BLOOMINGTON IN - DECEMBER 27: Tom Crean the Head Coach of the Indiana Hoosiers gives instructions to Verdell Jones III #12 during the Big Ten Conference game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on December 27 2010 at Assembly Hall in Bloomington Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
As I mentioned earlier, no Indiana player generates more disagreement among the fan base than Verdell Jones III. Jones has seen significant playing time in each of his three seasons, but turnovers and some rough shooting performances have not endeared him to many IU fans.
Here is Jones's StatSheet page.
Jones did see his scoring dip a bit, both overall (from 15 to 12.5) and in Big Ten play (from 16.7 to 13.3). His overall three point shooting was poor (29 percent) but he was a respectable 38 percent in Big Ten play this season. Despite the knock on Jones, this may be a result of decision-making. Jones took only 34 three pointers, down from 51 last year, a decrease than can't fully be accounted for by the three games Jones missed because of knee inflammation. In Big Ten play, Jones's assists have declined over his career, from 4.3 to 3.3 to 3.1, but so have his turnovers. As tough as it can be at times to watch Jones as a ball-handler, he has gone from 71 turnovers in Big Ten play as a freshman to 34 as a junior. His turnover percentage, which is a stat that accounts for the number of possessions used, has gone from 28.2 as a freshman to 17.6 as a junior.
Jones takes the brunt of fan criticism, and it's not completely unwarranted. He does turn the ball over quite a bit. He isn't a great shooter. He's not a great point guard who gets others involved in the offense. Like many players on this team, Jones is not a perfect fit for his role. Still, he's getting better, however slowly. Jones will be a senior next year. He has been through the Big Ten grind three times. He will have some interior support with Cody Zeller, but as I mentioned in my post on Jordan Hulls last week, as currently conceived, the incoming recruiting class does not seem to provide any ball handling help. Ultimately, for the 2011-12 Hoosiers to succeed, it will require individual improvement on the part of Jones. Still, in looking at the numbers, it's nice to see that he has steadily improved as his career progressed.