Heralded Duke freshmen embrace old-school fundamentalsKrzyzewski compares Jones’ instincts on both ends to Tommy Amaker’s, the ultimate compliment in Krzyzewski’s mind. Now Harvard’s head coach, Amaker was a four-year starter at point guard for Krzyzewski from 1983-87 — the Blue Devils reached the national title game in ’86, Krzyzewski’s first Final Four, falling to Louisville.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/11/30/4365809/duke-beats-army-93-73-for-coach.html?sp=/99/103/119/269/Jones recorded the first double-double of his career with 16 points and 10 assists, along with five rebounds and zero turnovers.
Jones shot 4-of-8 from the field after struggling to a 1-of-15 tune in the last three games. Yes, the Duke coaches showed him film and talked to him about shooting, and, yes, Jones logged extra reps in the gym this week. But still—Jones’s greatest gift to this team is as a pass-first point guard and floor leader, and that’s the role he embraces.
"His ego is not defined by shooting, which is really uncommon in today’s day and age," Krzyzewski said of Jones. "Most kids define themselves by if they hit a shot. He does by how is team is playing. In that way, he is pretty mature."
Jones sank his first three shots Sunday, scoring seven quick points as Duke jumped to a 10-point lead just over 10 minutes into the game. He finished four of eight overall but added points at the free throw line by making seven of eight there.
He accounted for half of Duke’s 20 assists while playing a team-best 34 minutes without committing a turnover.
“I’m not thinking about not turning the ball over but, at the same time, I want to make sure I’m poised up top at the head of the offense,” Jones said. “I think that rubs off on everybody else when it’s helter-skelter out there. I’m just trying to get us into stuff and get us good shots.”
http://www.heraldsun.com/sports/colleges/x761895431/Okafor-Jones-lead-Duke-past-Army“I just felt comfortable out there today, taking what the defense gave me,” Jones said. “I got a couple of buckets early and then just tried to settle us into the offense. Guys were knocking down shots.”
-Chad FordJones is sporting an incredible 6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in his first seven games at Duke. He is, by far, the best pass-first point guard prospect in the draft. His issues really come from shooting the ball from deep. While he's shooting a very respectable 46 percent on his 2-point jumpers, his 3-point percentage has fallen to 32 percent. Given that 54 percent of all the shots he takes are 3s, that number needs to go up significantly.
Tyus Jones darted through the lane for easy baskets and hit two key 3-pointers. Any time he made a big play, his family followed with raucous applause.
It was quite a Midwest homecoming Wednesday night for Duke's freshman point guard.
Jones scored 22 points, junior Rasheed Sulaimon added 14 and the fourth-ranked Blue Devils shot 65 percent to beat No. 2 Wisconsin 80-70 in a highly anticipated matchup of college basketball heavyweights.
Jones' mother led the cheers after making the roughly 4 1/2-hour drive from the Minneapolis suburb of Apple Valley, Minnesota.
"This is the closest game to home, so I had a lot of family and friends here. You know, seeing my mom right behind the bench ... helps and she was loving it," Jones said.
Jones, who helped open things up for the Blue Devils (8-0) in the second half.
The lightning-quick Jones followed a transition layup with an assist on jumper Amile Jefferson's jumper to cap a 6-0 run that gave Duke a 69-60 lead with about 3 minutes left against the Badgers (7-1).
"When those freshmen see that the upperclassmen are setting the table for them, it helps a lot," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "They didn't look like freshmen tonight."
http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/284706921.htmlDuke led much of the way, but never comfortably at the raucous Kohl Center.
Wisconsin's Traevon Jackson was a big reason why. The senior guard scored a career-high 25 points and was often the Badgers' best option at breaking down Duke's in-your-face defense.
Jones was even better on the other end. He finished 7 of 11 from the field, adding four assists.
Tyus Jones did not grow up hating the University of Wisconsin, despite pulling for the Gophers when those teams faced off in their annual border rivalry games.
For the Duke point guard and Minnesota native, the chance to play the No. 2-ranked Badgers (7-0) on Wednesday night in Madison, Wis., is about the freshman-led No. 4 Blue Devils (7-0) testing themselves against a 2014 Final Four team.
It is also a homecoming of sorts for Jones, a former McDonald's All-American from Apple Valley, who will have at least 25 family members and friends making the 275-mile drive east to attend the game.
"It means a lot for me to go back and play Wisconsin because it's so close to Minnesota," Jones said Monday. "It'll be a fun game and very memorable. Playing Wisconsin is as close to home as I can get besides playing the Gophers. I'll have a lot of family there, which will be good. So I'm just excited."
Jones and fellow freshman starter Jahlil Okafor have opened the college basketball season as one of the nation's most talented point guard-center tandems.
It has turned out just like they thought it would when they signed with Duke as a package deal a year ago.
"It's everything I dreamed of," Jones said. "I'm having a lot of fun."
