New Point Guard Sparks USC
November 18, 2010
Maurice Jones is 5-foot-7, a freshman from Michigan and a key player for the USC basketball team this season.
This is what I like best about college basketball. A newcomer can arrive and make an immediate impact. On the team.
USC is particularly interesting now as it comes back from NCAA trouble regarding guard O.J. Mayo. New coach Kevin O’Neill has proven adept at fixing broken programs and the Trojans were 16-14 last season despite numerous player defections.
It looked like the team could be terrible, but that wasn’t what happened. The Trojans were competitive and they look promising again.
USC’s junior center, Nikola Vucevic, is talented and has a future in pro basketball. Forward Alex Stepheson, currently troubled by a broken hand, is fitting in well after transferring from North Carolina. Bryce Jones from LA’s Taft High, is a 6-foot-5 freshman guard who was a heralded recruit.
But I believe little Maurice Jones is the player to watch because he has exceptional skills and can set the tempo O’Neill wants. If you’re trying to get good fast I believe the best way is to bring in a guard who can make teammates better.
Jones scored 29 points Monday night in a win over Santa Clara, He also made several no-look passes that drew gasps from fans at the Galen center who watched them again on the big screen.
Following Trojan practices in recent weeks O’Neill has talked fondly of Jones’ play.
The USC=UCLA meetings this season should be sparked by Maurice Jones and UCLA’s new point guard, Lazeric Jones (no relation).
Lazeric Jones appears to be a major upgrade on UCLA’s point guard situation, which was sub-par last season when Jerime Anderson struggled. Anderson is still on the squad as a backup.
But just as O’Neill saw the need for a dynamic point guard at USC, Ben Howland saw the need for one at UCLA and he went to the community college ranks in Illinois for Lazeric Jones.
So lets enjoy the shows these Jones lads will orchestrate. That’s what I plan to do.