Kenneth Jones has been taking part in level guard because the age of 4, attempting to copy his play with Boston Celtics favourite Rayon Rondo. There is just one minor drawback.
“I am a Knicks fan,” says the New Jersey native Hillside with fun. “So that you should not just like the Celtics. However when your group performs in opposition to them many instances, you will notice them on the pitch. And he’s somebody I like.”
Along with being an NBA fan, Jones developed right into a gifted level guard of his personal at Loyola, Maryland final season. He leads the Patriot League in assists per recreation (4.6) and 7 or extra assists, a file eight, with Jones. The Greyhounds are ranked 51st amongst NCAA groups. Complete Division I help per recreation (15)
Nonetheless, this fall Jones switched from level guard to taking pictures guard. Within the group’s first three video games The graduate pupil ranks second in scoring at 15.7 factors per recreation, leads with 3.3 assists and is tied for second in steals at 1.7. He has 18 factors, 4 assists, and three metal in Sunday’s 75-70 win over the Browns earlier than declaring 1,079 at Rice Area in Baltimore to assist Loyola (1-2) its first win of the season.
Jones’ versatility was appreciated by coach Tavaras Hardy.
“It was enjoyable watching him develop. Particularly in the previous couple of years,” he says. “He understands that this 12 months we would like him to be aggressive. We would like him to attain objectives. We would like him to shoot with confidence. And that is how he trains to play offensively. So I am wanting ahead to him having an amazing season simply taking part in a special function than he has. I believe he will likely be essential to us.”
Jones’ basis as a degree guard appears set. He quipped that regardless of his younger age He is typically the shortest participant on the group, at 6 toes and 187 kilos, he is tied for third-shortest participant among the many Greyhounds, 5-7 behind senior guard Alex Jackson (Latin Boys). and Deon Perry, 5-8 freshman guards (Mount Carmel).
The purpose guard suited Jones’ fashion. “As a degree guard I like making choices and giving the ball to my teammates to attain,” he stated.
Selecting Loyola over Towson, St. Joseph’s, Princeton and Boston College, Jones averaged just below six factors and three assists in his first three seasons. however final winter He began all 30 video games and ranks third on the group in factors (8.9) and minutes (33) per recreation.
Jones attributes his private achievements to the play of his teammates.
“When you might have somebody who can rating objectives. It was straightforward to seek out them. As a result of they’re in the precise place,” he explains. “I simply have to offer them the ball. We even have BIG that performs nice within the decide and roll. So I needed to give them to them so they may rating.
In the course of the offseason, Hardy approached Jones a couple of place change for 2 causes. One is the addition of Perry, who additionally performs level guard and is Baltimore Solar All-Metro Choice as a senior One other story is the switch of Cam Spencer taking pictures guard, who led the group final 12 months in factors (18.9) and steals (2.3) and second in rebounds (4.8) and assists ( 3.2)
“Whenever you lose a man like Cam Spencer. [to Rutgers]You want somebody to switch that function,” says Hardy. “He positively will not do what Cam does. However with him being a veteran to mitigate the loss we had with Cam, that ought to work for us.”
any concern That Perry might have had about pushing the starter final season was erased by Jones’ remedy of him.
“After I got here in I used to be at all times given a heat welcome,” stated Perry, who averaged 10.3 factors and 1.7 assists. “It was a pleasant transition between the 2 of us. nothing private It is all concerning the competitors.”
Jones stated he had no objection to creating room for Perry.
“He is an amazing passer. He is an amazing defender on the ball. He shoots every time he needs,” Jones stated, “so he can positively play.”
Maybe the most important adjustment for Jones was resisting the thought of having to undergo his first stage.
“It is troublesome as a result of that is not my method of taking part in. However I believe they perceive,” he stated. “I believe I can nonetheless look to them to play. However they at all times inform me to search for my pictures. So I thank them for that.”
Perry stated he nonetheless depends on Jones for recommendation on taking part in level guard on the faculty stage.
“He pushes me in coaching day-after-day to be the participant I’m,” Perry stated. He would clarify to me. In the course of the recreation, he would clarify one thing to me. He is positively an excellent chief. He confirmed me pointers for what I wanted to enhance. And at what level did he see the lane extensive open for him and others? in a group that may rating objectives.”
Jones, who graduated with a bachelor’s diploma in enterprise administration in January and is pursuing a grasp’s diploma in advertising and marketing, stated he’s keen to assist the Greyhounds win their first Patriot League title. He additionally admitted that he could not assist however consider a statistics division.
“Scoring was by no means my largest concern,” he says. “I by no means actually considered that. It could be good for me to steer the Patriot League in assists as an off-ball defensive position. Perhaps that is what I can do.”
Washington Faculty at Loyola Maryland
Thursday 7:00 p.m.