The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

SCHULTZ: Kam Jones shows potential for breakout season in scrimmage

Photo by Alex DeBuhr
Kam Jones (1) brings the ball up the court in men’s basketball’s Blue and Gold Scrimmage Oct. 8 at the Al McGuire Center.

If you weren’t already excited to watch Kam Jones fill the stat sheet this season, his performance at Saturday’s Blue and Gold scrimmage should change that.

The sophomore Jones opened Saturday’s scrimmage with back-to-back layups before hitting a 3-pointer to give his side an early 13-2 lead. 

Jones was a reliable 3-point shooter in his first season at Marquette, connecting on 39.2% of his 143 attempts from deep. He showcased the deep ball Saturday but also showcased a willingness to attack the rim and finish in an array of ways. This makes him even harder to defend and adds another level of scoring to the Marquette offense.

Playing on the Blue team alongside junior guard Tyler Kolek, first-year walk-on guard Jonah Lucas, junior forward Oso Ighodaro and senior forward Zach Wrightsil, Jones got buckets.

The scrimmage was split into two 12-minute halves with no subs, as first-year guard Chase Ross and sophomores David Joplin and Emarion Ellis were all sidelined with injuries. Jones led all scorers with 20 points.

Across his first season, Marquette fans saw the confidence Jones had in himself whenever he thought he had enough space to take shots. But more often than not Jones was spotting up for corner threes.

Jones, who was being referred to as “K1” by coaches and teammates, went 4-for-5 from deep with just one attempt coming from the corner. The shots came from the wing, off the dribble, catch and even in transition at the top of the key before the defense got set.

He let it fly.

When Jones wasn’t pulling from deep he was attacking the rim with force. Jones, who’s naturally left-handed,  looked to finish on the left and attacked the rim from the top of the key or the right wing, getting to his left hand. This makes defending his shots at the rim even more difficult when he can use the rim to stop shot blockers.

He showed off an array of layups that weren’t showcased in Fiserv Forum last season.

“Kam’s a guy that he really doesn’t want to be a one-dimensional shooter,” Marquette head coach Shaka Smart said. “He wants to be a guy that impacts the game on the defensive end. He wants to be a guy that can put the ball on the floor.”

Jones also showed off his ever-growing scoring arsenal.

The 6-foot-4 guard has irrational confidence and it’s as if every shot he takes is going in. Jones had the highest 3-point percentage on the team last season for those who shot more than 20 attempts. He also had the third highest field goal percentage amongst the guards just behind sophomore guard Stevie Mitchell and Darryl Morsell.

He took 12 shots and made eight of them as the Blue team cruised to a 65-46 win over the gold team.

Jones’s offensive barrage included a willingness to attack the rim at will no matter who was meeting him in the paint.

It will be interesting to see if Jones keeps this up when the season starts in just under a month.

Marquette will play teams that have big men with massive size like Purdue’s Zach Edey and Creighton’s Ryan Kalkbrenner both of which stand over seven-feet tall and offer an intimidating presence under the rim.

Saturday’s scrimmage wasn’t much, but it wasn’t nothing. It was a scrimmage against teammates that have played with each other all summer and in the 10 team practices leading up to the scrimmage.

However, it did offer some insight into what this year’s Golden Eagle squad may look like and Jones very well could lead the team in scoring. He’s the leading scorer returning to this year’s squad after Justin Lewis entered the NBA draft and Morsell exhausted all of his eligibility.

Jones will have the ball in his hands more and have more shots available.

It’s now a matter of how many shots he gets and how many fall through the nylon nets. But either way, Jones and most Marquette fans will think every time it leaves his hands that the ball will leave the net with the sweet sound of a swoosh and more points on the board for the Golden Eagles.

This story was written by Ben Schultz. He can be reached at b[email protected] or on Twitter @benschultz52.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *