March 17, 2012

Young Vols getting valuable time

Tennessee (19-14) gets a crack at pushing their season further into March on Monday night when MTSU (26-6) visits Knoxville for a second-round NIT match-up. Playing without second-team All-SEC power forward Jeronne Maymon, the Vols got pushed more than a little in their opener against Savannah State before rallying in the second half.

The hope is that Maymon, who is battling soreness in a knee, will be back for Monday night's match-up with the Blue Raiders, but Cuonzo Martin isn't putting all his eggs in that basket.

"Right now we're going to prepare like Jeronne's not going to play. I don't know if he'll be back or not, that's still to be determined, we'll see how he does with his rehab this weekend and hopefully by Monday he'll be ready to go, but right now we're getting ready to play like he won't be out there," Martin said of Maymon's status.

The junior's absence was felt in a specific way on Tuesday night as the Vols scraped by Savannah State 65-51. Tennessee led by as few as two points midway through the second half of that one, and not having Maymon in the low post to manufacture a bucket or a trip to the free throw line in a couple of long offensive droughts made for some uncomfortable moments.

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