Tag:Kevin Jones
Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:06 pm

Kevin Jones is not Pete Maravich, by the way

Jones has been very good, but he had a season-low five rebounds Monday night. (AP)

By Matt Norlander

HARTFORD, Conn. — Kevin Jones is in the midst of a First Team Big East campaign. He’s been the type of player this season most expected he’d be last season, when Jones was seen by some as the 2010-11 preseason league player of the year. He’s been a joy to follow, and the kid’s not yet gotten his due, by and large.

But he can’t live life 22 feet from the hoop. Kevin Jones is not Pete Maravich. And what Maravich was to LSU Jones is not to WVU. Why am I comparing Jones to one of the best, most creative, dazzling players in the history of basketball? I’m not. I made the mistake of asking WVU coach Bob Huggins if Jones taking eight 3s (he made three of them Monday night) is a worrisome thing for the Mountaineers. Huggins then said this.

“I don’t know, did Press Maravich worry about that with Pete? You’re an idiot if you don’t throw the ball to your best player. Are you worried Calhoun’s going to wear out Jeremy Lamb? Part of what we do is KJ shoots 3s.”

If KJ is going to shoot eight 3s per game, it’s unlikely West Virginia’s going to find happiness. He’s only matched his long-bomb output from Monday night once from earlier this season — but you can afford to shoot 3-of-8 from 3 against Alcorn State. When Jones shot seven 3s? A loss to Seton Hall. Six? WVU fell to Mississippi State.

Monday night, Jones was truly pushed out of the paint for the first time this year too, snaring a season-low five rebounds (he averages 12) in West Virginia’s 64-57 Mountaineers loss to UConn. Jones, who said is confidence is way up this year, admitted he “was assuming the shooting role more than the rebound role.” Jones is at his best when he’s everywhere, not acquiescing and merely taking what the other team gives. Sometimes teams give for a reason, a good reason. UConn does have a terrific front line, but the versatile WVU forward averaged 11.4 boards against Mississippi State, Miami, Baylor, Kansas State and Seton Hall — all teams with plenty of respectable, if not great, talent down low.

Jones was barked out of the paint by recently underwhelming Alex Oriakhi, and by Andre Drummond, who had the best game of his college career. The future NBA lottery pick was smiling throughout the second half as his game and his team’s momentum escalated. Drummond finished with 20 points, 11 boards, three blocks and two steals.

“Coaches said to be physical and he (Jones) won’t like it much because a lot of players don’t like getting pushed around,” Drummond said.  

Jones and West Virginia gave it away down the stretch, giving up the ghost unofficially with 4:58 to go, when Jeremy Lamb sunk a triple coming off a Jones turnover, giving UConn a lead they’d never hand back. Six and a half minutes prior to that, the ‘Eers had a 10-point advantage. Huggins said his freshmen panicked — and they did — but with Drummond in foul trouble, only Deniz Kilicli tried to make things happen inside.

You get Jones in there, the Huskies (already in the bonus) might make the game tighter, and even give back the lead in the final three minutes.  Huggins criticized his learning guards, when Jones, who was good but tunnel-visioned in how he wanted to score tonight, couldn’t adapt inside.

“Just dribble it and dribble it and dribble it and dribble it — and we don’t pass the ball. We don’t have Jeremy Lamb. We don’t have a guy who can create the good shot,” Huggins said. “If those guys were quarterbacks, they’d be terrible quarterbacks, because they just look at the first option.”

If we’re going to fully examine why WVU is flawed, Truck Bryant also must be drawn into the picture. Because while I’m focusing on what Jones didn’t do tonight, Bryant gave a patented Bad Bryant performance, and in the wake of some really nice ones the past two weeks. He was 2 for 13, “forced a bunch of stuff,” according to Huggins, and really didn’t help the offense out at all. There was no offense for much of the second half for WVU. Credit to UConn, sure, but if the Huskies knew nothing would happen inside, and the frosh guards weren’t able to handle it, then Jones had to do more than roll about the perimeter.

