Postseason Player Review: Curtis Jones

Stu Jackson, Staff Writer
The Hoosier

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USA TODAY Sports

With the offseason underway, TheHoosier.com will review each IU player's 2016-17 season.

We continue the series with a look at freshman guard Curtis Jones.

Stats

Averaged 3.5 points and 1.3 rebounds in 11.2 minutes per game ... Shot 35.2 from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range ... One of just three Hoosiers last season to finish with more assists (31) than turnovers (24) ... Played in 33 of Indiana's 34 games last season, starting in one of them.

Season In Review

Jones' Indiana debut was an impressive one.

Against then-No. 3 Kansas in the Armed Forces Classic in Hawaii, Jones scored 15 points on 5 of 10 shooting from the field, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range. The Richmond, Virginia, native was a big reason why the Hoosiers came away with a 103-99 season-opening overtime win over the Jayhawks, scoring seven of their 14 points in that period.

His efforts earned him Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors with Michigan State's Miles Bridges the following week.

Jones continued to come off the bench but had just one double-digit scoring game over IU's remaining 33 games. Despite this, he still provided the expected offensive spark Indiana's coaching staff wanted off the bench.

At Maryland, he hit a pair of three points to help make the contest a one-possession game late in the first half. At Wisconsin, his first-career start, Jones chipped in three points and five rebounds.

Jones arrived in Bloomington as a combo guard and played some of the point guard spot with IU using a committee approach at the position. Although he had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio, he appeared to fit better at shooting guard. Fellow freshman guard Devonte Green's emergence as a capable backup point guard behind redshirt junior guard Josh Newkirk also appeared to limit Jones' opportunities at the position.

One stat which might explain Jones' limited chances to run the offense is his turnover rate. KenPom.com defines this as the "percent of personal possessions used on turnovers." According to KenPom, Jones' percentage of 20.2 in that category ranked fifth among all IU players and most among Hoosier role players, or players who used 16-20 percent of possible possessions.

Turnovers aside, Jones still proved to be a valuable contributor off the bench during his first year in Bloomington.

Outlook

At the very least, Jones will likely be a serviceable backup shooting guard for the Hoosiers. It's not out of the question to project him as a potential sixth man candidate for IU as well so long as he cuts down on the turnovers in his second season.

How much time he gets within that guard rotation remains to be seen. Jones' minutes will obviously depend on whether one or the other of junior guards James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson keep their names in consideration for the NBA Draft or decide to return to school.

Still, there's plenty of Jones to build on heading into his sophomore campaign.

Previous Postseason Player Reviews:

OG Anunoby

James Blackmon Jr.

Thomas Bryant

De'Ron Davis

Grant Gelon

Devonte Green

Collin Hartman

Robert Johnson

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