Duke men’s basketball 2018-2019 player review: Tre Jones
· Year: Freshman
· Height: 6-foot-2
· Position: Point Guard
· This year’s stat line: 9.4 PPG, 5.3 AST, 41.4 FG%
Season breakdown: Coming in with far less attention than his freshmen teammates, Jones quickly proved himself as an essential component to the Blue Devils’ success. As the only true two-way point guard in Duke’s rotation, he was able to show his ability to run the offense. Jones also proved early on that he could put up points when needed, chipping in 14 points in a Maui Invitational matchup against San Diego State.
Jones was praised throughout the season for his elite defensive abilities. He was a wall that stood in front of his opponents, making them work much harder for successful plays. Among his highlights, Jones held St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds, who was the leading scorer in the 2017 game that the Blue Devils lost, to just three for 11 from the field. Jones’ dedication to defense doesn’t end there, as a fight over a loose ball in the first of three games against Syracuse caused the Apple Valley, M.N. native to suffer a shoulder sprain, keeping him out for two games.
His performance in the Sweet Sixteen against Virginia Tech made it hard not to compare him to his older brother, Tyus, who was a huge component in Duke’s run to the 2015 national title. The younger Jones brother finished the game against the Hokies with five of the team’s six 3-point shots and contributed a season high 22 points.
Results relative to expectation: At the beginning of the season, Tre Jones’ basketball IQ was expected to lead the Blue Devils to great things. His ability to communicate with his teammates on the court would be vital, and he would be a crucial aspect to the team’s pace. Jones did a solid job this season, outperforming last year’s floor general Trevon Duval and taking care of the ball. Although his mid-season shoulder injury slowed Jones down, he held the top spot for highest assist to turnover ratio in the nation for a number of weeks.
Luckily for Duke, Jones has decided to branch away from his expected one-and-done path and will compete in Cameron Indoor Stadium for another year. His presence on the court will be similar to this season, but the Blue Devils could follow in 2019-20 with another solid year if the rising sophomore can develop a reliable shot from deep.
Stay tuned to the Blue Zone for our continuing player reviews. Previous players previewed include Justin Robinson, Joey Baker, Jordan Goldwire, Jack White, Alex O'Connell, Cam Reddish, Javin DeLaurier and Marques Bolden.
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