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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  • onehoosier

    Curtis could become the best college player on the team. But, he seemed lost for a chunk of the season last year and his body language looked depressed. He needs to start having fun again and build back his confidence. It’ll be very interesting to see which way Curtis goes under Archie’s system. I think we would all love to see him succeed. We’ve seen the player he can be.

  • It might not be too much to say that, as the sophomores go, so goes the rest of the program this year. Or in other words, Curtis and his classmates will be pivotal for IU’s fortunes this season. If they step up and really develop, then IU is a strong and deep team. If they’re just so-so, then there is only so much the upperclassmen can do on their own.

    Curtis has so much to offer, but remains a question mark in mind. He needs to be a big spark off the bench this year and play with consistency. I hope he finds his place in the new system and thrives. We’re going to need him.

  • sarge

    Agreed. Sprinkle some production in from the freshman and we are looking good. I think everyone knows what RoJo, CH, JM bring to the table. The sophomores need to step up in a big way, along with more consistent production from JN. I think FM can turn some heads too. I want to see what VanillaPrilla can do in his 4th year. There is a lot of opportunity for these guys, hopefully they take the challenge on.

  • sarge

    It seemed a few guys didn’t play to their potential. What an odd last season! I want CuJo to come out confident and finish the season with even more. Here’s to a new start for IUBB!

  • pcantidote

    He might be the guy with the most upside on this team vs. last year.

  • Ivan Renko

    I’m really excited to see DG’s play this year. I think the broad assumption is that JN and RoJo will be primary ballhandlers and the 1-2, but I think DG is going to earn significant minutes with his scrappy and hard-nosed style that Archie tends to prefer. I love watching him play, and hopefully his TO rate goes down in a more paced offense

  • Ivan Renko

    agreed. I thought there was a very likely chance that CuJo was going to transfer after how rough last season was – for him in particular. I also thought we would lose Justin Smith, who could immediately start on a lot of power 5 conference schools as a freshman. glad everything is intact! these guys are very likely 3-4 year players along with the 2018 class, we’re going to be DEEP in a few years

  • Dasstoni

    Curtis Jones or Devontae Green NEED to step into the starting point guard role. No team starting Josh Newkirk at a guard position can expect to have any marginal amount of success. I think Devontae Green and Al durham look to be a better fit, Curtis Jones will either flourish offensively this year or transfer after the season as he will not be able to compete for playing time with Langford or Garland.

  • Dasstoni

    “Before the season has even started” Josh Newkirk is not going to have some off season break through between his junior and senior year of college, he clearly does not have what it takes to be competitive playing the game of basketball at a D1 school. Another one of Crean’s mistakes we would be much better off in the short term and long term without him and developing either Curtis Jones or Danny Greens little brother or even blackmon’s little brother at that matter.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    i appreciate a polarizing opinion, but you’re being a little too obvious. you’re not an IU fan, correct? instead you’re here just to tick people off? more power to you if that’s the case, i can always use a good laugh. i just hope people don’t actually take you seriously.

  • Dasstoni

    I would question if you are an iu fan if you cannot yet accept that Newkirk and his turnovers and terrible decision making and subpar shooting was the most unbearable part of last years season especially coupled with Crean’s inept stubborness to leave him in the game at all times despite danny greens little brother outplaying him at times and showing way more potential. Curtis Jones also deserved more PT with the lack of competence JN displayed at the point guard position last year.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Jones was very erratic and sprayed wide/long a lot of his shots last year. He was a turnover machine as much as JN. The whole team had problems man.

  • Arch Puddington

    For the last 10 regular season games last year, a point at which the team had completely fallen apart, see it you can tell who is RJ and who is JN:

    Player 1: 14 pts, 51% FG, 44% 3FG, 4 reb, 3 ast, 3 TO
    Player 2: 11 pts, 39% FG, 26% 3FG, 5 reb, 4 ast. 3 TO

    So are do both of these players “have what it takes”, or neither, or just one? Which one is more in need of a “breakthrough” between their junior and senior years?

    My question is of course rhetorical. You haven’t made an argument, just a shallow claim, and if you tried to make an argument, it would last only as long as it took you to go back to name calling.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    ok now i’m triggered! stop calling him ‘danny green’s little brother’, you troll!

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    great stuff as always, arch.

  • Ole Man

    You ignored his question about being an IU fan.
    Your deflection is all one needs to know.
    You’re here to troll, to smear, to attack.
    You could care less one way or the other about IU and its season.

  • Dasstoni

    I would argue I care TOO much about iu and its season if i were still an undergraduate i would start a march upon kirkwood demanding for Newkirk to be benched for Danny Greens little brother or Curtis Jones and then i would stop at Z and C chicken for a snack of Teriyaki chicken bowl with fried egg and special sauce. I urge any undergraduate reading this to take up a stand and refuse to let Creans mistake Pitt transfer throw our season down the toilet.

  • Ole Man

    We and the undergrads should do this:
    Based upon your awesome experience as a coach?
    As an analyst?
    As a paid expert in the field?
    Oh, never mind.
    Forgive us.
    Based upon your expertise at trolling.

  • iubase

    agree. he has the tools. If he gains confidence and strokes in the 3 from outside then we are going to be a lot better. Also like DG. He just seems to have a winning attitude.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Arch, Is JN player 1??? RJ player 2??? That is a good one as always.

