Monday, October 13, 2008

From Wisco To The Big City

To paraphrase Quentin Tarantino in Reservoir Dogs, "This cat is like Charles Bronson in the Great Escape." On the hardwood, that is.

I caught up with Marquette-commit Jeronne Maymon, who played for Torrel Harris at the IS8 Fall Tip-Off in Jamaica, Queens this weekend.

Anyone want to boogie down to the Knicks/Sixers game tomorrow night? Or is the Mecca Man (I won't stop attending Knicks games at MSG, as God-awful as they are, until they burn the Motherf**king place down) gutting it out solo? Also, who do you guys see as Rookie of the Year in the El? Michael Beasley--D. Rose-G. Oden--Ronnie Weston--Big Sully--Mike Taylor?!?!?! Who's it gonna be?!?!?

Kickin’ It With Jeronne Maymon

By Zach Smart

Jeronne Maymon heading into a creaky, bandbox gymnasium in Queens is similar to a high-profile celebrity emerging in midtown Manhattan.

It’s a complete culture shock for the kid from Madison, Wisconsin. It's no shock, however, for the New York City basketball culture.

Everyone knows who he is. Nobody's afraid to let him know about it, either.

People have been keeping tabs on his numbers, his youtube clips, his constantly-updated player profiles (which are littered all over the internet), as well as his growing basketball pedigree.

While Maymon's been in Wisconsin, New York hoopheads have been dissecting every aspect of his game and his scholastic future.

Maymon, who has established a New York pipeline via his fall AAU team (Maymon regularly runs with the Wisconsin Rebels), the Unique All-Stars, can’t get enough of the basketball-bleeding culture.

“This is my first time really being in New York (for an extended period),” said Maymon, a Marquette-bound wing who dropped 24 points at the IS8 2008 Tip Off Fall Classic Saturday.

“It’s definitely a lot different from Wisconsin, I’ll tell you that much. A lot of people know who I am, even though I’m not from anywhere around here.”

Fitting, because Maymon finds the New York game vastly different from the brand he’s used to playing.

“It’s just a much more physical game out here,” said Maymon.

“The refs don’t call as many fouls, you have to really be ready to play. I love these dudes, though. A lot of people out here recognize my game and always tell me what I can do to be better, and I appreciate that. That’s really what I’m doing out here. I’m definitely trying to get better, take it one game at a time, and just trying to boost my stock, you know?”

Maymon's stock has been rising as of late.

He's a pretty accurate depiction of the full package. The real deal. He’s 6-foot-6, trimmed down from his once 240-lb. man-child frame, fresh off a junior year that saw him average 21 points and 11.7 boards at Madison Memorial.

Maymon came into his own during a mind-boggling March 2008 tear during which he owned the stat sheet. He averaged 30 points, 14.6 boards, 4.7 blocks, 3.7 steals and three dimes, helping steer Madison Memorial to their second consecutive state championship appearance.

These titanic numbers vaulted him into the top-percentile of Wisco's high school players. Maymon is currently ranked 58th amongst the nation's top players, according to

His game educed the attention of a number of top-flight schools. Wisconsin, Tennessee, USC, Iowa State, Baylor, and the Big East’s Providence College are all actively pursuing the big neophyte.

Maymon, who stayed with Dominic James during his visit, is a close friend of Marquette guard Wesley Matthews. He essentially grew up in his shadow.

Matthews also played at Madison Memorial. Maymon is on the verge of shattering his record as the school’s all-time leading scorer.

Introducing myself to Maymon, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Prior to shaking his hand, I nearly encountered a conflict with some hammerhead who smudged my new pair of Adidas (trying to get through the event traffic in a tiny, shoebox gym can be a real pain in the ass).

Maymon got a kick out of the brief incident (which thankfully didn't escalate), erupting into laughter. That’s Jeronne for you. He’s a big man with an even bigger smile, he's got big-time confidence and it all induces big questions about his Big East future.

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