I'd like to think that this is the last time that we discuss Jeronne Maymon, but something is telling me that that won't necessarily be the case. That being said, Jeronne finally figured out that his shortcut to the NBA goes directly through Knoxville, Tennessee with Bruce Pearl and the Volunteers. It makes sense really......or does it? Due to the most recent misdemeanors and felonies that occurred with some of the UT basketball players, there should be plenty of opportunity for playing time next season. That's what one would think anyways.
Problem #1, scholarship: Tennessee does not currently have a scholarship available for Jeronne, so in order for him to be eligible by SEC play next season, he needs to enroll for this semester's classes and pay for them out of pocket. I'm not sure what tuition for non-resident students at UT is, but I'm guessing it's not cheap. Further, I don't know how the fallout with these felons is going to work out, but I believe UT will need to drop a scholarship from someone next year in order for one to be available for JMay. So as of right now, Jeronne doesn't have a guaranteed scholarship next season either. I'm thinking that the Maymon's didn't really think this through before they decided to leave MU.
Problem #2, "Just give me the damn ball!": Something else that JMay and Timmay may have overlooked is that Tennessee has signed a very deep and talented class for next season (2 5-star and 2 4-star prospects). Combine that with their 5-star sophomore SG Scotty Hopson = 6-8 guys that all want to shoot the rock. Due to this, and the fact that he wasn't at all impressive in his 9 games at MU, I don't foresee him being the go to guy in the near future. If this all plays out like I see in my head, Timmay isn't going to be happy. I smell reality show!
Ok, enough with the Maymon's. Last evening, I decided to warm up next to the fireplace with a nice glass of Woodford Reserve (rocks of course) while enjoying some Big East basketball on the four lettered network. Unfortunately what transpired was some of the most god awful basketball that I have witnessed since, well, the Big10 tournament last season. How or why ESPN decided to feature the Providence vs Depaul matchup is beyond me, but considering MU was going to face both of these teams in the near future, I thought I would partake in this grudge match and do a little scouting. It wasn't pretty to say the least. However, this game did lead me to 2 conclusions.
1. Unless MU plays horrendously, they should have no problem taking care of business against either of these teams. I don't know if it's talent, coaching, a combination of the 2, or playing in that god awful arena, but both Providence and Depaul looked unprepared, sloppy, and just not talented. Makes me feel a little more confident on my preseason prediction of 11-7 and not bad for what we have all termed a rebuilding season (but I suppose we'll have to start winning some of these games first before we hail this season a success).
2. For those of you that are ready to crucify Buzz, I suggest watching the likes of Providence, Rutgers, St.Johns, Seton Hall, etc. and then reevaluate your scrutiny of him. Over the past 3-5 years, a number of these teams went out and hired, who were at the time, hot coaches (see Keno Davis/Bobby Gonzalez/Fred Hill). Since their hiring, they have had time to recruit their own players and incorporate their own systems/styles of play. Compare that to Buzz who was handed the keys to a car that was going to drop it's transmission and need new tires and brakes after 1 season of use.....so to speak. The current MU roster is comprised of 1 4 star prospect, 4 junior college transfers (3 of whom start), 2 role players that receive significant minutes, and 2 freshman that really aren't ready to play yet. With this, Buzz has a 10-6 record with wins against an always good Xavier team, a preseason ranked Michigan team with first round NBA talent Manny Harris, and #11 ranked Georgetown. In addition to this, of MU's 6 losses, 4 are to teams that are currently ranked in the top 15, with an avg. loss by 4 pts. I know some of us aren't "the glass is half full" kind of person, but after watching some of these other Big East teams that haven't gone through nearly what MU has since Coach Williams was hired (graduations, transfers, injuries), I can't help but think that things could be a whole hell of a lot worse.