Jeronne Maymon hasn’t been given full clearance.
But when the Tennessee forward does step onto the court, his coach says he goes full speed ahead.
“He looks like the same guy to me,” third-year coach Cuonzo Martin said on Monday during the Southeastern Conference coaches summer conference call. “Making moves off the bounce, facilitating the offense. You always know the team he is on [in pickup games] because they play at another level on both ends of the floor. He has a great passion for the game and does a tremendous job of communicating on both ends of the floor, directing traffic.”
Maymon underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last June. Initially, team officials hoped he would be able to play later that August when the Volunteers went on an exhibition trip to Italy. But complications kept the 6-foot-7, 260-pounder off the floor all last season.
As a junior in 2011-12, he averaged 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds and was named to the All-SEC second team. His presence, coupled with the return of All-SEC selections Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes, the Volunteers are expected to contend for a league championship and NCAA Tournament berth. UT went 20-13, placed fifth in the SEC and reached the NIT for the second straight season last year without him.
Martin said Maymon plays in pickup games during open gym workouts in the morning in addition to joining the team in the weight room.
“He looks normal to me,” Martin said. “It is one of those deals where I’m not sure when he’ll get cleared full-time to do everything on a consistent basis every day. We kind of limit his days as far as 5-on-5, full-court. But he is in every individual skill workout. He does everything like the normal players.”