Duke Guard Matt Jones Talks Off Season Work

 

SONY DSCLike most freshman, Matt Jones had both good and trying moments during his freshman season at Duke.  The Texan native showed flashes of a bright future a season ago, playing good defense, but also hit that so-called freshman wall as the year wore on.  Jones has been working out ever since the Blue Devils unexpected early NCAA exit and he hopes that work and added maturity advances his game to where he is a key contributor on a team which should have a deep and strong backcourt.  Blue Devil nation recently caught up to Jones for a brief chat –

What have you been doing since the season ended?

I was able to go home and spend some time with family and get some familiar faces around me and get my mind right for the upcoming season.

What will you be doing this summer? Any camps or things planned?

I am actually going to go back home and be around my family where I will be working out with my trainer Jerome and get my body right.

Who is Jerome and how does he come into play here?

He’s my shooting coach. He talks to me about basketball related stuff and off the court things as well.

Coach Krzyzewski recently addressed the media. One of the things he mentioned was the fact that you and Semi Ojeleye are older players now and that you could both contribute.

Last year my maturity definitely got to me. I was, like he said a problem of the freshman wall but overall, I’m at a good place now with basketball and my mentality to the game. I’ve been doing it now for a year and I’ and more aware m now a sophomore of what goes on and things like that, so as for going into next year, I am prepared.

You came into school early a season ago and it seemed as if you really concentrated on your defense in order to play early. I know Coach K has said in the past that you had a good defensive coach who taught the fundamentals. Anyhow, am I right in that?

I always felt I could play defense. And yes, going back to high school my coach relayed the message to play “D.” So coming in, it wasn’t so much something I worked on, it’s just something I’ve always done.

Talk about what you feel you role could be on this years team. I know the coaches are still going over that and evaluating the roster, but have they shared anything with you there?

I feel like I can be a leader, but role wise I just want to be a good player and do what they ask of me.

You were a friend  and teammate of Julius Randle who will be in the upcoming NBA draft. Have to him since his decision?

Yeah, I hung out with him a little bit at home before I got back here, so we are definitely close and I am just happy for him that he can pursue his dreams.

So, you sort of needed a fresh break?  Was that the reason you went home?

Yes sir, to see familiar faces. I will head back home this coming Monday after the Academy and I will return on the 27th and when I come back it will be time to go to work.

What do you think about new assistant Jon Scheyer and Capel who K said would take on a huge role this year?

Well, Capel recruited me so there is a bond there. And Scheyer? He was somebody I could go to and talk to last year with my immaturity issue and he’s ben through it, so he was able to help me keep my spirit up

2

Taking a Look at Duke Football in Magazine Previews

d gt 001Before the advent of the World Wide Web, college football fans would flock to their local newsstands in early June to take a gander at the many college football pre season magazines. Back then, this was one of the only forms of information available to the casual fan and to this day, they still command some attention. After all, there is nothing like a hard copy for some good summer reading. Without further ado, let’s take a look at where the Blue Devils rank in the various magazines and a look at which player are being projected for national honors –

THE SPORTING NEWS

One of the oldest and most collected publications over the years was Street and Smiths pre season previews. Not long ago, the magazine merged with The Sporting News and now flies under its brand. This preview magazine is pretty straight forward with its information and has benefitted from a lay out facelift in the off-season, but there remains a lack of lists and chatter beyond the standard previews.

TSN National Champ pick – Oklahoma

Coastal Division picks – UNC, Miami, Duke, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Pitt, UVA

All ACC - 1st team – Jamison Crowder, Kelby Brown

Noteworthy – Jamison Crowder picked 3rd Team All American

ATHLON

Athlon has been printing sports publications in the modern era and they provide fun little lists to go with their previews. They also print some regional offerings for major interest teams.

Athlon National Champ pick – Florida State

Coastal Division Predictions – Virginia Tech, Miami, UNC, Pitt, Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia

All ACC – 1st Team – Laken Tomlinson, 2nd Team – Jamison Crowder, Jeremy Cash, Kelby Brown, Braxton Deaver

Noteworthy – Despite being picked 5th in their division, Athlon picks Duke 38th overall in the nation. Laken Tomlinson is projected to be 2nd Team All American. Devon Edwards and Jamison Crowder are listed as All ACC Specialists.

LINDY’S

Lindy’s came onto the scene about the same time as Athlon and the two are almost always the first two previews to hit newsstands. Good lists and articles add to the preview magazine.

Lindy’s National Champs pick – Florida State

ACC Coastal Division picks – Miami, Duke, Pitt, UNC, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Virginia

All ACC – 1st Team Jamison Crowder, Laken Tomlinson, Jeremy Cash, Will Monday. 2nd Team – Braxton Deaver, Ross Martin, David Helton, Kelby Brown. 3rd Team – Anthony Boone, DeVon Edwards.

Noteworthy - Duke is picked as the 35th best team in the nation. Jamison Crowder is listed as the 5th best WR in the nation, Braxton Deaver the 3rd best TE in the land and Tomlinson the 4th best RG in the country. Also, Jeremy Cash is ranked as the 7th best safety and Monday the 7th best punter.

Also on newsstands is a USA Today preview that picks Duke to win the Coastal Division and go 10-2 in the regular season. They also rank the Blue Devils 17th in the nation in their top 25 ahead of some juggernaut programs.

The best of the pre season magazines, Phil Steele’s preview is slated to be out this week and it is jammed packed with information and it gets my top recommendation. As you can see, Duke Football has mixed views going into the season, but it is clear there is more respect than ever after last seasons amazing run and a record-setting 10 wins. Yes. You can actually pick up a college football preview magazine these days and see how far the program has come.