“It’s hard, and we’re not going to get it until there’s more games, but we need experience more than anything,” Jones said. “We’re up 10. We need to know when to take good shots and when to pass the ball around and pick.”

Jones wasn’t distraught afterward. He took the loss well because he sees the youth on this team. He said he takes the loss personally, but remains as confident as he’s ever been.

“Win or lose, I’m always confident with my team, but I’m bothered because this is the third game we’ve given away,” Jones said.

I think the senior’s got to get that final piece into this repertoire. To be an undisputed First Team Big East player, he’s going to have to take games before the freshman and Bryant are able to give them away. That means playing more inside and not taking the burden upon himself to shoot 33 percent of his team's 3s, as he did in Monday's loss.


Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:10 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 2:17 pm

Huggins West Virginia group young & inexperienced

By Jeff Goodman

Bob Huggins isn't known for his patience.

But he'll need it this season.

The West Virginia coach has watched his team get taken care of by Xavier in a scrimmage and then lose to Northern Kentucky in an exhibition.

"We've got young guys," Huggins told CBSSports.com on Wednesday. "It's going to be a while, but we've got to find a way to win while they get better."

Just three of Huggins' top 11 players have played a single minute in the D-1 ranks.

Kevin Jones, Truck Bryant and Deniz Kilicli.

Freshmen Jabarie Hinds and Gary Browne will vie for the starting point guard duties. Freshmen Keaton Miles and Tommie McCune are battling it out for the final starting position on the wing.

The first two big men off the bench will likely be junior college forward Dominique Rutledge and redshirt freshman Kevin Noreen.

"I think we'll be fine," Huggins said.

And when asked whether his Mountaineers will take their lumps early?

"I hope not," he responded.

It's tough to question Huggins with his track record. He has made the NCAA tournament 18 of the last 19 years.

Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:35 am

Notebook: Big East Media Day news and notes

By Jeff Borzello

NEW YORK – Conference media days are a dream for writers that want a lot of information and people in one place. Simply put, they provide a treasure trove of nuggets on each team in the league. There were too many leftovers in the notebook to leave out and not share with everyone. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits gathered on Wednesday at Big East Media Day.

- Notre Dame forward Tim Abromaitis was recently suspended for four games after the NCAA ruled on a violation he committed three years ago. “We tried to fight it, but a rule is a rule,” Abromaitis said. “I accepted it.”

- Who will replace Ben Hansbrough at the point guard spot? Sophomore Eric Atkins (above), who led the Big East in assist-to-turnover ratio last season. “He was our sixth man last year, but he’s ready to elevate his game,” Abromaitis said.

- Sophomore Jerian Grant received rave reviews for his work over the summer and in the early part of the fall. “He’s playing really well,” Abromaitis said. “He’s learning things as a player, moving without the ball, guarding his man. That’s what we’ll need him to do.”

- DePaul received three pieces of bad news in the past week. Junior forward Tony Freeland will miss the season with a shoulder injury, while freshman Montray Clemons is done for the year after rupturing a tendon in his knee. Moreover, the NCAA ruled freshman Macari Brooks ineligible. “We thought we were pretty deep,” head coach Oliver Purnell said. “We can’t afford any more injuries.”

- Purnell thinks Cleveland Melvin (right) is somewhat underrated on a national level, after averaging 14.3 points and winning Big East Rookie of the Year honors. “Probably so,” Purnell said. “He had a good freshman year and a really good summer.”

- Rutgers brought in a highly-touted freshman class – and the incoming guards are impressing early on. “Our guards have a little more experience than our big men,” forward Dane Miller said, pointing to Myles Mack and Jerome Seagears. Coach Mike Rice, however, thinks Eli Carter could make more of an impact than both of them. “He might lead my freshman in points per game.”

- Rice is impressed with Kansas State transfer Wally Judge. “He’s a physical specimen. He just has to develop that consistency.”

- Forward Kadeem Jack will likely be out until mid-January with a foot injury. Jack was looking like he would have a major impact in the frontcourt. “He’s somebody where the light was already on,” Rice said.

