Tyus Jones is Staying in Minnesota
The Timberwolves not only made headlines when they drafted Karl-Anthony Towns with the first overall pick, they also acquired Duke star, and Minnesota native, Tyus Jones on draft night.
Jones, a former Apple Valley Eagle, was arguably the best high school basketball player that Minnesota has ever had. Jones was a five-year letter winner at AVHS, starting from his eighth grade season up to his senior year. Jones was a three-time Gatorade Minnesota Boys Basketball Player of the Year, and also a three-time AP Minnesota Player of the Year. He captured a 4A state title his junior season when his team compiled a record of 31-1, and had another great season as a senior, with his team going 27-2, but falling in the section title game.
After his senior season the basketball didn't stop for Jones. He was named to the 2014 McDonald's All-America team, where he won the Powerade Jam Fest Skills Competition, and then led the East team with 10 assists in the McDonald's All-America game. When his high school career was all said and done, Tyus Jones was one of the highest regarded high school players in the country, ranked No. 4 by ESPN.
Jones didn't have a long career as a Blue Devil, but he accomplished about everything he could've hoped for in his one and only season at Duke. Tyus Jones started every game last season as a freshman, along with Jahlil Okafor, and Justise Winslow. It was clear right away that Jones had much higher basketball IQ than the normal college basketball point guard.
He proved to be a true old school point guard; didn't wow people with his athleticism, and was also a bit undersized, but saw the floor like an NBA veteran, and was a true floor general. Jones also performed his best in the biggest moments of the biggest games. In the biggest rivalry game in college basketball, when his Blue Devils took on the North Carolina Tar Heels, Jones had his best performance of the regular season. Tyus scored 17 of his season high 24 points in the second half. Throughout it all, he stayed far more poised under pressure than anyone could have expect from an 18-year-old freshman.
March Madness brought the same clutch performances out of Jones. In the biggest game of them all, the National Championship, Jones put on an unforgettable show. He scored 23 points in the game and hit the three biggest shots of the tournament for Duke. He knocked down an "and-one" mid-range shot to put Duke up one in the second half and then hit two big threes to ice the game and give Duke their fourth national title. After getting crowned the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, Jones announced that he would forego his sophomore season at Duke and enter the NBA draft.
Tyus Jones was taken with the 24th pick of the 2015 NBA draft, by the Cavaliers, and it appeared he was headed to Cleveland. What was revealed minutes later, was that the Cavaliers had made a deal prior to the pick that involved Tyus Jones joining the Timberwolves and coming back to the state he was playing high school basketball in just over a year ago.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are getting a very smart and polished point guard in Jones. Though he may probably won't be starting next season, with Ricky Rubio established as the starter already, they are getting another young, talented guy who is eager to get better and has been a winner at every level. Another great move by Flip Saunders and the Minnesota Timberwolves have fans excited for the future, a future that looks very bright.