November 30, 2007

Is Tubby targeting 2009 in-state prospect?

MADISON, Wis.-Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan has picked the recruiting fruits in the state of Minnesota the last two years when he landed Jon Leuer in 2006 along with Jordan Taylor and Jared Berggren in 2007.

Now that Tubby Smith is overseeing things across the border, it appears the first-year Gopher head coach wants to follow suit in his pursuit of one of Wisconsin's top prospects in the 2009 class, three-star prospect Jeronne Maymon.

"I'm supposed to be going down to Minnesota," said Maymon after a 74-41 Big Eight Conference win over Madison East Thursday night. "Tubby Smith is supposed to be talking to me and everything, so I'll be going down there, I just don't know when. I'm also supposed to be going to Virginia, but I don't know when.

"Basically, my Dad settles all the information and I'm just along for the ride."

Maymon, a 6-foot-6 forward from Madison Memorial High School is the No. 3 ranked player in 2009 class behind Racine Horlick's Jamil Wilson and Bay View's Johnnie Lacy.

According to the junior, he currently holds scholarship offers from UW-Green Bay and Baylor, but is still waiting to explore all his options.

"Things are going well but that's not something I'm concerned about right now," said Maymon, who moved to Madison from Chicago in the third grade. "I have a couple offers and I'll just make that decision probably at the end of this year.

"I'm not worried about that, I'm just trying to get my team to the state tournament and help elevate other players as we proceed through the year. I'm just trying to relax right now."

If Thursday night's performance was any indication, getting back to the state tournament appears to be a very realistic goal. Maymon led a balanced Spartan attack with 23 points, and in his third season on varsity, the junior, along with his older brother Devonte (14 points), will provide leadership to a very young squad.

"Jeronne's played more high school games than most kids have played," Memorial head coach Steve Collins said. "He started as a freshman and he's played over 50 high school games before his first game as a junior. I expect that leadership from him, this is kind of him and his brothers' team at this point and they're doing a great job of leading it."

Because of Memorial's lack of size, Maymon, who is the tallest player on the roster, will be forced to adjust his game this year and play on the block more often.

"He's really a guard. He's a 6-foot-6 kid on a high school team that has to play the post and with his back to the basket, but in college he's probably going to be a 2 or a 3," Collins said. "He's comfortable at the 3-point line with the ball in his hands, but he's out tallest guy so he has to do some of that."

In a battle of two of the state's most talented players, Maymon bested Madison East sophomore Marquis Mason, who was limited to just 13 points after scoring 37 last Saturday in a win over Eau Claire Memorial.

"He's (Mason) a good player and all, but a player is a player and competition is competition and I'm just going to go out there and play my hardest no matter what," Maymon said. "He played a good game, though.

"We weren't going to change our game up for nobody," he continued. "Our main thought was to go out and play defense on whoever we thought was going to score. We tried to shut Marquis down early in the game and focus on their other scorer."

Though Memorial began their season for the first time in five years without Keaton Nankivil on the roster, the current UW freshman was in attendance to watch his former teammates Thursday.

"I think he'll be very happy with the effort we put in tonight because it was the same effort we put in when he was on the court," Maymon said. "We just gave 110 percent and we came out on top."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!