KNOXVILLE – Tennessee senior forward Jeronne Maymon will sit out the remainder of the 2012-13 season and return in 2013-14 as a redshirt senior for the Vols.
Maymon has yet to practice this season due to a left knee injury. The 6-7, 260-pound native of Madison, Wis., underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to fix torn cartilage in his right knee at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season. He then had a similar procedure on his left knee in early June of this year.
He initially was projected to return for all of this year, but his estimated return time continued to be pushed back. He was originally thought to be back in early December. Then it was moved to the beginning of SEC play (Jan. 9).
With just over three months remaining in the season, the decision to redshirt Maymon this season will allow him the potential to have a full, healthy campaign in 2013-14.
“It's really tough to know that I can't be on the court with my teammates this season," Maymon said via a release on Sunday evening. "But I have confidence in them, just like I have confidence in these coaches and our medical staff. I know this is in my best interest, and I am going to work incredibly hard to come back as an even better player and teammate next season. I love Tennessee.”
Without Maymon, who averaged 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in 2011-2012, the Vols have paired senior center Kenny Hall with sophomore forward Jarnell Stokes in the starting frontcourt this season.
Hall has averaged 7.4 point per game and 6.7 boards per contest, but hasn’t been able to match Maymon’s physical presence down low. Though Hall has been inconsistent at times, coach Cuonzo Martin did note that he and Stokes played their best game of the year together despite an 85-80 loss to Memphis on Friday night.
And though Maymon’s absence will dim Tennessee’s hope for a deep tournament run this season, it boosts the Vols’ chance at a strong run in 2013-14. If all players return as expected, Maymon will again pair with Stokes to form a formidable frontcourt. Veteran guards Jordan McRae, Josh Richardson and Trae Golden will return and the Vols will be joined by a trio of talented freshmen, including consensus five-star guard Robert Hubbs of Newbern, Tenn.
"I believe everything happens for a reason, and I see this injury as a blessing in disguise,” Maymon said. “God does not make mistakes."
Maymon began his collegiate career at Marquette, where he appeared in nine games as a reserve and averaged 4.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Golden Eagles in 2010. He transferred to Tennessee after that initial fall semester and, per NCAA rules, sat out until the spring semester of 2011 in Knoxville.
He was used sparingly by former coach Bruce Pearl that season. He quickly flourished under Martin in 2011-12, though. He earned a starting role in preseason practice and finished the season as a second-team All-SEC performer. He led the team in double-doubles with nine and was one of the most efficient scorers in the league with a 55.8 percent field-goal percentage.
Daniel Lewis covers Tennessee football and basketball for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @Daniel_LewisCBS