Maynor back in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Eric Maynor is logging some air miles between North Carolina and Utah this week.

Just two days after interviewing with the Utah Jazz, Maynor was introduced by his new team at a news conference Friday.

A little weary from the return trip, Maynor finally felt like the angst and uncertainty of the draft was really over.

"It was crazy," said Maynor, who was presented with a No. 3 Jazz jersey after the news conference.

Maynor played four years at Virginia Commonwealth and averaged 22.4 points and 6.2 assists as a senior, when he led the Colonial Athletic Association in scoring and assists and was named the league's player of the year for the second time in his career.

Maynor missed his scheduled workout with the Jazz because of back spasms, but made it to Salt Lake City for an interview the day before the draft. He impressed the Jazz enough that they were pleased to see him still available with the 20th pick came up Thursday night. "We didn't need a workout," general manager Kevin O'Connor said. "I think there's questions that you ask and you kind of want to look into his eyes and see who he is. I think we saw somebody that is committed."

During the interview, Maynor passed along a "hello" to coach Jerry Sloan from his father, George, a former East Carolina player who was cut in training camp by the Chicago Bulls -- when they were coached by Sloan. Sloan didn't make the connection until the younger Maynor told him.

"Let's not talk about that," Sloan chuckled during the news conference. "I guess I cut his dad when I was coaching in Chicago."

Maynor grew up outside Fayetteville, N.C., but was overlooked by the Atlantic Coast Conference schools in his home state. He exacted some revenge as a sophomore when he hit a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer to give the Rams a 79-77 win over Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Maynor is the first VCU player to be drafted in the opening round and the first player from a CAA school to be picked in 10 years.

"I showed people what I could do in college for four years. Now I've got to show people I can do it on this level," he said. "I've got the ability to score also, but I make the game easier for my teammates. I think that's my biggest strength."

Maynor's opportunities will be limited. Maynor will be the second or third point guard behind starter Deron Williams, who Maynor said he looked forward to learning from as a rookie.

Maynor's career with the Jazz starts next week with the summer league in Orlando. After that, the Jazz will expect him to eat some hearty meals and hit the weight room. At 6-foot-3, Maynor weighed in at a slight 164 pounds at the pre-draft camp in Chicago.

Maynor's flight was delayed, so the Jazz introduced their second-round pick first Friday. Utah selected Michigan State center Goran Suton with the 50th pick, liking his size (6-10, 245) and the way he played as the Spartans advanced to the NCAA championship game this spring.

Suton said he knew after Miami passed him over with the No. 43 pick that he was likely headed to Utah, where he felt he had a good workout before the draft.

The Jazz could already be pretty well stocked at his position, but he's going to get a chance in the summer league and training camp.

"It hit home I think before I went to sleep last night," Suton said. "This is my dream. I was so happy. There were so many emotions going on in my head. I think this is the best thing that's ever happened to me."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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