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- Measurables: 6-foot-8, 260 pounds, senior forward from West Virginia
- Key Stats: 20.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.0 blocks per game, 51 percent shooting, 27 percent 3-point shooting
- Projected: Late first round to second round
- Hickory High Similarity Score
Why I like this guy
I’m a sucker for great high school basketball powerhouse programs and Jones is from one of the best in the country in Mount Vernon, NY. Current Piston Ben Gordon is also a Mount Vernon alum.
Jones also declared for last year’s draft, didn’t hire an agent, ultimately returned to school and improved across the board as a senior, a testament to his work ethic.
Pros for the Pistons
Joe Dumars has been big on adding character guys, particularly with his second round picks, since, well … forever, I guess. Jones would be another hard-working, high caliber character guy. Combined with his strength, the Pistons’ need for frontcourt depth and his rebounding ability, that might be enough for him to make the roster as a second round pick.
The Pistons are currently toying with sliding Jonas Jerebko over to small forward more. If they like his fit there and decide to play him more minutes at the three next season, they might look for a hustling, energy guy up front, and Jones, with his offensive rebounding ability, could be able to fill that role. He also has a versatile offensive game that includes crafty moves around the basket and the ability to step out and hit a perimeter jumper. He’s also a good defensive player. He’s strong enough to hold position in the post and moves his feet well for a man his size.
Cons for the Pistons
Like seemingly all big men who work on and develop a perimeter jumper, Jones occasionally uses his too much. The more comfortable he’s become with the 3-pointer, the more he’s take. Unfortunately, that has caused his 3-point percentage to drop significantly — 40 percent as a sophomore, 30 percent as a junior and 27 percent as a senior. Now, Jones did improve virtually every other facet of his game, so occasionally shooting too many threes in college isn’t a huge deal, but the Pistons already have a few players who love their 3-point shot a bit more than they should.
Jones also isn’t elite in the athleticism department, and that seems to be a priority for the Pistons up front since Greg Monroe isn’t one either.
What others are saying
For the first three years of his college career, Jones has been a borderline NBA prospect known for his motor, offensive rebounding and ability to stretch the defense with his jumper.
Jones’ lack of size combined with a game that is decidedly below the rim have kept him on the margins for the past two seasons. But with his increased willingness to go inside and prove that he can score and rebound over bigger and more athletic defenders (Baylor’s front line is as long and as athletic as they come), Jones may yet find his way onto an NBA roster.
Jones has tremendous hands and great touch around the basket with either hand, and does a very good job of finding seams in the defense. He’s also turned himself into an excellent rebounder, as his 4.8 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted is one of the better marks in our database, and he converts them at an excellent clip.
He does a good job of crashing the boards at every opportunity, fighting for position early and with a quick second jump, and has the aforementioned good touch around the basket. These two traits more than anything are extremely positive traits to possess when he makes the transition at the next level to less of a featured role.
Jones leads the Big East both in scoring and rebounding, and has been the most consistent player in the conference throughout his senior year, and he’s the leading candidate to win POY … While it took him three years to come around, he’s increased his rebounding rate dramatically, which will be needed if he wants to play regular rotational minutes…There will be plenty of teams in the market for an active interior presence who can step out and knock down 20 footers, and considering his low risk/low reward status, late first round to early second seems like a reasonable landing range.
Coming from “Money Earnin’ Mount Vernon” and West Virginia, Jones certainly has the pedigree to make it in the NBA.
Coached by Bob Cimmino, Mount Vernon High has produced NBA players Ben Gordon, Gus Williams, Ray Williams, Earl Tatum and brothers Scooter and Rodney McCray.
West Virginia, meanwhile, has recently churned out Da’Sean Butler, the No. 42 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, and Devin Ebanks, the No. 43 pick.
What is the best thing Kevin Jones does for his team?
KJ was the definition of consistency this season at West Virginia. It seemed like every night, he wouldn’t do anything that stood out in your mind as spectacular in any way, but when you looked at the box score at the end of the game he would end up in the neighborhood of 20 points and 10 rebounds. He’s shown throughout his career at WVU that he does whatever he has to do to give his team the best chance to win and his game has progressed a ton since he first stepped foot on campus as a freshman. This year, he became known as one of the nation’s elite rebounders – which is something he has excelled in for the last four years. At the next level his size might be an issue because he’s not as big as your prototypical NBA power forward. But he’s developed his midrange game (which is what NBA scouts told him to improve on when he tested the waters last year) enough to where he can help teams at the next level and if you know how to rebound, it doesn’t matter how big you are, you’re going to find a way to get to the ball. And that’s something KJ knows how to do very well.
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