The next player on the countdown is the only one to have his nickname taken from a Mel Gibson movie. The movie was Mad Max. That means the player is John Meeker. I thought about how long I could pretend that this was about John Meeker. I came up with 4 minutes. I didn't feel like writing about John for 4 minutes. There would be a lot of "He didn't play," and "He missed a shot," and "He only slept with 24 women his junior year, a career low." Instead, this post is about who is it supposed to be about, and that's one Jason Maxiell.
That picture says it all about Jason Maxiell. He loved to dunk. He loved to rebound. He liked make faces. He was a very good basketball player. Maxiell was a top 25 recruit according to whatever service they use on stat sheet. It was a good barometer for success.
The first memory I have of Jason Maxiell is of midnight madness his freshman season. He dominated the dunk contest. It was an easy win for him. Dunk contests are not barometers of success like recruiting rankings can be, but at the very least we knew that Jason Maxiell could be an exciting player to watch. It also helped set him up as a fan favorite.
Maxiell came off the bench to start his UC career. In the season opener, he scored 8 points with 7 rebounds and 2 assists in the loss to Oklahoma State. He had a very modest next 3 games, 2 points, 2 points, 3 points, before hammering Duquesne for 8-8 and 2 blocks. Coppin State was up next for the Bearcats. In just 22 minutes, Maxiell went off for 13 points, 15 rebounds and 6 blocks. He was 6-8 from the field. 6 of his rebounds were offensive. Max went 0-5 the next game and scored 3 against X. He went 3-5, 3-3 at the foul line, for 9 against Richmond, followed by a 6-5-2 steal game against Louisiana Monroe. Max scored 8 in a pounding of Mississippi State, then put 6 and 8 on Purdue.
The end of 2001 and start of 2002 saw big things happen for Maxiell. He was 8-9 for 16 points, pulled in 7 boards and blocked 2 shots in a win over Akron. He went 5-5 from the field as part of a 12 point, 9 rebounds day against East Carolina. He put up his second double double ina big win over Charlotte, scoring 15 on 6-10 and pulling down 13 rebounds. Max had 8 rebounds and 2 blocks and 6 points, 6 boards in the next 2 UC wins before putting together an 11 point, 8 rebound, 4 block game against Louisville. Jason scored 5 against St Louis, but helped the Cats to victory with 14 rebounds. He was unstoppable against South Florida, going 5-7 from the field and 8-9 from the foul line for 18 points. He added 6 rebounds. For the last time in his career, he didn't score against East Carolina. He followed it with a nice 3-3, 3-4 FTs, 9 point, 7 rebound game in the loss to Marquette. He hung 6-6 on Charlotte before putting a 13-12 double double on Wake Forest.
Jason lit up St Louis for 11 points on 5-7, 6 rebounds and 7 blocks. He scored 8 on 4-5, pulled in 5 boards and blocked 4 shots in a win over Southern Miss. He was a perfect 9-9 from the field for 18 points with 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks as UC bested DePaul. Max had a modest 3-5-2 blocks when UC beat Marquette in the defacto C-USA title game. He put together a 10-6 game against Louisville and a 12-8-2 block game against Memphis to close the regular season. Max had a solid C-USA tournament, going for 9-6, 10-7 and 9-8. He was a non-factor in the NCAA tournament win over Boston, 3 points, 4 rebounds. He played better against UCLA, going 3-4 for 7 points and adding 10 rebounds in the loss.
Maxiell finished his first season up by making 117-212 from the field, 55%. That's good. He was 48-82, 58.5% from the foul line, which is not good. It would be his career low by a large margin. Maxiell scored 282 points. He pulled in 237 rebounds, blocked 52 shots, made 24 steals and had 3 assists, which is a comically low number. His stat line was 8.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 0.7 steals. For his numbers, Maxiell was voted the Conference USA 6th man of the year. DeJuan Wagner would be the freshman of the year if you were wondering.
Jason Maxiell started all but 2 games the rest of his career starting from his sophomore year on. His sophomore season did not get off to a good start. He was 2-12 for 6 points in the opener. He was 4-15 for 9 points (9 rebounds) in game two. In the 3rd game loss to Dayton, Maxiell made 5-10 for 10 points, pulled in 6 boards and blocked 3 shots. He took 10 shots the next 2 games as well. He made 6 as part of a 14 point-2 block game and made 4 in a 8 point-13 rebound game in a loss to Xavier. Max dominated the next two games. he had 18 on 8-14, with 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks against LaSalle and 20 points on 8-15 with 13 rebounds and 3 steals against Oregon. He missed out on a third straight double double with an 11-8 game against Clemson. He had 11 the next game against Miami. In an odd turn, he scored 12 the next two games. He had 12-11-3 blocks and 12-8-3 blocks.
