Saturday, December 27, 2008

Marquette Recruiting Update: Maymon, Memorial Dominating

By Zach Smart

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

On the hardwood, that is.

Ever since Jeronne Maymon authored the book “March 2008 Timely Tear” also found under the title, “How To Sell Stock In Ten Games,” the kid from Madison, Wisconsin has etched a name for himself.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that high expectations for a highly-touted recruit have been quick to follow.

Maymon owned the stat sheet last March. The 6-foot-6 manchild 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 Scout.com.

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A Marquette-commit, Maymon tells me the transition to Big East ball will be seamless for him. He’s the quiet confident type, where you really have to force the issue to get him to self-boast a little bit.

But when Maymon visited the Milwaukee campus in the fall, he was able to hold his own against guys like Dominic James (who he stayed with during his visit), hometown buddy Wesley Matthews, Jerel McNeal, Lazar Hayward, Dwight Burke, and the rest of the MU basketball click. He said his performance didn’t seize to surprise his future teammates, adding “they know how I get down.”

I first met Maymon this fall, as he was playing for the Unique All-Stars at the bandbox IS8 gym in Queens, N.Y.

Maymon had just helped his team gut-out a down-to-the-wire victory over Mount Vernon and Sherrod Wright, another hotly-pursued recruit who could be headed to the Big East.

Wright scored 24 points during the Knights’ 77-36 drubbing of Clarkstown South a few nights ago.

“He can shoot the ball like they were talking about,” said Maymon who scored 24 points to Wright’s 31 during an epic frontstage showdown between the two players at the aforementioned IS8 AAU game
“I didn’t even know anything about the kid until I got down here. But no question, he can shoot. There was one point where he was just letting that rock ride.”

Maymon and Madison Memorial, one of the top-ranked programs in the state, are rolling through the meat of their early-season slate with ease.

Maymon is leading the way for the alma mater of the aforementioned Matthews. He averaged 16.4 points through the first five games of the season, nearly all of them blowouts. Considering the way 5-0 Madison Memorial was clubbing the competition, Maymon’s stats don’t tell the story.

His minutes dipped as he was relegated to cheerleader role in games that were about as important as the old 3-on-2, 2-on-1 drill some old-school playground rat used to dominate in practice.

Against Madison LaFollette, Maymon hung 28 points.

The book on Maymon has many chapters to it. Trrimmed down from his once 240-pound frame, Maymon is a pretty accurate depiction of the real deal. Fresh off a junior year that saw him average 21 points and 11.7 boards, Maymon executes a tough arsenal of post moves and is physical around the basket who will make an immediate impact on Marquette's college basketball odds next season.

His toughness is supplemented by good life on his mid to long range jumper. He’s also an extremely versatile player, with the ability to sky for rebounds and create offense.

Don’t get it twisted, though. Ball handling, mano y mano moves, and taking players off the dribble is one of the weaker qualities of his game. The lack of a quick first step and his penchant for barreling to the bucket with his head down is what prevents him from emerging into a 30-point scorer in high school. It’s still early, so the sky is the limit for this young man.

As you all know, Tobias Harris, who Marquette is heavily pursuing, suffered a severe ankle injury.

The Long Island star is expected to miss around two months. Harris, who received an offer from USC and is on several Big East team’s radar, including UConn’s, suffered torn ligaments in his ankle.

-The action heats up for Marquette-signee Junior Cadougan, who will play in the prestigious Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout tournament on Friday and Saturday at the Al Mcguire Center.

Cadougan, a potent point guard, is a presence in the passing lanes and loves to attack the rim. He can knife through the teeth of the defense and finish on anyone. His outside shot is nothing to stamp home about, as he’s feast or famine from beyond the arc. Still, his ability to score is evident with pull up jumpers and barrels to the basket. If he pans out, J.C. will fill the void left by Dominic James.

JC and Christian Life Center Academy (Humble, Texas, right outside Houston), open up against Wauwatosa East, Friday at 8. Wauwatosa East is the defending WIAA Division-I champion. A rack of perpetual powers are to compete in the event.


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Notes For MU/Villanova New Year's Jumpoff

by Zach Smart

In their final out-of-conference tune-up before the first Big East game of the season, Dominic James bailed out the Golden Eagles in heroic fashion.

The senior, hated on by cats who felt he should have never entertained NBA draft illusions, played like…well…a senior.

Let’s not forget, James has been the bulwark and mainstay of Marquette’s offense since he was a freshman. During his freshman year, James turned many heads in a competitive college basketball landscape.

