Most people know of Eric Maynor from his buzzer beater in 2007 that lifted VCU over Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The shot, a 14-footer with 1.8 seconds left, gave Duke their first loss in the opening round since 1996 and made headlines all over the country the following morning.
But since then, the 2008 CAA Player of the Year has flown under the radar and become almost forgotten on the national scale.
The Rams were knocked out by UAB in the first round of last year’s tournament despite a 22 point effort from Maynor and a second half comeback to bring them within three. Something to be noted though, is that Maynor’s scoring average has increased by at least four points every year and he now sits at 12th in the country with 21.8 ppg.
VCU has dominated conference play thus far, with Maynor topping the conference in both points and assists per game. His production is the reason why the Rams lead the CAA in scoring at 74.2 ppg, three-point shooting (38.1%) and field goal percentage (46.7%).
But the main struggle for them has been defense, and Maynor’s lack of it is a contributing cause. VCU allows over 65 points per game which may not seem that bad, but that number balloons to 72.5 in road games and 83.6 in their five losses. Moreover, they rank 262nd in the country in three point defense, allowing opponents to shoot 36.1% from beyond the arc.
Despite their poor defensive efforts, it is likely that we will see VCU back for action in the tournament this year, but the Rams will need big contributions from more than just Maynor if they want to make it past the first round.
Nonetheless, NCAA tournament or not, Maynor has a bright future ahead of him. He is projected to be drafted in the mid-first round and NBA scouts know he is capable of being an excellent NBA player. Maynor has all of the important qualities of an NBA point guard. He can shoot, get into the paint at will, see the floor, and is an outstanding passer.
If you haven’t seen him play before, I highly advise you to do so because he truly is one of the best point guards you will see out of a mid-major program. VCU has a game on 1/24 against George Mason that will be aired on ESPN2 and on 1/27 against Northeastern on ESPNU. I will also be posting links of live games whenever I can get them.
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