- Marquette forward Jae Crowder is pegging sophomore Vander Blue (right) as a true breakout performer. “He had a great summer, played in the Pro/Am, played for USA basketball,” Crowder said. “His confidence is up; last year, he lost confidence. A lot of pressure is on him.”

- Out of the freshmen, California native Juan Anderson has stood out the most to Crowder. “He’s athletic, he goes hard, has a great motor,” Crowder said. “Buzz [Williams] loves it, I love it.”

- Despite the loss of three starters from last season, West Virginia forward Kevin Jones thinks highly of this year’s team. “This is the most talented team I’ve been on,” he said – and that includes the Elite Eight group that had Da’Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks.

- Freshman point guard Jabarie Hinds was cleared to play late in the process, but he’s already been impressive. “He had to catch up,” Jones said. “But he’s looking real good, doing the right things.”

- With Czech Republican native Patrik Auda and Latvian guard Haralds Karlis in the fold, Seton Hall has taken a foreign turn recently. “It’s fun,” guard Jordan Theodore said. “I’m trying new foods, trying to teach them slang.”

- Fun fact: Auda knows five languages – Dutch, Spanish, Czech, English and Russian.

- Georgetown forward Hollis Thompson said the Hoyas still laugh about the infamous brawl in China over the summer. “It was a great bonding experience,” Thompson said.

- Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green, Dwyane Wade and other NBA players came back to Georgetown to work out during the lockout. Thompson said the one who benefitted the most was Henry Sims, who played against Hibbert on a regular basis.

Photo: US Presswire (Eric Atkins, Cleveland Melvin, Vander Blue)

Posted on: May 21, 2011 12:26 pm
Edited on: May 21, 2011 12:46 pm

A look at the NBA combine measurements

Gary Flowers can get up there

Posted by Eric Angevine

Get out your tape measures - the NBA has released all the pertinent figures from the draft combine.

When I say "pertinent", I'm actually being sort of facetious. Knowing who has the longest arms or highest vertical leap doesn't really tell us much about who will be a good NBA player. It makes sense to take the measurements, so teams know what they're getting, but it's mostly just entertaining to look at from a fan perspective.

Via DraftExpress, here are some highs and lows:

Shortest: Isaiah Thomas (Washington) 5-foot-8.75

Tallest: Mike Tisdale (Illinois) 6-11.75

Lightest: D.J. Gay (San Diego State) 159-lbs.

Heaviest: Reggie Johnson (Miami) 307-lbs.

Shortest Wingspan: Mickey McConnell (Gonzaga) 6-1

Longest Wingspan: Dallas Lauderdale (Ohio State) 7-6.5

*Lowest Vertical Leap: Vlad Moldoveanu (American U.) 21.5

*Highest Vertical Leap: Gary Flowers (Southern Miss) - 35.5

*Lowest Vertical Reach: Diante Garrett (Iowa State) 2-foot-4

*Highest Vertical Reach: Gary Flowers (Southern Miss) 11-foot-11

*Lowest Body Fat Percentage: Ravern Johnson (Mississippi State) 3.0

*Highest Body Fat Percentage: Reggie Johnson (Miami) 22.4

*Shortest Hands: Kevin Jones (West Virginia) 7 inches

*Longest Hands: Greg Smith (Fresno State) 11.25 inches

[* denotes categories that did not include measurements for every player at the combine]
It's quite possible that some of these measurements do change a player's draft fortunes by smidgens here or there. Kevin Jones' tiny hands could give an exec a moment's pause when deciding between him and, say, Greg Smith, who can probably palm a medicine ball in each hand. Reggie Johnson shows up in several undesireable slots here, which makes his earlier withdrawal from draft consideration look like a very good idea. Gary Flowers' athleticism stands out as a positive for the lesser-known player from Southern Miss.

**UPDATE**: According to the following tweet from a newspaperman in attendance, Keith Benson of Oakland may actually be our vertical leap champ - "@vgoodwill(Detroit News): Keith Benson outjumped the marker in workouts. Meaning he jumped past 12 feet. #WOW"

All told, it's just kind of entertaining to look at.

Photo: US Presswire
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com