Following the 4 game consistency, Maxiell started playing up and down. He had 22 on 10-14 and 7 boards, then 7 on 2-10 and 5 boards. He had 12 on 3-8, and then 10 on 3-10 shooting and 5 turnovers. The game after that was his worst of the season, 3 points on 0-4 from the field, and 3 rebounds. He bounced back with a couple of monster games. Max was 8-14, 5-7 FTs, for 21 points to go with 10 rebounds and 2 blocks against Louisville. He would go 10-15, 4-6 FTs, for 24 of the 61 Cincinnati points in a big win over Oklahoma St. UC lost the next game to Charlotte, where Max had 10-2. He had a nice box score game, 12-10-4 blocks, but was 4-14 from the field in a loss to St Louis. Max played just 14 minutes of a 21 point ass kicking of Louisville, scoring 6 with 4 boards. He played a bigger part in the 53-52 win over ECU, with 15 and 7. UC would be crushed at Memphis their next game, with Max scoring 8 on 3-14 shooting. He was a perfect 7-7 at the foul line as part of his 11 points against UAB. He had 7 boards and 3 blocks to boot. Max had 8-8 to close the regular season against Marquette. He played pretty well in the C-USA tournament, 17 on 5-13, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, but UC lost. Maxiell was in foul trouble, playing just 19 minutes with an 8-3 stat line in the NCAA tournament loss to Gonzaga.
There was some improvement, but some stagnation with Maxiell's numbers his sophomore year. He was 129-290 from the floor, 44.5%. That was a career low. He was 86-128, 67% from the free throw line. A huge growth. He scored 344 points. He had 195 rebounds, 43 blocks, 13 steals and 13 assists. Keep in mind UC played 29 games this season. His averages were 11.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. His rebounds would be a career low.
Jason Maxiell started his junior year like he had a lot to prove. He had 9-9-2 blocks in the opener, then kicked Oakland's head in with 26 points on 10-15 shooting, 6-6 FTs, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. He filled up the stat sheet the next game, 8-9-2 assists-2 steals-2 blocks. Max took the 5th most free throws in UC history against Valpo. He attempted 20 of them, making 12. He had 20 points to go with 11 rebounds for a double double. He put 20 more on Clemson, this time with 8 rebounds and 5 blocks. He had another stat sheet filler with 9 points, 6 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks. Maxiell led a beatdown of Dayton with 19 points on 8-12 from the field. He had 10-5-3 blocks against Miami, followed by a 19 point, 10 rebound game against Elon where Max went 9-11 from the field. Max made it back to back double doubles as conference play opened, with 13-11, and 2 steals and 2 assists, against Tulane. He hammered DePaul for 18 on 6-10, 6-8 FTs, with 4 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks.
Maxiell was a great player, but he had a lot of struggles with Marquette. The Golden Eagles hled him to 4 points and 5 boards in the only game Jason fouled out of that season. Max put up 15-6-4 blocks in 17 minutes against TCU and 14-7-5 assists (career high!)-3 blocks against Louisville. One of those games was a good blowout, the other a bad blowout. You can probably guess what was what. The next 2 UC games were good blowouts and Maxiell played well. He was 9-12 from the foul line as part of a 17 point, 6 rebound game against Southern Miss. He had 14-7-3 assists and 3 blocks against ECU. Max was 4-10 the next two games, both UC losses. He had 11-9-3 steals-4 blocks against Charlotte, and 15 points (7-8 FTs) and 7 boards against Xavier. UC barely beat Houston behind a 14-9 game from Jason. He had 12-6 against USF. Max scored 15 against Wake Forest and blocked 3 shots, but only had 4 rebounds in the loss. He had a 13-12 double double the next game, but UC lost that one too. UC broke the losing steak with a 2 game winning streak. Jason had 10-3-3 blocks and 18 on 7-9, 4-4 FTs, in the wins. He was held to 9 on 4-11 shooting in a loss to DePaul though.
UC closed the regular season strong behind Maxiell. Max had 19 on 6-16, 7-8 FTs, in a win over Memphis. He also had 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. The most important thing about that game is that Jason went over the 1,000 point barrier during the contest. Jason got off to a great start in the C-USA tournament with a 15 point game against Louisville, but scored 6 in the next two games. He did have 8 rebounds in one of them. UC won the whole thing anyway. Max had a solid 9-7-3 assist-5 block game to kick off the NCAA tournament against ETSU, but his 15-8-2 blocks were no match to Illinois.
Mad Max had a very solid junior season effort. He was 152-304, 50% from the field. He was 130-191, 68% at the foul line. that was a career best. He scored 434 points. He pulled in 22 rebounds, blocked 66 shots, dished out a career best 43 assists and had 21 steals. His stat line was 13.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 1.3 assists and 0.7 steals. For his work, Maxiell was named second team All-Conference USA.
