NBA Draft Blog Interview with Jarrod Jones

I have talked to, and written about, a lot of players in the last few weeks who needed a change of scenery to develop into a great player, but there are plenty of players, especially at the mid-major level, who stay with one team and, though there is little national attention, they become outstanding players.  Jarrod Jones is one of those players.  Jones spent four years at Ball State in the Mid-American Conference without getting to experience the post-season and the attention that goes along with it.  If you haven’t gotten a chance to watch Jones play, you are in for a treat.  He has good size, is athletic, can score inside and out, is a versatile defender, and he will only get better.  I had the chance to talk to Jones recently while he is in Houston preparing for workouts with John Lucas.  Jones talks about his game, his potential role, and more:

Jarrod on how his game developed at Ball State:

“College definitely helped me with my understanding of the game.  I was able to go in as a freshman and play a major role.  Over this time, I was able to sharpen my leadership skills and made sure I set an example for my teammates.  Over the period of 4 years, I learned how to adapt well to different situations, how to handle adversity, and how much year-round work goes into being the best you can be.”

 

Jarrod on his strengths as a player: 

“My individual skills are very high, and I work hard at always improving them.  I spent a lot of time in the gym working on my footwork and different moves, which have made me very agile, which then has also helped me become a strong rebounder.”

 

Jarrod on what parts of his game he still wants to improve:

“I will be playing a lot at the 4 at the next level, so I am working on improving my defense at that position, as well as learning to defend the 3 at times.  My perimeter defense and footwork, overall, are the biggest things I am working on.”

Jarrod on his experience at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament:

“It was a good experience.  It made me aware of what areas I really need to develop and what my real strengths are compared to others.  If I improve what I need to and I keep doing what I do well, I know I can be a great player.”

Jarrod on his role at the next level:

“I think I can come in and give strong minutes right away, especially providing energy and rebounding.  I can help also by knocking down open shots and scoring in pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop situations.  Rebounding is going to be my strongest area right away though.”

 

Jarrod on what he wants teams and fans to know about him:

“I am a player who can go anywhere and give 110% to whatever the team needs me to do.  I am very coachable, and I will always be in the gym working to get better.  I am down in Houston now (working with John Lucas) getting stronger and working on skill development.  I am very versatile and I can play in any system.”

I want to thank Jarrod for his time and I wish him the best of luck as he looks to fulfill his dream of getting to the NBA.  I also want to thank his agent, Austin Walton of Walton Sports Management Group, for setting up this interview.  Jones is going to open a lot of teams’ eyes during the next month or so.  He is athletic and has a pro game and body.  I have no doubts that he will improve in areas he needs to work on and will have a long, successful professional career.

 

Check back in the coming weeks for more great interviews and scouting reports as we head towards the 2012 NBA Draft.  Follow me on Twitter – @NBADraftBlog – for updates, leave your comments below, or feel free to email me at [email protected]

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