Ask LNH: Is Tyus Jones Overrated?

Ask LNH: Is Tyus Jones Overrated?

No. If anything, the 2014 RSCI #7 Jones is underrated.

His feel and understanding of the game of basketball is truly special and nothing short of remarkable. You’ll often see him described as a “pass first point guard” along with a comment about his relative lack of athleticism. The “pass first” description is fine, but make no mistake – Tyus Jones can put points on the board with the best of them and will get flat out nasty scoring the ball when he needs to.

College basketball fans across the country will say, “Wow, I didn’t know Jones could do THAT” this year.

With freshman we are often concerned about how they will respond to adversity. Not so with Tyus. He’s already played with poise on so many big stages, worked through injury and appears to have an exceptionally strong support structure of family and friends. If things aren’t going well on the court, he’ll address the issues intelligently instead of being rattled.

Is playing with Quinn Cook something that can work?

Of course. We’ve been a fan of Quinn Cook since watching him run with DC Assault and can be successful on the court together with Jones at times.

As a rising sophomore Tyus played with a favorite of national college basketball analysts: Harvard point guard Siyani Chambers (2012 high school class). Playing for Howard Pulley against older competition in the EYBL, Jones was willing to play off the ball or at point and excelled.

We’ve seen Tyus play in high school games, spring and summer travel leagues, fall leagues, NCAA-certified summer leagues, all-star games, practices, with USA Basketball, etc., but we are also big fans of numbers. The statistical output of Jones has been staggering throughout the years.

His 2011 and 2012 campaigns in the EYBL were so strong that looked as though it might be difficult to show improvement during the 2013 season. Yet he did. Scoring, strong shooting (2FG/3FG/FT alike), assists, low turnovers, getting to the line, steals, low fouls called against. All impressive. We’ll share a few EYBL figures from 2013, but first a few more thoughts on Duke.

On Duke (Our #1)

Normally we shy away from teams that are going to rely heavily on freshmen. Not so with Duke. We can’t find a better team to have at #1 when projecting how the 2014-15 season ends.

Jahlil Okafor will attract the most attention and with good reason. He’ll rebound the ball. They’ll get him the ball. He’ll score. As long as he stays healthy, he’ll be excellent.

But both Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow are also in a class of rare freshmen. Wise beyond their years, unselfish and able to impact the game in multiple ways, this is an incredible class.

We also should mention Grayson Allen who is another unselfish and strong all-around player that is capable of posterizing defenders at any moment.

Add in Duke’s vets and we love how this team projects come March.

EYBL statistics
In 2013 there were four players (minimum of 20% minutes played) who had a possession usage of 20%+ and an ORtg of 125+: Tyus Jones, Justin Jackson (UNC), James Blackmon (Indiana) and Trevon Bluiett (Xavier).

Jones led this group in usage at almost 29% and had a healthy 25% %Shots  – not exactly numbers you’d associate with a stereotypical “pass first point guard.” Add into the consideration of %Shots that Jones had a free throw rate of 60% compared to the next highest of 33% (Blueitt) and it’s clear Jones was an offensive juggernaut for one of the EYBL’s most efficient offenses.

Do you need points? Do you need him to get others involved? A trey? A trip to the line? A dunk in someone’s face? Whatever it is, Tyus can deliver.

NAME                                               ORtg                  Usage                 %Shots

JONES,TYUS 128.7 28.8% 25.1%
BLUEITT,TREVON 128.2 26.8% 29.1%
BLACKMON,JAMES 132.7 23.7% 28.0%
JACKSON,JUSTIN 132.9 21.9% 24.9%

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