As our NBA Draft Profile series continues on InsideTheACC, we stop by the home of the National Champion Duke Blue Devils, for the first of their three prospects who will be featured in our lead up to the NBA Draft. Tyus Jones played a major part in Duke’s National Title run, but how does his game translate to the next level? Let’s take a look.
PG Tyus Jones, Duke
- Age 19
- 6’2″ 185 lbs.
- Wingspan: 6’5″
- No-Step Vertical: 26 1/2″
- Max Vertical: 32 1/2″
Tyus Jones stepped right into the Duke lineup in his freshman season, and was a major cog in the team’s national championship run this past season. The 19 year-old out of Apple Valley, Minnesota, who was the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, was extremely impressive as a freshman, as he averaged 11.8 points per game on 42% shooting, while also averaging 5.6 assists per game as Duke’s point guard. He was a modest 38% three point shooter, and shot a brilliant 89% from the free throw line at Duke.
Jones’ biggest asset is his playmaking and ability to make his teammates better. Time and time again he was able to jump start the Blue Devil offense by doing the little things to help make the players around him better. Whether it be getting his team into the right offensive sets, or simply making the extra pass, Jones was everything that Coach K and the Duke coaching staff was hoping he would be. His court vision, speed, and ball handling ability are all extremely well-polished, and he is a prototypical pass-first point guard who has the ability to score and get to the hoop if the defender lags off of him. He has excellent athleticism and a high basketball IQ, showing that he has a great understanding of how a defense is trying to slow down his team’s offense, which is pivotal to the point guard position at any level.
While Jones should step in immediately and provide a legitimate starting point guard threat to many NBA teams that could select him, he may benefit from coming off the bench early in his career as he acclimates himself to the professional game. His defense is the one area of his game that needs the most work, as at times he would ball watch and lose his man, and other times he would show that he could get beaten off the dribble. If he shows a desire to play defense and a willingness to improve that area of his game, he could be a very good point guard in the NBA for a long time to come. He has been groomed as a future NBA prospect coming out of high school, and after one successful season at Duke, he has shown that he is ready to take the professional game head on, so we will see how he fares next fall in the NBA.
NBA Draft Projection: Late First Round Pick