And Tyus Jones makes three.
Wednesday Jones became the third player from Duke’s national championship team to declare for the NBA Draft. He joins Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow in that class, although the other two are expected top 10 picks and Jones likely goes later in the first round.
Jones had a strong season for the Blue Devils, averaging 11.8 points, 5.6 assists, 3.5 boards and 1.5 steals a game this season. He was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
If you watched him in the Final Four you saw a guy with some skills that will translate to the next level — he’s good on the pick-and-roll, he can get into the lane, he’s got a decent outside shot, and he just knows how to run a team. But there are questions about his defense and, more importantly, his ceiling, which hold him down a little. DraftExpress.com has him going No. 20.
A few positives stand out for Jones. First, he has a very good understanding of the pick-and-roll game already for his age; he makes good, quick reads and he’s a strong, sometimes creative passer. Also, he makes good decisions with the ball, though he can have some problems being pressured or against guards with some length. Jones has shown ability to knock down open jumpers, and he can make defenders pay if they try to go under a screen against him, though he needs to be more consistent. Jones is solid in transition, even though he doesn’t have great speed/acceleration, relying on ballhandling/smarts to keep defenders off-balance. He does have some problems getting to the rim, and if he does, he can some problems scoring against long-defenders. Jones does thrive on the big moment, as shown in the NCAA Tournament, and he wants the ball in his hands when a game is on the line.