|PF||West Virginia||6'8"||248 lbs||8/25/89|
The player with the best ugly shot in college this past season was Kevin Jones, and it's been quite some time since a player has made a 20 and 10 season look so ordinary. However, what Jones lacks in style he more than makes up for in substance, and heading into the 2012 draft, his body of work over four seasons at West Virginia compares favorably to just about any forward in the class.
Jones is only an average athlete and not a streak shooter, but by the end of the game, he usually has the most impressive box score because he always seems to make the right play. Possessing a mostly basic repertoire of moves on offense, he was able to average 19.9 ppg on 51% shooting by getting himself into his most efficient scoring areas through his work off the ball. Frequently able to seal his man off in the post before finishing with either hand, he shows great awareness around the basket and does a good job using the glass and both sides of the rim-- a key for him since he's not a great leaper and doesn't typically finish plays over the top of defenders. He's also very efficient from the high post, where he comfortably pivots into a soft mid-range jumper, and reacts well to extra defensive attention with solid passing instincts. It could be looked at as a negative that a power forward who attempted 16 shots a game only averaged 4 free throw attempts, but this is actually a tribute to his mid-range efficiency and his refusal to force up bad shots. In Jones, you have an active offensive player who contributes to the offense almost as much without the ball as he does with it, and this is a quality that coaches would have to love at the next level.
Speaking to his activity level and coachability, Bob Huggins was able to use Jones's effective screens to get the big man a lot of mismatches in the lane area. It wouldn't be rare to see him involved in ball screens multiple times on any given play, and this, combined with his good hands and plus length-- his wingspan measured at almost 7'2'' at the combine-- allowed Jones to get easy shots in the pick and roll game. He also never gives up on a play, and got a number of easy scores as a result of a very high offensive rebound rate.
On the other side of the ball, Jones is a smart and capable, though not dominant defender. The length mentioned earlier enabled him to contest shots well in one-on-one situations, but he doesn't have the quickness or vertical jump to erase teammates' mistakes with help-side shot-blocking. This was a problem for West Virginia this past season since they had a very inexperienced team that got burnt for easy opportunities inside, and it could be cause for concern among scouts that these situations didn't result in more blocked shots for Jones as the last line of defense. Combine that with the fact that he doesn't have great lateral agility, and it'd appear that Kevin might have his hands full defending the pick and roll at the next level.
There's certain to be a number of teams who find Jones to be an attractive 2nd round pick, since he's a player that brings a lot to the table without taking much off it. He doesn't turn the ball over or take bad shots, and has a great nose for the ball, especially on the offensive glass. While his jumper needs a lot of work from a mechanics standpoint, he still has great touch from out to about 20 feet and understands how to get himself and his teammates the best opportunity to score. It also appears that he's been working hard on his ball-handling in an attempt to show the versatility to play some small forward in the NBA. Assuming a team can overlook the fact that he's not likely to become a lock-down defender, he should easily be taken in the top 50 Thursday night.
|Rank||36th overall (11th PF)|
|Projection||Mid-Late 2nd round|
Very good rebounder
Size for PFAverage athlete