Vols' Jeronne Maymon second-team All-SEC

Vols' Jeronne Maymon second-team All-SEC

March 7th, 2012 by Patrick Brown in Sports - College

Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon (34) puts up a shot.

Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon (34) puts up a shot.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE -- Jeronne Maymon admits his style is unconventional.

Neither the tallest player nor the highest jumper, the University of Tennessee junior forward must be creative in the post.

"It's all about quickness and smarts," he said Tuesday.

It works, however one prefers to describe it.

Scoop shots, up-and-under moves, pump fakes and considerable contact -- Maymon used them all to develop into the Volunteers' most consistent overall weapon. He is their second-leading scorer and top rebounder, which earned him a selection to the All-SEC second team Tuesday.

"It definitely shows where I've come from and where I'm headed to," he said.

Despite the Vols' second-place finish, Maymon and all-freshman-team selection Jarnell Stokes were their only players honored by the league. UT opens SEC tournament in a Friday night quarterfinal against either Ole Miss or Auburn in New Orleans. There Maymon most likely will score at least 12 points, as he did in every SEC game this season.

"I just think it's a credit to his hard work and his approach to the game, wanting to be a good basketball player, how he was raised -- I think all those things combined led to his success," said UT coach Cuonzo Martin.

"He's a lot more aggressive than what he was. I just think it's him every day having the confidence in his abilities and his skill level and what he's capable of doing. He's a complete basketball player."

With a listed height of 6-foot-7 that's slightly generous, Maymon must rely on his 265-pound frame and his craftiness. His strength also is an asset in bulling his way into scoring position.

UT assistant coach Jon Harris, who works with the Vols' post players, stands 6-7 himself, though that didn't stop him from finishing 20th on Conference USA's all-time career rebounding list during his career at Marquette from 1998 to 2002. Martin's former Missouri State assistant chose "unique" to describe Maymon's post game.

"No question about it," Harris said. "Most undersized guys -- and I wasn't any different -- they've got a knack for getting their shot off. They play a little different than what you see from a traditional big, but that's something he's learned always being smaller is how to get his shot off.

"It's his mentality. It's kill or be killed. He's got that mentality where he wants to dominate the game really on both ends of the floor, and his strength doesn't hurt."

Maymon scored 28 points in two games against Kentucky, the nation's top shot-blocking team that features Anthony Davis, the SEC's player, freshman and defender of the year. Maymon scored 20 points against Alabama, which played a pair of 7-footers.

Ole Miss's long, athletic frontcourt couldn't stop Maymon from scoring 18 points with 11 rebounds. He had 27 points and 15 rebounds in two games against Vanderbilt's big and bruising forwards.

"He's a machine, and he plays hard," Harris said. "He's got a strong motor, and most guys, especially bigger guys, aren't accustomed to seeing that consistently because the bigger guys tend to take plays off here or there. He doesn't have that luxury."

His style leads to contact and fouls. Maymon shot the most free throws of any player in the SEC, and he had nine games with seven or more trips to the line. Though he shot just 66 percent from the stripe, he made 57 percent of his field goals in SEC play. Only point guard Trae Golden has taken more shots this season.

"He definitely has experience, but his quickness mixed with size, you don't get that with a lot of guys," Stokes said. "He definitely has quickness, and he can finish with either hand. That's pretty much all a post player needs."

Maymon said he works on his post skills in his free time and before or after practice. He's also developed into a dependable ball-handler, and his next goal is to develop a consistent midrange jump shot. Until then, he'll settle with what's comfortable.

"I just try to get my shot quick up on the glass and hopefully draw a foul," he said.

Added Stokes: "You never know what's coming when he gets the ball. He can score in a variety of ways. If you consider that unorthodox, it wouldn't be a bad word to say."

As expected, Kentucky's John Calipari was voted SEC coach of the year.