Duke Basketball’s Tyus Jones Not Yet Ready for NBA
Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow had already made their decisions public, and when Tyus Jones announced on Wednesday that he was leaving, it meant that the entire core of this year’s Duke championship team would not return to Durham next season.
Okafor and Winslow seem like great fits for the NBA. Okafor is a big body who can score inside and rebound. If he can get better defensively, he could be a star in the league. Winslow is a player who is still developing, but his raw skill and athleticism will allow him to be a big-time contributor at the next level.
Jones, on the other hand, is a bit of a wild card. Without question, he’s cold-blooded and cool under pressure. He showed that as he earned Most Outstanding Player honors at this year’s Final Four. Jones had 23 points in Duke’s national championship game victory over the Wisconsin Badgers.
For the season, Jones averaged 11.8 points and 5.6 assists per game and he became just the second player in Duke history to record at least 400 points and 200 assists as a freshman.
The questions about Jones are about his size and his speed. He stands 6-1, which is fairly small compared to many NBA point guards. He’s also not the quickest player, which sometimes hurts him on defense. But the latest NBA mock drafts have Jones going late in the first round, so he elected to make the move.
While returning to college may have been the best option for Jones, it’s hard for anyone, even Mike Krzyzewski, to stop a young player from chasing his dream. Jones may turn into a great NBA point guard at some point, but it probably won’t be for a while.
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