Matt Jones is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound high school senior that will be playing for the Duke Blue Devils this coming year. He is a shooting guard with an emphasis on the word shooting. He should be contributing immediately at Duke; Jones is ranked number thirty-six on the ESPN top 100 recruiting list and played in the McDonalds All American game.
Jones is one of the best shooters in his class and has improved his overall game during high school. His shooting has always been a strength—most schools would be recruiting him on that alone, but he has on other aspects of his game as well. He can move without the ball, which will help open him up for his shot. He can create his own shot with a step back jumper to create the space that he needs.
Jones has developed his game so that he is not just a shooter anymore. He can drive to the basket, so defenders will have to respect him taking it off the dribble. He can also take a dribble to get away from the defender running at him and get his shot which will help him at the college level, because defenders will close out harder and faster than at the high school level. He also has developed a runner so if he does have to get in to the paint, he can finish over the taller defenders.
Jones will only get better at Duke under the tutelage of Coach K. He has to put on more weight and needs to improve his defense. He is long and athletic enough that his defense should be there with practice and hard work. He also has to continue to improve his ball handling and his finishing around the basket. Jones will certainly be better around the rim when he gets into a college-level strength training program. He has a long way to go in college, but has improved enough to contribute in his first year. Jones was a leader and one of the best players on his high school team and that will only benefit him going forward in to Duke.
Jones won’t be playing big minutes in his first year at Duke, but can learn there and get plenty of minutes in his second year. He will be playing behind Andre Dawkins and Rasheed Sulaimon, which means most of the shooting guard minutes will be taken. It does sound like Duke will be hit with another injury this year, with Rodney Hood going down because of a right Achilles tendon in a practice with team USA, so Duke might need Jones sooner than expected.
Jones has a bright future with Duke and in the NBA soon enough. He will get better under Coach Krzyzewski– shooters have been many of Duke’s signature players to go through Durham since Coach K has been there. He should be an impact player for Duke for years and will help them next year. He has developed from a shooter into a scorer which will be beneficial to Jones this year. He is going in to the college game with the right attitude he feels like he is going into this year willing to earn his minutes. He should earn plenty of minutes after Andre Dawkins graduates and be a player that Duke fans love to watch.