  • pcantidote

    It is actually a tell for his basketball knowledge. For Dasstoni, NBA player’s little brother automatically = great player.

  • Arch Puddington

    I actually thought they were interesting even apart from the discussion here. All of us, most certainly including me, view these things emotionally. In that sense Dasstroni may not be a troll so much as just an immature young person who hasn’t yet learned to leaven his passion for IU with a more objective or thoughtful analysis. He clearly likes DG and hates JN, but the numbers at the end of last season don’t support such a one sided view. There’s more to basketball than numbers, and DG clearly has a dynamism about that people respond to. But JN is not as bad as people think, and DG has some growing to do before he is as good as we hope him to be. The numbers do matter, and they are not as different as our emotions might lead us to believe.

  • pcantidote

    He’s not going to have some off season break through, except that he had a midseason break through last year. He hadn’t played competitive basketball in 2 years. It takes time. You are a simpleton.

  • BreathinHoosiers

    I agree.

  • Dasstoni

    You have to be a troll with the amount of times you’ve cried “Troll” on this article alone. Get a grip there is nothing wrong with making a stop at Z and C Teriyaki Chicken you seem to have no other argument besides defending players from “name calling”. I will state this as simply as possible for everyone: Josh Newkirk will not be starting at the point guard position by big ten play.! I dont think that statement is really that outlandish, deal with it.

  • bball at nick’s

    Troll troll troll

  • Dasstoni

    Point proven

  • Brad

    I agree. Crean has whiffed on a lot of players. I never understood why he didn’t recruit a team that fit his style of play. He wants to run an up tempo offense so he goes and recruits guys like Priller, Jobe, April, Hollowell, Jurkin, Robinson, Pritchard, etc….

  • Brad

    I imagine the guard play will be much improved this year. Turnovers should be down and our defense will actually exist. No more standing around until 10 seconds left on the shot clock and then running a weave and heave. I also don’t see us losing to any cupcake state teams.

  • Arch Puddington

    You are correct. DG is number three, of course.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Achie is the coach now. He will decide if Newkirk starts at point and for how long. No petitions or marches needed.

  • ronb

    I would say that it is up to CM to decide who plays and who sits not some troll or a bunch of undergrads.

  • Hoosieriniowa

    Just show CJ pics of Yogi as a freshman and a senior. Phenomenal transformation.

  • MK

    That’s this guy’s opinion i wouldn’t exactly call it demeaning, he doesn’t think we can win w Newkirk it isn’t that big of a deal

  • MK

    Can’t say anything on this forum without the ITH guard going nuts. People are entitled to their opinion.

  • John D Murphy

    That is a much different statement than your original one. The revised statement is not outlandish.

  • Ivan Renko

    you’re really jumping past the sale on this one. no guarantee that we get langford or garland (keeping my fingers crossed though), and I don’t think CuJo would transfer simply because one or both commit, not like either can play for a full 40 min/game. and CuJo could easily be on the court at the same time with either. that could even allow less opposing defensive pressure on CuJo to show off his shooting ability.

    not sure why you’re so critical of JN, he really stepped it up when RoJo went cold and was a top contributor. JN is also the only pure PG on this team… CuJo, DG, RoJo are all technically SG (DG even said so himself). Not that they can’t play PG, as they likely will, but JN as a pass-first facilitator will be valuable on this team.

  • perhaps you missed Newkirk’s development last year? He stepped up. You should step down.

  • interesting stats, but an easy question for those not blinded by ex-coach hate

  • Love both players and can’t wait to watch both. Why does it have to be one or the other? I never understood how some people are so negative to team members. It’s just stupid, almost as dumb as the idea that the players don’t read these things themselves.

  • Ivan Renko

    every coach “whiffs” on players so to speak. are you not going to give credit to TC for finding oladipo and OG? TC deserves a lot of credit for bringing the program back to national relevance and launching many overlooked players’ NBA careers.

    also not sure how you evaluate all those players’ playing styles. pritchard and priller are fan favorites. hollowell and robinson were 4-star recruits. jurkin was a massive shot blocker who could have broken through. don’t act like you’re an accomplished talent evaluator

  • saying Newkirk isn’t good and not able to compete at this level isn’t the same as “not starting” by January. Nice try slimey joe.

  • Anything to say other than you still hate Crean? He’s gone. Maybe follow your obsession and also leave?

  • It’s pretty simple: people are entitled to their opinions AND others are entitled to criticize and express their opinions of said opinions. Is that too complicated?

  • disgruntled ex-girlfriend?

  • That’s very possible. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if it takes him another year of seasoning to really shine and become a great player. It would be fantastic if he steps it up this year.

  • Absolutely. The football team is so close to being very good. Supremely agonizing, especially the past two games. But they have played one of the most brutal schedules in all of college football thus far. Extremely difficult, so maybe sunnier skies ahead?

  • Brad

    A broke clock is right twice a day. I can find you twice as many busts as gems. He couldn’t recruit. Quit defending incompetence.

  • VOXAC30

    I do believe the Arch is a DB guy he is to quick with the numbers and analysis not to be.. possibly marketing. I mean a lot can be done with spreadsheets but a DB makes better and predictions/inferences are easier to make. Regardless thank Arch!

  • Ivan Renko

    ha, want me to list all the McD’s all-americans? or the lottery picks?