The final season for Jason Maxiell was a very successful one. He started things with an 18 point, 5 rebound, 2 assist, 3 steal, 2 block game against Valpo. Max broke the 11 game streak of single digit rebounds with 15 of them to go with 21 points and 5 blocks in the scary Northern Iowa game. That game made me pick Northern Iowa to win an NCAA tournament game 5 years in a row. No joke. Max had just 4 points, but 9 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in a win over Purdue. He followed it up with 12-8 against Dayton. Maxiell got back into the scoring flow by hitting 7-12 against Vandy as part of his 18 points. He made that game a double double by pulling down 12 rebounds. Max was 7-11 at the foul line for most of his 15 points against Detroit, a game where he also had 6 boards and 4 assists. Max posted back to back 12 point games, but did a lot besides that. He had 12-8-7 blocks against Jackson St and 12-6-2 steals-2 blocks against LaSalle. Max had 7-6-6 blocks against Miami.
The career high for Jason Maxiell came against Longwood. The Longwoodeers couldn't stop Max from the field, 10-14, so they put him at the line. Where he also made 10-14. Added together and that's 30 points. He made it a near triple double game with 8 rebounds and 7 blocks. He did it all in 27 minutes. Max played all 40 against Illinois, and had a 12-11 double double, but UC was humiliated by the Illini again. Max took his anger out on the next 3 opponents. He was 7-10, 5-7 FTs, for 19 points (7 boards, 2 blocks) against DePaul. He went 7-10 against St Louis too for 17 points, with 9 boards and 2 blocks. Max carried UC to victory with 24 points on 10-17, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in a 6 point win over ECU. He put up a clunker, 11 points on 2-4, 7-13 FTs, 2 boards, as UC lost to Louisville. He turned it back on with 23 on 9-17, 5-6 FTs, 6 boards and 3 blocks against Charlotte, but had 5 points on 1-8, 9 boards and 3 blocks in a loss to Wake Forest. Max posted 7-8 in 20 minutes in a blowout win over USF.
Jason came close to a triple double against Houston. He was 10-13 from the foul line for most of his 14 points. He pulled in 10 rebounds and he blocked 8 shots in the UC win. He was less impactful with 9-6 against Louisville. Max played a solid game against Charlotte, 8 boards, 6-8 for 17 points, but was 5-9 at the foul line in a game UC lost by 1. Jason beat Xavier for the second time in his career, becoming one of the rare players to not have a losing record against X on this list. He had 15 on 6-9 with 5 boards and 3 blocks against the Muskies. He had a nice 18 points in his final game against DePaul, even though UC lost. Max took it strong to Southern Miss one last time. He scored 20 points on 6-9, 8-9 FTs.
Maxiell was riding a streak of 5 single digit rebound games. He turned it around with his longest string of double doubles. He had 22-11 against UAB. Max was 5-9 from the field and 12-16 from the foul line in that 3 point win. He had 14 on 5-9 with 10 boards against Marquette and 11-11-4 blocks against TCU. On senior day, Maxiell went out with 18 points and 5 boards in a win over Tulane. UC closed the regular season with a win over Memphis. Max had 8-5-3 steals. Maxiell brought it during tournament play though. He put 21 on USF on 6-11 shooting, 9-9 at the foul line, with 12 rebounds and 2 blocks. UC lost anyway. Maxiell had one of the better games of his career against Iowa in the NCAA tournament. He had 22 points, 9 boards and 6 blocks. He went 8-11 from the field. The last win for Maxiell saw him bury his first career 3. Since that was so fun, he buried his second three moments later. Maxiell was held to 9-4-2 blocks against Kentucky in his final game.
Jason Maxiell made a career high 164 field goals. He was 164-302, 54%. He was 2-5 from 3. He made 176-273, 64.5% from the foul line. He scored 506 points his senior season. Max pulled in 254 rebounds. He blocked 90 shots, the third most in UC history. He had 33 steals and 28 assists. The senior year stat line was 15.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 blocks. 1 steal and 0.8 assists. Maxiell was once again named second team All-Conference USA.
For his career, Jason Maxiell scored 1,566 points. He blocked 251 shots, the 3rd most in UC history. He averaged 12.1 points, 7 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 0.7 assists and 0.7 steals for his career.
Why He Made the List
Jason Maxiell followed the career arc of so many great UC bigs. He found a role where he rebounded and blocked shots. He grew his offensive game every single season. He never let his defense of rebounding slip. He was a leader on teams that won. His Iowa 3 is one of the best victory cigars of recent memory. Mad Max had a hell of a career. And he dunked on a lot of heads. That always helps.
What He's Doing Now
Jason Maxiell was drafted with the 25th pick of the 1st round in the 2005 NBA draft. He's played his whole career with the Detroit Pistons. He's averaged 5.9 points and 4.2 rebounds for his career. He's als on twitter, which I didn't know, @JasonMaxiell.