In this article, Ro Shiell discusses the decision of Tyus Jones to declare for the NBA Draft, joining “Oaks” and “The Chief” and the rationale attached …
After a heartbreaking loss in the first game of the 2014 Big Dance, Coach Mike Krzyzewski received an emboldened text message from a high school Senior saying, “this won’t happen next year.” A promise the player, now a Freshman, was able to fulfill when he recently lead Duke, not just past the 1st Round, but to a National Championship, the 5th of Coach Krzyzewski’s tenure.
Many Freshmen have entered college basketball with big aspirations, only to crash and burn. Jones is one of a handful to not only make such a promise, but to be a major contributor in affecting it.
The question now is: What’s next ???
Tyus Jones can return to Duke and would, more than likely, be named a pre-season All American candidate and a leading Wooden Award Nominee. If he was to make good on these nominations, then that would lead to a higher draft pick and longer staying power in the NBA.
The other option is to enter the NBA draft and hopefully join a league of very selective professionals.
As you may know by now, Jones has opted for the 2nd Option with the blessing of his coach.
“Tyus could not have done a better job for us this past year ,” Coach Krzyzewski said in a statement, as reported by ESPN. “We’re so very happy for him and his family to have the opportunity to declare for the draft.
Some sceptics may say that “he isn’t ready” or “he could do with another year of coaching” which couldn’t be further from the truth. Another year in college basketball means getting better at college basketball. The NBA is a different game. The truth is that a player is more likely to fall in the Draft, after another year in college, than rise.
Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones were all lucky enough to be still drafted, albeit lower (much lower in Sullinger’s case) than their projections as Freshmen, after returning to college.
Then there are players like Ronald Steele who got injured and was never drafted, or Jordan Taylor, who had a great Junior season at Wisconsin. He went back after being projected as a late 1st Round pick to early 2nd rounder, only to see his name go uncalled after a lacklustre Senior year.
The NBA is fleeting so when it calls, you have answer, or it’s on to the next player. Even Jason Williams supports this decision with the following Tweet.
This was the play for Tyus.
Win a championship & #FinalFour MVP = have to go.
Imagine if Jones returned to school, improving his stats, and was the leading scorer on a team that lost in the 2nd round of the Big Dance. Wouldn’t that be a complete disappointment when you measure it against his 1st season ??? The toughest part of this is that the more we see a player the more faults we find like:
He is short !!!
So is Shabazz Napier.
He can’t dunk !!!
Did that help Steve Nash win 2 Championships ???
He can’t guard NBA talent !!!
Newsflash: NBA talent can’t guard NBA talent that’s where coaching strategies come in.
Not everyone can be Grant Hill and head back to college after winning not one but two Championships in his 1st two seasons at Duke. The NBA landscape has changed a lot since the mid 1990’s when Seniors were coveted as high draft picks, not to mention that Hill was a once in a lifetime talent.
Then there is the education aspect. It is nice to have a degree to fall back on, especially if a player wants to go into coaching at the college level, after their playing days are done. On the other hand, they can always go back and finish up their studies while still playing.
Now the question is: “Does Duke lose out on this ???”
The Blue Devils do not have a traditional Point Guard for next season. Not yet. On the surface it may seem like they need Tyus Jones back, but not necessarily so. Coach K is one of the best coaches in the business because of his resiliency. Duke will be fine.
As a matter of fact Duke would fare better if Tyus Jones was to be drafted in the 1st Round and go on to have an outstanding NBA career. Why ??? It helps recruiting especially elite recruits. High school players are now looking at Duke, hoping to emulate Jones’ success.
If Jones remains true to himself, showing the poise and competitive flair he has shown in college, he will be fine in the NBA. After all, it is a Guard friendly league.
We hate to see him go, buy we wish him all the best at the next level !!!
Thanks for reading !!!
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