Marquette transfer Jones key to Eagles’ early success
Joining the starting five this year in Dunk City is guard Jamail Jones. After transferring from Marquette University and red-shirting his junior year, Jones has made major contributions for the Eagles. He currently leads the team in minutes and rebounds with 40, with 33 of those on defense.
“I decided to transfer to FGCU because of the relationship I had with Coach Enfield at the time. I was also looking for a new situation and trying to start fresh,” Jones said. “The thing I like best about this school is, of course, basketball, but also how it never gets extremely cold.”
Jones, originally from Atlanta, is the youngest of five siblings. “My family is a basketball family, starting with my father. All of my siblings played sports in high school, but I was the only one to play in college,” Jones said. Jones’ father, Tyrone Jones, earned three letters in basketball at Alaska Anchorage (1984-86).
After moving to Florida to play basketball for Montverde Academy, Jones was graded an overall 94 as the No. 11 small forward by ESPN.com. He was considered one of the nation’s top prospects by several recruiting services and was ranked 52nd by Rivals.com and 53rd by ESPN.com.
“One of my goals is to continue playing basketball after college. The L.A. Lakers are my favorite team and I love Kobe Bryant,” said Jones. “If not, I will just look for a job in the field of my degree, which is sociology.
“Being a part of the team last year was seen as a ‘bittersweet” experience,’” Jones said. “It was hard seeing them and not being able to contribute. It was tough. Just seeing how happy they were and how much they enjoyed it and being able to practice with them made it all worth it.” As if leading the team in rebounds and minutes isn’t enough, Jones said he “wishes overall to improve his game.”
“I feel like I’m not playing up to where I should be playing. I’d like to improve my overall play and how I affect the game,” Jones said.
In the season-opening loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Jones led the team with 17 points and eight rebounds. He continued his excellent play in the wins against Hartford, Furman and Eckerd, where he kept his streak alive of tallying at least eight points and seven rebounds in each game. In the loss to N.C. State, Jones put up 11 of FGCU’s 62 points.
“My expectations this year start with the regular season. I want to win out the conference and then just take it game by game after that,” Jones said. With possibly six more games until their first conference matchup against Northern Kentucky on Dec. 30, they will have plenty of time to get the Dunk City magic going with hopes of winning the A-Sun conference.