On Saturday, Marquette men’s basketball picked up an 89-69 victory on the road against DePaul while playing a little bit shorthanded.
Freshman backup guard Sean Jones did not play at all, missing a game for the first time in his still young Marquette career. The Ohio native apparently picked up a wrist injury a little while back, as head coach Shaka Smart said after the game that Jones had been playing and practicing with it, but he was experiencing swelling on Saturday and thus sat out.
Sophomore starting guard Kam Jones picked up a hip injury in the first half, eventually subbed out to receive treatment, returned to the floor, and ended up playing 14 of the first 20 minutes. He was available for just four minutes in the second half, starting the period but subbing out a little bit past the 16 minute mark and he did not return. It was clear to both Jones and the coaching staff at the time that Jones was unable to go as hard as he wanted to go, and that led to the staff keeping the Tennessee native on the bench for the remainder.
Obviously, the question coming out of Saturday is “is either one of the Joneses available for Wednesday’s game against Villanova at Fiserv Forum?” The answer, as of Monday afternoon, is “dunno.” Ben Steele of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that both men have been officially listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Wildcats.
Both Kam Jones (hip) and Sean Jones (wrist) are listed as questionable in Marquette's game notes for Wednesday's game vs. Villanova. #mubb— Ben Steele (@BenSteeleMJS) January 30, 2023
Kam Jones has started every game this season so far, leading the team in scoring at 16.0 points, and adding 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.6. Jones also connects on 37% of his long ranges shots and his agility and creativity in the lane allows him to shoot 69% on two-point buckets.
Sean Jones is averaging 12.8 minutes per game this season while appearing in every game before Saturday afternoon. He chips in 4.5 points and 1.2 assists per game on average, and he’s shooting 33% from long range on the year.
If neither man is available to go, then the most likely candidate to replace Kam Jones in the starting lineup is David Joplin. The Milwaukee product shot 8-for-11 from behind the three-point line against DePaul to lead the team in scoring in that game. If it’s not Joplin, it will most likely be freshman guard Chase Ross getting his first career start. Ross has contributed to the team more in the energy and defense department than the scoring or stats in general areas, and if MU is going to suffer on offense due to the absence of Kam Jones, tilting minutes in the defensive direction may be the right choice.
Or maybe both guys will be cleared and ready to go by tipoff. That’s scheduled for 7:30pm Central time on Wednesday night, so keep your eyes and ears peeled between now and then.