Strengths: Jones has quicker feet than his body shape would suggest, which he uses to track down offensive boards and loose balls... Once a shot goes up, he knows how to effectively position himself under the glass, and has strong reactionary and adjustment skills... Offensively he has a soft touch from the midrange, which has expanded out to almost 22 feet away... He's much more comfortable shooting off the catch than he is off the dribble, which is understandable considering how little he puts the ball on the floor facing up... He's shown confidence, comfort and rhythm as a shooter, which will be crucial in terms of maximizing his potential services as an NBA power forward... With his back to the basket, Jones excels using a few power dribbles before turning left, shielding the ball with his body and using the angle and backboard to convert easy buckets... Also seems comfortable with his over the shoulder hook in the post... Facing up he uses jab steps to create separation, rise and fire... High motor player, consistently active in the paint... Highly competitive and driven individual ...
Weaknesses: Jones is not a great athlete and lacks fluidity and explosiveness... He plays under the rim, which is worrisome considering he's a bit undersized for the natural power forward position... Tends to drift out on the perimeter too often, and is only shooting 28% from downtown... 3.8 free throw attempts per game is not enough considering his 6'8, 260lb frame... Definitely stronger upper body than lower... He could be a liability defending stronger 4s in the post, while defending 3s on the perimeter is not a likely option... overall has a low ceiling as a prospect
Overall: Jones leads the Big East both in scoring and rebounding, and has been the most consistent player in the conference throughout his senior year, and he's the leading candidate to win POY ... While it took him three years to come around, he's increased his rebounding rate dramatically, which will be needed if he wants to play regular rotational minutes...There will be plenty of teams in the market for an active interior presence who can step out and knock down 20 footers, and considering his low risk/low reward status, late first round to early second seems like a reasonable landing range
Jonathan Wasserman 2/9/12