Intriguing transfer

He was tired of playing the post for Marquette, so he transferred to Tennessee ... where - as fate would have it - he plays the post for the scout squad in practice each day.

The irony is not lost on Jeronne Maymon but he isn't complaining. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound freshman is convinced that his future with the Vols is far brighter than it would be with the Golden Eagles. That's why he was willing to move from Milwaukee to Knoxville two months ago and sit out a year before becoming eligible at UT next December.

"I was put in a position of having to play the 5 (post) because of some injuries on the team," he said of his days at Marquette. "They decided to move me down there because I was younger and just coming into the system. I thought I couldn't be successful down there playing in the paint the whole game and doing all of the block work.

"Being used out of position, I wasn't going to be able to show my full potential, so I decided to get out of there."

A two-time Wisconsin Player of the Year, Maymon led Madison Memorial High School to the state finals as a junior and to the Div. I state title as a senior, producing 25 points and 12 rebounds in the championship game.

When he moved to Milwaukee to attend college, however, his career stalled. Playing nine games with the Golden Eagles last November and early December, he averaged 4.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 16.3 minutes per game. When the semester break arrived, he decided to relocate to Tennessee, where he must sit out until the winter term of 2010 under NCAA transfer rules.

Although he was recruited by Vol coaches as a high schooler, Maymon didn't seriously consider the Big Orange at the time.

"Tennessee was in the running but they got in late and I already was pondering my decision," he recalled. "I still like Buzz Williams. He's a cool guy and that's why I picked Marquette - the coach - but things just didn't work out there."

Maymon is just as fond of Bruce Pearl, whose flair for marketing and showmanship is helping establish Tennessee as a high-profile program.

Asked what most attracted him to Big Orange Country, Maymon replied: "The stage. Almost every game is on TV, so this program is in the spotlight. There's a lot of talent in the conference. Coach Pearl is a real genuine guy, cool to be around, easy to talk to. I feel like this is a place where I can be a good teammate."

Maymon, a lefty, is exceptionally quick for his size. He is strong enough to play the 4 (power forward) and agile enough to play the 3 (small forward).

"I'm probably one of the fastest guys on the team, as far as lateral movement and all of that," he said. "I'm not slow by any means. I could play 2 through 4. I'd be comfortable at the 2, 3 or 4 but I can't play the 1 (point guard). I've tried it before and it's too hard.

"I think my best position is the 3 ... or the 4. It doesn't matter which I play. As long as you put me in a position where I know I can get the ball and I know I can be successful, everything is going to work out fine."

Vol assistant coach Jason Shay believes Maymon is skilled enough to play some 3 and 4 next season.

"Jeronne, for his size, has great versatility," Shay said. "He's got great court awareness. He can be a primary ball-handler. He makes good decisions because the ball's not like a hot potato out there for him. He's calm, under control, and has some poise with the basketball.

"He's a very good passer and decision-maker. He can handle the basketball, create plays for himself and for others. He's played undersized all of his life but he's got a great, physical body, so I think he can finish plays on the inside because of his strength and his quickness."

Whereas he was unhappy at Marquette, Maymon seems thrilled to be at Tennessee. He appears to have a great rapport with his new teammates.

"Oh, yeah," he said. "I knew Kenny Hall from AAU ball. During my visit here I got some guys' numbers and I began texting 'em.

"Everybody's real cool and down to earth. We're just trying to have a good time, bond as much as we can. We want to finish off this year strong and get ready for next year."

Inside Tennessee Top Stories