The Big East was leaking with NBA talent that year, as guys like Rudy Gay (UConn), Marcus Williams (UConn), Hilton Armstrong (UConn), Kyle Lowry (Villanova), Randy Foye (Villanova), Quincy Douby (Rutgers), Solomon Jones (South Florida) and James’ then-teammate, super sniper Steve Novak, were all surefire draft picks.

James, the 5-foot-10 guard from Indiana, flexed his elder statesmen muscles and canned a game-winning three with a mere .4 ticks left against N.C. State. The Golden Eagles’ pulsating 68-65 triumph over N.C. State lifted them to 10-2 on the season, allowing them to creep back into the Top-25.

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The No. 25 Eagles sat in a zone early, one that Wolfpack freshman Brandon Costner seeped into early and often. Costner, a feast-or-famine junior forward, put on his best show of the season.

The 6-foot-9 behemoth dropped 24 points, hitting on nine of ten shot attempts and scoring 11 of the game’s first 15 points. He busted the 2-1-2 zone matchup that Marquette soon ditched, nailing treys at a 5-for-5 clip.

Marquette came roaring back from an early funk. They surged ahead, 23-20 with 7:23 to play in the first.

In the game that saw The Eagles struggled with Marquette’s length and springy athleticism (though MU was only outrebounded by a thin 25-23 margin), James, the team’s foundation who shoulders more Big East big game experience on this side of Jeff Adrien and Craig Austrie, had the final say. .

James scored 18 points and handed out six assists. The trio of Dominic James, Jerel McNeal, and Lazar Heyward combined for 54 of the Golden Eagles’ 68 total points.

With Wesley Matthews, the local product who’s established himself as a go-to-guy (his numbers are up to 19.1 ppg after averaging 11 as a junior) leaving his game in parts unknown, the three computed for nearly 80 percent of MU’s offensive output.

The Wolfpack bench won the pine time battle by outscoring their opponents, 12-5.

Still, Marquette has arguably one of the top backcourts in the nation with the three-guard set of James, McNeal, and Matthews. With college basketball still a guard’s game, their college basketball odds are always strong.

Guard play, always a dictator of destiny in Big East basketball, will be a major factor in the Golden Eagles’ New Year’s day showdown with 11-1 Villanova.

Villanova no longer has the four-guard operation that drove teams crazy in 2006, but Corey Stokes, Corey Fisher, and junior guard Scottie Reynolds (14.5 points, 4.5 assists, 18.0 ppg in the last three games) will put the Marquette backcourt to the test.

While Marquette had trouble handling the length of N.C. State, it doesn’t get much easier against the Wildcats.

Not one single iota of easier, especially now that Dante Cunningham has started to flower.

The 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 17.8 points and 7.8 boards got the better of heavy NBA prospect Damion James in an eyeball to eyeball matchup with heavy during the Jimmy V Classic.

Cunningham’s meteoric rise was kick-started with a 31-point, 11-board eruption in a win over Fordham back in November. His 23 and 12 night at Madison Square Garden upgraded him into a new zip code. A.J. Abrams lights-out shooting, however, was what really tamed the Wildcats.

With Dwayne Anderson back in the swing of things like clockwork, the ‘Cats seem to have augmented thier depth.

With Cunningham beginning to percolate (shooting a blistering 58 percent from the floor), MU will need some manpower as a stopgap measure up front.

Marquette’s Dwight Burke, who’s putting up meager numbers (2.3 points, 3.5 boards) and looked more lackadaisical than Ben Wallace on offense in last year’s Big East tournament, needs to get his game up.


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Friday, December 12, 2008


November 22, 2008

In Buzz Williams first full recruiting effort, he pulled in a class that ranked at the top of the Big East for November period signings. With Erik Williams (F), Jeronne Maymon (F), Dwight Buycks (JUCO G), Junior Cadougan (PG and Brett Roseboro (PF) all coming on board, look for the Marquette college basketball odds to be on the move upwards in the coming years.

The class features the point guard of the future (Cadougan) to replace Dominic James and a scoring guard (Buycks) to add some punch to the future line-up. Maymon and Williams are a pair of athletic forwards with Maymon adding toughness and Williams an exciting upside that promises to have his basketball ahead of him. Roseboro was the latest addition and the 6'9+ big man has been developing quickly and could be a late steal.

Currently, Marquette is void of open scholarships, but Buzz Williams seems to be outworking many on the trail and has the attitude of never stopping on the recruiting trail.


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