Tyus Jones is a sensational freshman guard from Duke who won the Most Outstanding Player of the 2015 Final Four.
Jones hit several big shots in the National Championship Game against Wisconsin including this one, which gave Duke the lead again with just over 4:00 remaining left — a lead they never relinquished again:
Together with Quinn Cook, they formed one of the nation’s best and most formidable back courts.
The Blue Devils 2014-15 roster had so much star power with Jahlil Okafor, talent with Justise Winslow and proper veteran leadership with Quinn Cook that it’s easy to get lost in the details and forget just how good Tyus Jones is.
Its unlikely, though, that Jones plays for Coach K beyond his freshman season.
Here is what you need to know about Jones:
1. Jones Was Highly Recruited at 13-years-old
Jones was a five-year letterwinner at Apple Valley High School who began playing in the 8th grade.
He has been on the college radar since he was in middle school when Tubby Smith — former Kentucky and Minnesota head coach — went to look at him play.
2. Jones Shattered His High School Records
Jones holds Apple Valley career records in points (2,909), assists (1,031) and steals (369)as well as single-game records for points, free throws and three-pointers and single-season records in points and assists. He won a state championship in 2013.
Jones was ranked No. 4 by ESPN and Scout.com and No. 5 by Rivals.com. He also played in the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Game.
3. He Has Played for Team USA
Jones has played for Team USA on their U16, U17 and U18 teams. He was named the captain for the U18 team in 2014. In his five games for Team USA at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and averaged 8.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.0 steals.
He was also 2012 on the USA U17 World Championship Team that compiled an 8-0 record and winning the FIBA U17 World Championship gold medal in Lithuania. That team had his Duke teammates Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow as well as former Blue Devil and current Milwaukee Bucks player Jabari Parker.
4. Jahlil Okafor & Tyus Jones Have a Strong Bond Together
Do you know when life seems almost too coincidental?
Well, Okafor & Jones have a history together:
They met in a bathroom, of all places. Jones was 8 with spindly legs and a basketball uniform so big that he swam in it when he walked into this restroom at an AAU tournament and saw Okafor. Accounts vary on how tall Okafor actually was — somewhere between 5-foot-6 and a redwood — and Jones couldn’t take his eyes off him. How in the world could he and this giant be the same age?
Okafor and Jones were heavily recruited together as well and the one team that strong recruited the pair along with Duke? Michigan State, the team that the Blue Devils play in the 2015 Final Four.
5. Jones Projects as a Mid-1st Round Pick in This Years Draft
If Jones declares after the NCAA Tournament is over, he will likely be a 1st-round Pick in June. Jones is projected to go in the middle of the 1st round, probably just outside of the lottery.
Jones’ greatest asset is that he’s a mature player, so he may benefit falling to a team like the Dallas Mavericks or San Antonio Spurs who would greatly benefit from him.
Here are some of Jones highlights of his freshman year at Duke.
Oh, and one more reminder: