Dareon Jones profile: The gentle giant

Men's Basketball Sports

He sports the number 15 in honor of his favorite player Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks.
Can Western forward Dareon Jones play like Anthony? That’s for you to decide. One thing that Jones does have that shows resemblance to Anthony: his warm-hearted spirit on and off the court.
When Anthony is on the court, you can sense his passion for the game. The same can be said about the native of Toledo, Ohio.
Jones followed Coach Brett Weiberg to Missouri Western after he was recruited to Northern Oklahoma College after high school.
The move to Western was easy because Jones said he enjoyed the campus and its students. There was also some familiarity with Weiberg and he wanted to take advantage of that.
“I played ball at Toledo Central Catholic my senior year,” Jones said. “I have being playing ball since I was a baby. As soon as I could put a ball in my hand.”
When Coach Weiberg receive his coaching job here at Western, he decided to follow and says he has not regretted the decision.
“Coach Weiberg was my junior college coach and I was with him for two years,” Jones said. “When I took my visit, I enjoyed the campus. I like Coach Weiberg so I decided to stay with him.”
In his first year with Western, Jones struggled to find a role on a team that struggled to find its identity.
He played in 28 games and started in 10. He shot 46 percent from the field and also came up with 20 steals on the season.
Jones was able to score in double figures 10 times and his best game came against Northern State. He dropped 18 points that game, which was also a career high.
He helped on the boards as well, averaging 3.4 rebounds again. Despite Jones’ efforts, the Griffons struggled and ended with a 10-18 record.
This time around, he feels that a year ago was just a learning experience and experience is the best teacher.
“I think we are really coming together as a team,” Jones said. “We are always around each other. I think we are going to have a pretty good year once we get everything together offensively and defensively.”
Point guard Ryan Devers feels that Jones has a high ceiling and believes that Jones is a player that improves after every practice.
“He is a great player. I don’t think he has yet to show all of his talents,” Devers said. “He will ‘wow’ you with his athleticism and his knowledge of the game is there. I am glad to be his teammate.”
Guard Cortrez Colbert enjoys playing with Jones because he’s dependable. He noted that he was a player capable of a lot once he’s on the court.
“I like playing with Jones,” Colbert said. “I have been playing with him for three years now and the dude got game. He’s got a little Carmelo Anthony in him. What I love about his game is the fact he’s athletic and he can also shoot.”
As for the Anthony comparisons on the court, Jones said he does try to duplicate his game to the likes of Anthony, although there is a size differential between the two.
“My favorite player is Carmelo Anthony, so I try to do his moves sometimes,” Jones said. “He’s just a smooth player. You know, he’s way bigger than me so there are some things he does that I cannot do. But perimeter wise, I try to copy off of him.”
To see if the comparisons are warranted, Jones and the Griffons are back in the fieldhouse on Dec. 14.

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