ShawnDre Jones’ Vision Equals Success for Teammates

By Jacob Withee | July 7, 2020

ShawnDre Jones is as crafty as they come with the ball, using his footwork and spots of hesitation to blow by defenders or pull up from mid-range. His court vision helps with that, knowing when he should take it himself or find the open man, an ability to see the whole floor and to think a step ahead that puts his teammates in better positions to succeed.

Jones wrapped up his second season with the Northern Arizona Suns averaging 8.1 points and 4.2 assists in 19.9 minutes per game in 33 games (three starts). Among Suns players with at least four games played, Jones averaged the third most assists and had the second most total with 140.

An element of his strong court vision is his delivery of the perfect alley-oop pass, a connection he shared with several teammates in 2019-20. In jest after the season, Jones said the secret to an alley-oop is “anybody that can jump, because if I’m throwing it, it’s going to get there.” He later explained that it takes knowledge of what your teammate’s preference is to have the strong connection, such as a player who likes to float to the rim vs. someone who jumps off one leg. That turns into throwing it to the corner of the backboard vs. throwing it higher.

Of the 52 successful alley-oop dunks for the NAZ Suns as a team on the year, Jones had the second most such dishes on the team (16) despite playing the ninth most total minutes.

Jones started 2019-20 with three of some his best career games. In the Suns’ 2nd-4th games of the season, the University of Richmond product recorded 31 assists, including a career-high 12 assists vs. Rio Grande Valley on Nov. 17, one of two 10+ assist games in the stretch.

Jones had multiple assists in 29 games of his 33 played. He finished his second year with 208 total assists with the Suns, the fourth most in team history of a player’s career, eight short of Shaquille Harrison, who sits in third.

Year-over-year, Jones’ scoring improved by 1.5 PPG, as he logged 13 double-digit scoring games compared to five in 2018-19. His best career scoring month came in February, with Jones averaging 12.0 points and 5.1 assists. On the rare Leap Day, he scored a career-high 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting, adding three assists and two steals in 25 minutes at Texas. That was a game succeeding the Suns’ bout vs. Oklahoma City on Feb. 26, in which Jones scored a then-career-high 16 points to go with eight assists.

So, with high assist numbers throughout each season and an ability to score when needed, suffice it to say, teammates love playing with Jones.