as asked this season. I’d be angry at Maymon if it wasn’t such a sad situation. While Maymon himself has had the good sense not to speak publicly about his departure, his father has been characteristically outspoken. Comments from Tim Maymon reveal an inflated opinion of his son’s abilities, and imply a misguided belief that college will only be a short detour on Jeronne Maymon’s journey to the NBA (a journey that, in reality, is a long shot, at best). Such beliefs would appear to be the only explanation for the prompt departure of Jeronne Maymon, who by any reasonable standard, was essentially thriving in his limited role as a freshman. One would hope that despite the misguided approach to his career, he’ll manage to at least find some benefit from his basketball abilities in the form of a college degree. Because it will be a sad ending when the NBA doesn’t come calling if all that Jeronne Maymon has to show for his talents is a couple of high school trophies. The fact that it took all of 10 games for him to sour on his first attempt at playing college ball doesn’t bode well, but I’m hoping that Jeronne Maymon can learn from this and stick out his next situation long enough to see some true benefits.

Of course, given that Jeronne Maymon has not commented to the media, we’re left wondering how much of this is actually his idea. So we’re left only with outrageous comments from his father to shed light on the situation. Below I’ve compiled some of the more outlandish and misguided comments attributed to Tim Maymon in various articles, and I’ll leave you with those today. Mr. Maymon’s comments appear in italics, while my own sarcastic comments follow each one in regular type. I wish I was making some of these up, but you can find every quote here, here or here. Enjoy the comments, and enjoy your weekend:

He'll play some two and some four depending on the teams. We're going to create a lot of matchups. Jeronne is going to be a hard matchup for any team we face, and depending on who their best player is, whether he's at the two, the three or the four, Jeronne will be pretty much guarding him and they'll pretty much have to guard Jeronne. We're not going to give leeway to teams because, ‘Oh, Jeronne's playing the two so we're going to move you to the three so Jeronne can't guard you.' No, Jeronne will be able to move to the two, three, four.

There are two obviously ridiculous things from this quote from Tim Maymon at the time of Jeronne Maymon’s original announcement that he would attend Marquette. First, there’s the notion that Maymon was going to step in and immediately be the team’s go-to, lock-down defender as a freshman. Not only that, he’s going to guard whoever the opposing team’s best player is, regardless of position, because he’s just that versatile. No one can hide from Jeronne Maymon. Second, I love the idea that a team would be able to avoid a matchup by simply labeling what position the player is playing. I don’t recall Buzz Williams’ press conference after losing to Villanova last season behind 27 points from Scottie Reynolds, but I’m pretty sure that he never said anything to the effect of “Well, we wanted to put Jerel McNeal, our best defender, on Reynolds, but coach Wright said that he was playing the three spot tonight, so we were forced to use Wesley Matthews on him instead, because he’s our small forward. My hands were tied.”

School's going great. That part is good. But he's not getting many touches. They're not trying to run the offense for him. They've got him playing center and that ain't what he does. So we just kind of moved on and regrouped for next year.

Well, at least Tim Maymon had realistic expectations for his son. As we know from the previous quote, he was going to immediately be a lock-down defender who guarded the best opposing player, regardless of position (*so long as that player’s not a center). As we know from this quote, he was also going to instantly be the focal point of the offense, and all sets would be designed around his skills. Oh, and from what I can glean from the previous quote, the opposing team’s best player will always be guarding him (*so long as that player’s not a center). That seems like a normal season for a freshman.

Right now, it's like he's up for recruitment. All I can say is ever since Buzz made the announcement Monday night, my phone has been ringing off the hook.

I’m going to venture that at least 50% of those calls are coming from reporters looking to get more outrageous quotes for their articles.

The bottom line is Jeronne just wanted to transfer. He just felt like it was time.

Well, at least he gave it some time. If things aren’t going to come together in almost a whole semester and nearly a dozen games, when are they?

We've just asked for a (scholarship) release so we can get out of here, because it ain't working out. He's not being used the way he needs to be used, so we're moving on.

Don’t you mean “We’re not being used the way we need to be used,” Tim?

Buzz had expressed to Jeronne that if he came there -- because he's losing three starters, not one - that Jeronne's playing time is enormous. ‘You, coming in with your talent level, you're going to play. That's just the bottom line. You're going to start and you're pretty much from 25 to 30 minutes a game.'

I’m firmly of the belief that what Tim Maymon heard and what Buzz Williams said are two completely different things. However even if you don’t believe that, it’s interesting to note that Maymon was well on his way to getting those 25 minutes per game that are talked about here. They simply weren’t at the right position for him. (Is it possible that Marquette was simply playing a lot of teams with great centers, and they simply needed Maymon to guard the best player all of the time?)

We're looking at some decent programs, like Central Florida, where Michael Jordan's son (Marcus) plays," Tim Maymon said. "That would be a great school that he could go in and they could pretty much get to the Final Four and do some damage.

Seems logical enough. I’ve long thought that adding a player who was averaging 15 minutes per game for a middle-of-the-pack Big East team was just what the storied Central Florida program needed to put them over the top in their quest to play in a Final Four. I can't believe these words actually came out of someone's mouth.


At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...maybe Tim can borrow the vernacular from the famous Seinfeld "Jimmy" episode, i.e. Jeronne's new to the team, Jeronne's goin' to the Final Four, Jeronne be trying to get some scratch for the old man!!!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares