At 6'4", 190 lbs. Maddox made his mark his sole year at Fresno State, being named the 2001 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Freshman of the Year after averaging 13.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 1.6 steals. He started his collegiate career by guiding Fresno State to 11 consecutive wins.
As guard, Maddox knew how to share the ball, leading the WAC and ranking fourth nationally with 8.0 assists per game and ending the season with 130 assists in WAC play which stands as a school record and the second-highest total in conference history. That record was partly due to compiling double figures in assists five times and registering one stretch with three consecutive double-digit assist performances, including a school-record-tying and career-high 17 assists vs. Texas Christian on Jan. 10, 2001.
Maddox was named WAC Player of the Week on Dec. 26, 2000 after averaging 18.7 points, 10.3 assists and 2.3 steals in wins over Toledo, Louisiana-Lafayette and Georgia; And his performance vs. Toledo and Louisiana-Lafayette also earned him MVP honors in the 2000 Trend Homes Classic. He received WAC Player of the Week recognition once again after logging 16 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and a career-high five steals vs. Texas-El Paso on Jan. 25, 2000.
Maddox also earned selection to the All-WAC Second Team, the WAC All-Newcomer Team and the NABC District 13 First Team.
Scandal and departure
Maddox was the center of a major illegal benefits scandal while a student-athlete at Fresno State, creating NCAA rules violations. In the summer of 1998, before his final year of high school, Maddox had befriended an events promoter who ended up working on behalf of sports agents. By the time he was playing for Fresno State, Maddox was flown to meet with agents in Las Vegas, Nevada and they came to a covert agreement. He and his mother began receiving cash payments as well as cars: a late-model Nissan Altima for his mother and a 1997 Ford Explorer for him. Maddox estimated he received $1,500 every month for about a year and a half, totaling almost $30,000. In explaining his actions, he claimed that his unfamiliarity with NCAA rules let him to ask the agents what they could do to help his family; noting that "They let me know they could help me, they put it out there on the table: 'If you come with us, we can help your mom, brothers and sister with whatever they need.' That's all I cared about. I didn't know the rules then, and of course they didn't explain it."
Maddox was suspended for the first eight games of the 2000 season after he admitted that he and then-USC forward Jeff Trepagnier were supplied with airline tickets to meet with the agents Ron and Ken Delpit of Franchise Sports. Things took a turn for the worse when he boarded another illegally paid-for flight to visit his girlfriend in El Paso in 2001. Upon finding out, Fresno State ruled him ineligible for the 2001-02 season and Maddox opted to declare for the 2002 NBA Draft. He chose different agents as he found no one knew of those that he had previously been dealing with.
An early entry candidate for the 2002 NBA Draft, Maddox was selected in the second round (38th overall) by the Houston Rockets. He averaged 1.2 points with 0.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists in nine games during his rookie season, playing at most 11 minutes on Feb. 22 vs. Memphis. He spent three stints on the injured list that year and at the end of the season he ended his career where it started. He was cut the next year by the Cleveland Cavaliers, giving him a total of only one season in the NBA.
- Lance Pugmire, Tito Maddox sees himself in O.J. Mayo saga, Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2008, Accessed May 14, 2008.