2017-2018 Player Profile: Curtis Jones

  • 10/24/2017 8:32 am in

With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ve transitioned from our look at other Big Ten programs to our player-by-player previews of the 2017-18 Indiana roster. Today, our profiles continue with a look at Curtis Jones.

In Indiana’s thrilling 103-99 overtime win over Kansas to open the 2016-17 season, Curtis Jones showed why he was a coveted recruit nationally in the 2016 class.

Jones went for 15 points in just 16 minutes off the bench and made several key plays to help lift the Hoosiers to a win that catapulted them into the top 10 nationally. The Richmond (Va.) native hit a trio of 3-pointers and had the highest offensive rating of any Hoosier in the game.

Unfortunately for Jones and for Indiana, that win was the high mark of the season. Jones scored in double figures just once more as a freshman and by the end of the season, he was a fringe rotation player.

As he enters his second season in Bloomington, Jones has a fresh start with a chance to play under a new coaching staff and on a roster that has a need for perimeter scoring. The departure of James Blackmon Jr. means that Indiana has 30.5 minutes and 17 points to replace in its rotation.

The first order of business in the offseason for Jones was better preparing his body for the rigors of the Big Ten. Archie Miller talked about the need for Jones to change his body in late May at the IU Tailgate Tour stop in Borden.

“We have to change Curtis’ body for his game to change,” Miller said on May 31 at Huber’s. “He’s on that. When he goes out there, people should say, ‘wow, he looks a lot different.’ And that’s going to give him a chance to be a better player. But he’s working hard at it.”

In order to accomplish that goal, Jones opted to stay on campus for the summer with the coaching staff and director of athletic performance, Clif Marshall, rather than spending four weeks at home.

“Curtis was going to go home for about a four-week period of time,” Miller said in late May. “He changed his mind and now he’s been back the whole time. Just getting a chance to get to know him a little bit better and being with him everyday, great kid, tremendous energy level, is working extremely hard.”

The challenge for Jones now becomes translating a productive offseason to the court.

As a freshman, he shot a respectable 35 percent on 3s, but struggled inside the arc. Jones made just 35.4 percent of his 2s last season and just 48 percent at the rim, the lowest percentage of any IU player.

In Saturday’s Hoosier Hysteria scrimmage, he was one of the more assertive offensive players on the floor, which is something Indiana will need to continue once the regular season tips off.

Bottom Line: Indiana has five guards competing for rotation spots and all of them bring different things to the table. Jones will need to prove he can capably defend under a new coaching staff that demands it. Offensively, he’s one of the best pure shooters on the roster and as he showed at times as a freshman, is capable of getting hot from the perimeter. On a team that will be looking for offense, Jones has a chance to take a major step forward as a sophomore.

Quotable: “I really just wanted to get the most out of summer. I wanted to come in and have a good impact this year on the team and help the team as much as I could. So I felt like staying, getting to know the coaches better, working out with some of my teammates was a good decision for me.” – Jones at IU’s media day in late September.

PreviouslyJustin SmithClifton MooreAl Durham Jr., De’Ron Davis

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  • VAHoosier

    True. I remember some of your past iterations and how grating and at times hostile you were (IMO). I once considered blocking your posts. But, I must say, I have found your contributions very thoughtful and respectful in recent months, and you’ve gotten a fair share of my upvotes.

    Not that you need my approval, but thought I would offer my heartfelt compliments on your “mellowing.”

  • Doug Wilson

    Curtis “Basketball” Jones sounds like a guys that approaches it as a team game. Doesn’t worry to much about the hype surrounding him. He wants Indiana to get better. Period! James Blackmon has moved on. Now, Curtis will be moving around to different locations within the flow of the offense. Mr. Basketball Jones has a really fluid catch and shoot technique. I will not be surprised if Curtis goes of for a 12-16ppg season.

    “Basketball Jones” is a Cheech and Chong skit from the 70s for all you Millennial Readers seeing my comments. All the Olds carry on! I hope calling Curtis, Basketball Jones catches on.

  • MK

    It is tough not to put someone down if an honest opinion is that they aren’t very good. I thought Newkirk looked horrible at times, other times he looked great. He would likely tell you he played the same way. Understanding you don’t like the poster’s “tone” it is his opinion

  • Kwang

    Don’t diss ‘The Pritch’!

  • Kwang

    I replied above, Brad, messed up my responding to….

  • AndyCapp

    Dude, his name is Devonte, not “Danny Green’s little brother”. You constantly make your posts unreadable by the most inane slights.

    And re: JN, there were two parts to his season last year:

    Part I: the first half of the season and somewhat as you described in reference to decision making and shooting.

    Part II: the second half of the season where he was one of the most dependable guys on the floor.

    Ignore both parts, as well as your tendency to reduce people by name calling, and your role of troll is complete. Admission is the first step in recovery.

  • AndyCapp

    Amen Clyde, I will second that motion!

  • AndyCapp

    Not really JC, it’s not usually WHAT is said it is HOW it is said. Rationale posts usually receive rational responses.

  • AndyCapp

    Damn straight! His name is Devonte which, is not only easier to type, is a helluva lot more respectful.

  • AndyCapp

    About the only place I will be following you is the bridge you wanna jump off of.

    Clue as to my identity?: I will be the one standing watching as you plummet.

  • AndyCapp

    And bball lowers the boom!

  • AndyCapp

    No, just this forum. We give posters like Dasstoni too much power by responding to their ignorance.

  • AndyCapp

    Awesome! Sometimes I think it’s the parents who really appreciate the gift their son’s and daughter’s have been given. It takes a few years of “seasoning”, maybe even after their years of playing are through, for the players to catch up 😉