January 11, 2008

Jones getting in gear just in time for Big 12

Texas A&M senior Joseph Jones has been a force in the Big 12 conference throughout his career. Known as one of the most physical players in the conference, Jones was the main inside threat for the Aggies during the three-year resurgence in College Station.

Along with new head coach Mark Turgeon, the Aggies added a number of frontcourt players including freshman phenom DeAndre Jordan. The improvement of sophomores Bryan Davis and Chinemelu Elonu has made the focus on Jones wane a little bit this season.

Jones is averaging just 22.7 minutes per game this season, which is down from 27.3 last season. His scoring down over two full points and his rebounding is down 1.5 per game, but now that Big 12 play is upon the Aggies you can expect to see Jones' time and production increase.

In fact, it already has. Jones has averaged 13 points and 6.5 rebounds in 25 minutes in A&M's last two game. There probably isn't a better team to have a breakout performance against than Colorado, A&M's Saturday opponent. Last season, Jones produced 18 points and 15 rebounds against the Buffaloes in Boulder.

"We practiced on the 26 of December and I saw a completely different Joe. He has given up a lot of his game for the team. Joe is used to touching the ball 14 or 15 times a game on the block. He's obviously a lot less than that," Turgeon said. "The last two games he's gotten a lot more touches and a lot more shots, but I think he's working harder. It's not anything that I've done for him. He's decided to outrun DeAndre to the low block sometimes, which isn't easy to do on the break. He's worked harder. I've seen a much more focused Joe. We had a great practice yesterday with a lot more competition, and it was good. Guys really went at it and you could see his leadership and what he has to do for us."

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