With the season wrapped up, it's time to provide the bookend for the Player Previews we wrote to start the season. We'll take a look back at what we thought about each of the Marquette players back in November and see if we did a good job of prognostication. We continue our climb up the list of minutes played this year by moving on to sophomore forward Jamail Jones.
Hit the jump!
#22 / Guard / Marquette Golden Eagles
|2011 - Jamail Jones||28||8.5||0.7||2.0||35.1||0.2||0.9||20.8||0.0||0.2||20.0||0.2||1.1||1.3||0.4||0.4||0.3||0.0||0.6||1.6|
What We Said:
Minimum Expectations: In my mind, anyway, there is absolutely no reason Jones can't be a 10-minute, 4-point, 3-rebound guy. Maybe that's setting the bar too low, but I'm a little concerned that Jamail's going to get caught in the same numbers crunch that caused him to sit out two-thirds of the conference games last season: Jae Crowder is locked into one of the starting forward spots, and I don't think it's going to take very long for Jamil Wilson to claim the other. (Bear in mind: I've been afflicted with a likely-terminal case of LUVS JAMIL WILSON.) With DJO entrenched at shooting guard, and with Vander Blue serving (in all likelihood) as the first guy off the bench ... where do you find 20 mpg for Jamail?
In My Wildest Dreams: Jamail got serious about making himself into a serviceable player on defense, with no ill effects on his strong game on offense. I don't think he's ever going to be on Lazar Hayward's level as a defender -- in my opinion, 'Zar quietly made himself into one of the better defenders we've seen at Marquette in the last 15 years -- but if Jones can figure out what he needs to do on the other end of the floor and rebound enough to earn his keep, he's a 25-minute, 13-point, 5-rebound guy.
But, just for sake of emphasis: that's my pie-in-the-sky, Rubie and Mrs. Q hire Evangeline Lilly as an au pair for the Q-berts-wildest dream.
In My Worst Nightmare: Jamail very much wants to turn himself into a serviceable player on defense and devotes himself to accomplishing that goal ... but it doesn't happen. Once again, Jones is relegated to mop-up duty against the Centenaries of the world, and he transfers somewhere down South to finish up his college career.
Jamail Jones was the player that I'm guessing most Marquette fans wanted to see the light go on for this season. He didn't play much at all his freshman year, but that has more to do with his natural position on the court fitting right into the spot occupied by Jimmy Butler. So between Butler's departure, Jones' rep as a sharpshooter from distance, and Marquette's need to have anyone on the roster not named Crowder or Johnson-Odom hit threes on a regular basis, we all hoped Jones would figure out Buzz's defensive requirements enough to get him on the court. Rocking a flattop haircut to start the season only helped endear him to MU fans.
But it just never came together for Jamail. He only posted double digit minutes seven times in the non-conference portion of the schedule, and once the Big East schedule started, he appeared to be consigned to small handfuls of minutes in emergencies or blowouts only. He managed a few more minutes once Davante Gardner hurt his knee, but based on what we had seen, it was clear that was by necessity, not design.
So we end this season pretty much in the same place with Jamail as where we started it. Now we hope that the increased chances he got late in the season allowed him to see practical application of what Buzz preaches on defense and he can become a contributor next year.
Best Game: Oh, it's the home game against Cincinnati, and it's not even close. On consecutive possessions, Jones drained two three pointers and then followed that up by trying to post up Yancy Gates the next time down the court. He had missed his last seven threeball attempts and hadn't made one in his previous 15 appearances and Marquette's previous 19 games. I'm totally okay with Jones becoming Marquette's Irrational Confidence Guy, but he's gonna have to shoot better that .208 behind the arc for that to happen.
Season Grade (1 is Worst Nightmare, 5 is Minimum Expectation, and 10 is Wildest Dreams): Jamail hasn't transferred - YET - so he does better than a 1. But I can't go higher than 3.