In what has become an alarming trend, another player has decided to leave the MU program. Jeronne Maymon, one of the highly touted newcomers, is the latest victim to abruptly quit the team. Buzz Williams was quoted as saying that this is effective immediately and we thank Jeronne for his contributions to the team. I was the unfortunate news breaker to many of you just minutes ago after stumbling upon the mayhem on the MU message boards. Three letters....W T F. The official reason for his departure has yet to be disclosed, so we can only speculate at this point. Some think it's academics due to the timing of it all (end of exams, semester). Some don't think he knew what he was getting himself into with Big East D1 basketball. Others, this being myself, point directly to (drum roll please).......PLAYING TIME. Again, this is merely speculation but it makes absolute sense to me. The day of Jeronne's initial committment to MU, he was quoted as saying that playing time was a huge factor in his decision. Buzz essentially told him he was going to start and be a major factor from day 1. This was a HUGE selling point to Jeronne and more so his old man. The reason Baylor was so much in the picture was because they were guaranteeing a starting gig as well. Considering is accolades coming out of Madison Memorial, a starting spot on a major D1 team wasn't out of the question.
Fast forward to this season. Our beloved MU squad again is short handed and undersized. That being said, I along with many thought that our top 15 recruiting class was going to come in and have a major impact just as the class of '05 James, Matthews, McNeal did. Boy was I wrong! I don't completely understand the whole situations in practice, but for whatever reason Buzz was not using the likes of Jeronne Maymon and Erik Williams too often throughout the early portion of the nonconference season. Through Saturday's game, JMay only was averaging 16 min's per game (EWill far less, but we're talking Maymon here) along with 4 pts and 4 rbds. Really, not too shabby of production for short stints off the bench.
It was obvious that Jeronne wasn't too happy with what was going on. He likely was expecting to start, yet was being overlooked for Joe Fulce, a junior-college transfer and essentially a fill-in player. I think this was affecting his attitude in all facets of his game. While he was holding his own on the court, he never seemed to have an intensity or fire to his game like many were describing during his days at Madison Memorial. In a word, I would say he looked lackadaisical.
When asked about the playing time of Erik Williams (among others), he would constantly reference practice. These players had to perform/bring intensity to practice or they weren't going to see the floor on game day. They had to earn their keep. Unfortunately I don't think Maymon was bringing it. He was hyped all through high school, won awards and a state title, was probably told how good he was, and was even guaranteed a starting spot on Marquette's squad. So what did he have to work for?
I hope I'm wrong here. I hope it's a personal problem. I hope it's homesickness. I hope it's academics, so maybe he can get is shit straight and rejoin the team. Anything but playing time because that is absolutely the worst answer he can give. If he's not willing to work hard for his PT, regardless of how good he is, he will never be as good as he is touted and I frankly don't want that kind of player on our team representing our school anyways. These types of scenarios rarely if ever work out. See Dameon Mason. See Odarty Blankson. See Bell. These kids think the problem is with the coach, players, instituion, etc.........but not themselves. Unfortunately they likely will be the same person but in a different colored uniform.
1. Immediately, this only cripples our depth even further. Cue Erik Williams. 3 weeks ago I was discussing the possibility of EWill transferring due to lack of playing time/relationship with Buzz. Not once did I think Maymon was going to be on the outs. Now, Erik immediately needs to step in and contribute (it's too bad he hasn't played any meaningful minutes to this point). Any further injuries/departures and we might need go to the Rec center and pick up some playas.
2. We now have 2 available scholarships for next season. I have no freakin' clue what can happen. I'm sure another JuCo will sign. It's too bad Monterale Clark had to be involved in the gang rape of some sorority girl. Playing time still available, but please Buzz, don't guarantee a starting gig.
3. I officially am starting to wonder about Buzz. Too many comings and goings means instability. Never a good thing (I don't care what business you are in......I guess it could work in the porn industry). I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt for now.
4. Honestly, Jeronne wasn't bringin' it. Not once did I see the intensity that the likes of Dom, Wes, and Jerel brought from day 1. This really has been the one defining characteristic of Marquette basketball on a national level in recent years and I'd like it to continue. That being said, in spite of Jeronne's talents (of which I really have yet to see in a game), if he's going to walk through this we don't want him.
I'm sure we'll find out what the scoop is in the near future. Until then, lets still try and enjoy the remaining talent left on the roster. I'm still optimistic about EWill. He's got freaky length and mad hops!