When DeVante’ Jones announced he was transferring to Ann Arbor, the scouting reports generally said he was a volume scorer who attacked the rim and played excellent defense on the perimeter. Through two games with the Michigan Wolverines, those reports have proven to be mostly true. Jones’ minutes were limited in the first game against Buffalo due to foul trouble, but he was able to shine in Saturday night’s game against Prairie View A&M.
What many people, myself included, didn’t factor into their scouting reports was the impact Jones would have in every facet of the game, not just scoring. On Saturday, Jones tallied eight rebounds, five assists, and a steal to boot. It’s not often that you see a point guard average 7.2 rebounds throughout an entire season, as Jones did last year at Coastal Carolina. Keep in mind he did play mostly off-ball a year ago. However, if you predicted Jones would be Michigan’s second-leading rebounder behind Hunter Dickinson, you should invest in some lottery tickets.
Jones hasn’t shot free throws very well as he was 3-of-5 against Buffalo and 3-of-7 against Prairie View A&M, but I expect that to keep better. He has been an 80%+ free throw shooter his entire collegiate career. His 50% start is likely just a blip in the radar.
As the season moves on, head coach Juwan Howard is going to need Jones for more reasons than one. Point guard Frankie Collins has flashed potential early in the season, but doesn’t appear to be ready just yet to take the lead on offense. When Jones has been out of the game and Eli Brooks has slid over to the point, the offense has looked out of sorts. Jones may not be a true point guard but through two games, the offense has clearly been at it’s best when he’s on the floor.