2011-2012 Player Profile: Verdell Jones III

  • 10/14/2011 7:58 am in

It’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2011-2012 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Verdell Jones III.

On the surface, Verdell Jones’ numbers during his junior campaign were respectable. He averaged 12.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in just over 28 minutes per contest. Not bad, right?

Peel them back a little further and you can piece together a solid argument that the Hoosiers would have been better off using Jones in a lesser role and redistributing his minutes to more efficient teammates.

His offensive rating (which measures a player’s personal efficiency) was just 94.8. That mark barely eclipsed Jeremiah Rivers (93.5) and Bobby Capobianco (93.8), who were IU’s two worst offensive players. He shot just 67 percent from the foul line and a dismal 29.8 percent from behind the 3-point line. And Jones took 27.2 percent of IU’s shots while on the floor, which was second highest on the team behind Christian Watford.

As Jones prepares to embark on his final season in Assembly Hall, a shift in his role could be pivotal to Indiana’s hopes of climbing out of the Big Ten cellar. His low efficiency marks and high turnover rate (22.4 percent) suggest he should be using fewer possessions and playing off the ball this season. Defensively, Jones was just as responsible as anyone in the backcourt for the 40 percent 3-point mark Big Ten opponents achieved last season.

However, the problem with such a monumental shift is that Jones has logged major minutes and dominated the ball since his freshman season in candy stripes. How would he adjust to playing fewer minutes or moving off the ball and onto the wing? We may soon find out.

Best-case: Jones logs more time on the wing to better utilize his strength, which is creating mid-range shots off the dribble and using his craftiness to get into the lane. His free throw percentage increases by at least ten percent.

Worst-case: Indiana keeps Jones on the ball, he continues to use a high number of possessions and more efficient options like Victor Oladipo see fewer opportunities as a result.

Quotable: “We have to stop people this year. Last year, we played the first eight games defensively and then we just stopped playing defense. We have to keep that (defense) going for all 30-plus games. We really have to lock down and guard their best player. We don’t want their guards or big men to have 30 or 20 points. We have to make it difficult for them and where they get their touches and the shots they have.” – Jones to IUHoosiers.com on August 4.

All stats in this piece from KenPom.

Previously: Jordan Hulls, Will Sheehey

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  • Anonymous

    thats not saying much!! i hope people dont get to pumped about this team. different cake same ingredients!!

  • Anonymous

    20 a game?? im from ky and love iu hoops but uk fans have a piont. iu fans can be delusional at times.. comonman that kid will never see 20 points. we dont have anyone besides watford that can hit for 20. maybe gary harris next year. optimism is one thing but comonman!!!

  • Anonymous

    Agree hard to rack up the assists when someone else has the ball in their hands most of the time. If we are going to look at a stat in that regard maybe it should be assists per minute of actually having the ball in their hands or what the percentage of their passes actually led to a basket as opposed to a pass to keep from getting a five second call.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I can’t wait until Senior Night, when you escort TP out to center court and reveal that you are, indeed, his biological father.

  • Jethro Troll

    There’s no doubt that VJ has become kind of a scapegoat in the eyes of some IU fans, and that’s kind of disappointing.  VJ has been one of the few playmakers on these last 3 teams, and trust me, IU needed him on the floor and the ball in his hands despite his flaws.  His game isnt the problem, his role has.  And that’s nothing but the result of a lean roster.  VJ as a first or second option is major problem, but as a fourth he can be a real asset. 

    I sit here in disbelief at how superficial some of you look at IU and bball in general.

  • Anonymous

    There is very little doubt that Zeller, Watford and Hulls are the stars
    of this team. If any one of the three can become a top 5 All-Big 10
    player, this will be a good (20+ win) season. Vic and Will are the next
    best players and have to get 22-25 minutes/game on the floor each.
    Elston and Pritchard have to do it on the floor, “being 6’9” is no
    longer good enough. Derek could be great, but can he develop the mental
    side of his talent? Verdell can show that he is the senior leader that
    we have desperately needed for the last three years. If he can accept
    lesser “billing” but play great, then this can be a special season.
    Austin and Remy have to bring it all and bring it hard every second on
    the floor. They each have some real talent that Indiana has sorely
    needed. I hope that Matt Roth hits 50% of his 3’s because if he can’t
    Danny Moore might. Danny does a lot of good things in short stretches.
    No more excuses now for Coach Crean, it is win NOW time! We miss and
    love you Mo Creek and want to see you play again at 100%! GO IU!