The 6-foot-1 190-pounder is averaging nine points and six assists, and he ranks first in the Atlantic Coast Conference and seventh nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (6.0). The 6-11, 270-pound Okafor, who is from Chicago, leads the team with 17.
7 points, to go with 7.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
"It's really working out for us," Jones said. "We started the season off strong. It's everything that we imagined. We're looking to improve every day and keep getting better."
Touted as the best high school point guard in the nation last year, Jones truly introduced himself to the national college hoops audience two weeks ago with a 17-point second-half performance in an 81-71 victory over Michigan State.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski praised his young floor leader for getting his teammates the ball while aggressively looking for his shots when needed.
Jones struggled with his scoring during a three-game stretch after that, scoring just eight points on 1-for-15 shooting combined against Temple, Stanford and Furman. But he bounced back with 16 points, 10 assists and no turnovers in Sunday's 93-73 victory over Army.
"His ego is not defined by shooting, which is uncommon for most people," Krzyzewski told the Fayetteville Observer after the game.
Said Okafor: "It won't be the last time we see him with double-digit assists. He was great for us, facilitated, got everybody involved, set me up numerous times for easy buckets and other people, too."
It has been an easier transition than even Jones expected in leading the Blue Devils' offense, but he is still adjusting to the speed of the game.
"Everything at the next level is quicker and faster," Jones said. "The windows to use are smaller. You have to make decisions faster.
"I also have to be a better defender. You always have to be able to stop the ball. But everybody can improve defensively. I'm getting a better feel for being able to set up my teammates and the offense. That's something I think I've adjusted to really well."
Last year, Jones was one of three high school players from Minnesota who played in the McDonald's All-American Game, along with Stanford's Reid Travis and Nevada-Las Vegas' Rashad Vaughn. All three have made an immediate impact in college.
Travis, a DeLaSalle graduate, has started all six games for the Cardinal (4-2) and is averaging 8.5 points and 7.5 rebounds. Vaughn, who left Cooper to play his senior year at Findlay Prep (Nev.), leads the Rebels (4-1) with 17 points per game.
"I talked to Reid and Rashad," Jones said. "I'm happy for them. They've been playing well. Sounds like they're comfortable where they're at."
The trio had a reunion of sorts at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Nov. 21-22. Stanford beat UNLV 89-60 on the first day of the event, then lost 70-59 to Duke.
Jones is also proud of his younger brother, Tre, who has replaced him as Apple Valley's starting point guard this season as a ninth-grader.
It was a different summer for the Jones brothers, who did not get to play and work out together for the first time since they could remember, with Tyus having departed for Durham, N.C.
"But I think he's comfortable with what he's doing," Jones said of his brother. "The season started, and I think he's playing pretty good. He's starting to come into his own."
Apple Valley coach Zach Goring said the younger Jones is an excellent facilitator, just like his older brother was at that age.
But Tre doesn't need to carry the team offensively, not with sophomore wing Gary Trent Jr. and junior center Brock Bertram on the court. Both are among the top players in the state in their class.
"Tre is going to be really good," Goring said. "He's already on the Division I map with his scholarship offer from Texas Tech. He's going to keep growing, too. He's about the same size as Tyus right now. Tre defends the full court really well and just makes very few mistakes. But the situation is different in their younger years."
Some of Jones' Apple Valley coaches visited him at Duke in October, while also attending the Blue Devils' football game against Virginia. They hung out with Coach K and "had a blast" touring the campus, Goring said.
Jones' mother, Debbie, his brother and high school coaches will be among the contingent decked in blue and rooting for Duke in Madison.
Jones might not dislike Wisconsin, but his folks from Minnesota do -- and they hope he has a big game against the Badgers.
"It's going to be a great atmosphere," Goring said. "He fits in so well with them."
http://www.news-record.com/blogs/sports_extra/odds-and-ends-duke-s-defense-and-tyus-jones-excellence/article_159d7c50-a068-11e4-b25e-0725e13dbfbc.htmlDuke shows up for big games – and so does Tyus Jones.
Duke’s effective field-goal percentage marks this season against teams in the Kenpom top 25: 61 percent shooting against Michigan State, 72.8 percent against Wisconsin, 53.5 percent against Louisville.
A big part of that boost is Tyus Jones. When Jones is aggressive, Duke’s offense goes from good to frightening. And he shows up in big games.
Jones in Duke’s losses:
3-15 FG (20%) 0-6 3pt FG (0%), 6:2 assist/turnover ratio, 5 points per game.
Jones against Kenpom top 25 teams (Wisconsin, Michigan State, Louisville):
13-21 FG (61.9%), 4-8 3pt FG (50%) 16:3 assist/turnover ratio, 16.3 points per game.
Jones vs. Pittsburgh:
7-11 FG (64%), 4-6 3pt FG (66%), 4:3 assist/turnover ratio, 18 points.
Duke needs Tyus Jones at peak efficiency. It will be interesting to see how well and how often he can reach that level through a gauntlet of ACC play.