Editor's Note: From the Fanposts. Thanks once again to viva_morisson.
Greetings again! Let's take a look at another unknown. The other prospect that was worked out by the Knicks today was Tennessee point guard Bobby Maze. I am not going to lie, Maze was a little more than unfamiliar to me. Besides the fact that he is a dead-ringer for an NBA player... it's on the tip of my tongue... eh I will think of it later. I was more than a little surprised that the Knicks were working him out, because I have not heard any draft buzz surrounding the guy, and none of the mock drafts I have seen have him getting drafted. Let's all learn a little more about this mystery man after the jump.
Before we go into the statistics surrounding Bobby's play, one area that needs to be addressed is character. I was reading over the quickie profile done by Ricky Henne at the Knicks website. It said that Maze had played for three different schools during his collegiate career, something I was unaware of. I tried to dig up some dirt, but for the most part was unsuccessful.
Maze originally was recruited by Oklahoma and played on season for the Sooners, but lasted only one season there. The major problem appeared to be attitude, so he then made his way to Hutchinson Community College. Apparently his attitude adjusted after this, but I will address that later. Onto the player.
- As a senior, Maze averaged 9.4 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.4 rebounds for a Tennessee team that was a shady call away from making the Final Four. Maze's scoring went up from 8.2 his junior year, his assists went down by .1, but his turnovers also went down form 1.6 to 1.4 last year.
- In his one year at Hutchinson Community College, Maze averaged 20.7 points, 6.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.7 steals. He certainly balled outrageous at the JuCo level, and that got him looks from schools like Maryland and Tennessee.
- Measurements: Maze has good size for a point. He comes in at 6' 3" and 195 pounds, nearly identical to Jimmer.
- Shooting: Eh. Maze isn't what you would call a "lights-out" shooter. He shot a modest 40.4% from the field, but a very pedestrian 25.2% from the land beyond. He was a solid free throw shooter, knocking down 83% of his freebies last season. I re-watched some game video of him during the NCAA Tournament, and when you watch him, it looks like he has a nice form. Will from Rocky Top Talk (SB Nation's Tennessee Blog) gave me some solid information about Maze. Thanks again, Will. Here is what he had to say about his shooting:
He's not a good outside shooter, but was pretty solid on the mid-range, foul line pull-up stuff.
- Scoring: Maze wasn't really called on to score for the Vols, but he did have a nice month-long stretch where he scored in double figures all but one game. From what I have seen, he is a good penetrator and can get out and run the fast break. According to Will, part of Maze's decision to go to Tennessee was predicated on the Vols' high-paced offense. They were forced to slow things down because their personnel didn't quite fit, but he was able to adjust.
- Point Guard Skills: Maze looks like a capable passer and floor general from what I have seen. Like I said earlier, he did do a good job of taking care of the ball. He had a negative Assist/TO ratio in just 5 of 37 games last season, and his 2.23 A/T ratio was good for 3rd in the SEC. Here is what Will had to say about Maze's point guard abilities:
Even though he's not the quickest player in the world, I do think he can get an offense down the floor and keep things going in transition. He was a good penetrate and kick player, but also had some tough finishes at the rim when we weren't hitting from the outside.
- Defense: This is one area of Maze's game that is pretty solid. Maze isn't the best athlete, but he can apply good pressure to guards out on the perimeter. Will was very high on Maze's defense:
Defensively, Maze always struck me as a big-game player: when we really needed him, he was there - with all of those four players suspended and little help around him, Maze really dogged Sherron Collins in the Kansas win, and held him to 7 of 20 shooting with 4 turnovers. We played a lot of zone later in the year against guys like John Wall, so that's really the best example of Maze frustrating a great player man-on-man.
There are some negatives:
But there were other games against lesser opponents where he really struggled - he got pulled against Ole Miss because he couldn't stop Chris Warren, and then we came back to win the game without him. When focused, Maze is a very solid defender...given the situation in trying to just make an NBA roster, I'd hope focus won't be a problem from him from here.
Overall, I think the positives outweigh the negatives here.
- Character: All signs point to a reformed man, much like DMX. I would err on the side of caution, but Will had strong opinions:
I don't think his character issues will be a problem anymore - being on this Tennessee team that had four players arrested for guns/drugs (an issue he wasn't involved with), and then being one of the leaders that helped us still make the Elite 8 despite that situation and seeing what it takes to handle adversity, I think he's now a mature player and a good teammate.
His coach at Hutchinson CC had similar opinions, noting that he worked harder than the rest of his teammates in an effort to earn their respect. I respect that.
- Fun Fact: Maze is a barber. He even had a brief web series during this year's NCAA Tourney called "The Barber Shop." I don't know how he would react to all of Gallo's product, but this segment could definitely replace "Gimme a Minute" with Jill Martin. I would easily watch this man give "shapey dapeys" over that awful skit.
- ets go to the video:
Bobby Maze (via ghall10) [note, this is his "sophomore year" against JUCO comp]
And, showing off his lyrical chops:
Bmaze Put on for tennessee (via jbboard)
Things to take away:
- Maze had some WILD hair back in the day.
- He does drive with a certain ferocity, and his shot off the bounce looks very pure inside 18 feet.
- Some of those passes he was throwing looked very reckless. He seems like a showman, but that might have been a product of the competition.
- His nickname is "BMaze." Come on, that is too easy. I know we can think of something better than that.
- He spits hot fire. Not quite as hot as Dylan, but close.
So we have reached the end of the "Maze" and now we all know a little more about this young man. Would I use pick 38 or 39 on him? No. I don't think he is nearly as good as a Vasquez or Randle. Maybe Donnie and the rest of Knicks brass know something else. What are your thoughts?