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2015 Draft Profile | Tyus Jones

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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Disclaimer: This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves organization. 

Freshman, SG, Duke

6’0.25”, 184.6 lbs

6.5 % body fat

6’5” wing span

8’1” standing reach

College Stats: 39 games, 33.9 MPG, 11.8 PPG, 5.6 APG, 3.5 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 41.7 FG%, 37.9 3P%, 88.9 FT%

Where He’ll Go:

Most draft experts expect Jones to go somewhere in the second half of the first round. It would be a bit of a surprise if Jones somehow slipped into the second round.

Best Game In 2014-15:

Well, this is tough…

 It was the biggest game of the season and like he’s done throughout his life, Jones stepped up big when his team needed him most. Duke wouldn’t have beat Wisconsin in the National Championship if it weren’t for Jones. Jones scored a game-high 23 points (19 coming in the second half), shooting 7-of-13 from the field, 2-of-3 from the three-point line and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line. He also added five rebounds and an assist. It earned him the Most Outstanding Player award and ultimately guided him to make the decision to go pro.

“That’s something that went into (going pro),” Jones said on his championship performance. “When you finish the season on top, there’s only two teams playing on the last day of the season, so all eyes are on you. Like I said, we felt like it was the best opportunity for myself.”

When I asked who to keep an eye on via Twitter at the Combine, the feedback was pretty much, “Tyus Jones. Tyus Jones. Tyus Jones.”

That isn’t because Jones is the top prospect in the NBA Draft. It’s because he was the face of Minnesota high school basketball for a good part of two seasons as a star for Apple Valley. He admitted that as a kid growing up, it’s always been his goal to play in the NBA – especially for his hometown team.

With three picks in the upcoming draft, the Wolves have plenty of flexibility to be in a position to draft Jones. He met with the team on Friday at the Combine.

Jones was a fan of the Wolves during Kevin Garnett’s glory days and Jones, a day before he made his decision to go pro, delivered the baseball to Garnett when he threw out the first pitch at the Twins game.

(SO MANY SPORTS HAPPENING!)

Jones said that Garnett had some advice for him that day when the two talked.

“He just told me to take my time, not to rush anything,” Jones said. “Just pick what ultimately was the best for myself and my family. Don’t let any outsiders into your circle or try to take any advice that I hadn’t taken advice from at this point.”

That’s pretty cool to imagine. And how awesome is that advice? Go KG.

His stock is as high it will ever be as a prospect. He’s coming off of an unbelievable NCAA championship performance and he smartly took advantage of that.  Now, the question is whether or not he’ll be able to play in the NBA.

All signs point to yes, especially when you talk to him.

He talks to reporters like he’s talking to a friend. Calm. Cool. Collected. Ridiculously intelligent for a 19-year-old player with just one year of college ball under his belt.

Then again, that’s not hard to believe after you consider what Jones has already accomplished in his basketball career. We would list everything, but we’re on a deadline here.

His biggest strength is his basketball IQ and his feel for the game. When he’s on the court, he looks like he’s been doing this for 10-15 years. A little Chris Paul-ish (IS KYLE COMPARING JONES TO CP3?!). He has the demeanor to be a leader at the next level and will instantly gain the respect of veterans around him.

He’s an above-average three-point shooter and will probably become a 90 percent free-throw shooter in the league. He has quality vision and is the one “true” point guard that is in this draft class.

“I’m not exactly an attacking point guard – a driving penetrating point guard,” Jones said. “But I do feel like I’m the best pure point guard in terms of just complete game.”

The one knock on Jones is something he can’t control – his size. He’s just over six feet with shoes on. We’ve seen smaller guards in the NBA succeed, they have just maximized their other skills. In order to do that, Jones will need to be a respectable shooter, who is a good ball handler who won’t be a liability on defense. Some matchups will be difficult for him as it seems like every point guard in the league could make a case for the All-Star Team.

He said his biggest weakness is his defense and that’s something that he’s been working on this offseason. He’s a fine team defender and knows his spots, but one-on-one defense has and probably will be a challenge for him.

Overall

Jones is the type of player who seems to just figure things out. I know that’s not exactly a great take, but he’s a smart player who knows what he needs to do on the court to be valuable to his team – it’s something that he’s done incredibly well up to this point. He’s not a starting point guard right now in the NBA, but a team will give him the chance to down the road. You can bet that he did very well in his Combine interviews.

Quotable

“I think being just a complete point guard. Someone who is a leader and is a winner. Someone who can make their teammates better. Set up my teammates and like I said, the most important thing is to win.” – Tyus Jones on what he immediately will bring to an NBA team.

 

 

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