I’ve had the privilege to witness Jones’ development since his freshman year at Mount Vernon High School in Westchester County, NY. He’s gone from a frail and athletic shooter to one of top forwards in the country. Jones was recently snubbed by not being awarded Big East Player of the Year, but his future in the NBA may be one of the brightest of any forward prospect based on his skill set.
I don’t overstate things. Jones is the best offensive rebounder I’ve seen in the college game at the forward position in a decade. Case in point was yesterday during the Big East tournament in a 71-67 loss to UConn. A shot goes up and Jones plays the angle and gets the ball at its apex, taps it to himself and kicks it back out for another possession.
Wait, did I mention that he beat both Alex Oriakhi AND Andre Drummond to the zenith?
Offensively, Jones plays a position that all NBA teams are looking for — the “Stretch PF or Stretch 4.”
Stretch 4s can make 3s from the perimeter by pulling bigger defenders away and opening the lane for dribble penetration. They can also guard NBA power forwards. Jones has seen his shooting numbers drop from deep this year to an all-time low 27%, but I’m a fan of his high release and ability to shoot over big forwards. He has made 110 triples in his four-year career in Morgantown.
- Four-year player who has developed all facets of his game every year
- Consistently improved weaknesses
- High natural release on jump shot allows for him to get looks over taller defenders
- Tremendous timing as a rebounder, specifically on the offensive glass. Uses his frame and angles well
- Natural fit at the stretch 4 position
- Shooting percentage has dropped this year from deep
- Not a natural ball handler. Doesn’t have natural explosiveness with the ball going to the rim
- Needs to develop a more polished back-to-the-basket post game
- Weak base, may get exploited by stronger post players.
Tommy Dee is the founder of TheKnicksBlog, editor of CHARGED Magazine and is a regional scout for Marty Blake and Associates. If you want to hang and talk hoops, meet him at the Portsmouth Invitational but leave your calculator at home. You also can follow him on Twitter.