WTVD has a video posted about Tre Jones who is on campus now and getting settled in.
Brother Tyus is interviewed as well and if you are looking casually, you can be forgiven for thinking that it’s the same brother. They look a great deal alike.
Coach K is also interviewed and he makes a very interesting point. It’s easy to say that Tre is ahead of Tyus at this point - anyone might blow smoke at a promising player - but he goes on to say that the reason he’s better is because he’s spent a lot of time working with Tyus and his development is way ahead of schedule.
We’ll repeat what we’ve said before about the Jones brothers: Tre is clearly - and it’s not particularly close - far more physically talented than Tyus.
However, what set Tyus apart was his incredible smarts for the game. When you look back at great Duke point guards of the Coach K era at Duke, you go through Tommy Amaker, Bobby Hurley, Quin Snyder, Kyrie Irving (albeit for only a few games due to injury), Jon Scheyer, Chris Duhon Jason Williams and Nolan Smith as a senior.
Of those guys, we would argue that Amaker, Hurley and Scheyer had an equivalent IQ for the overall game and we’re not sure that Jones wasn’t smarter than all of them.
That’s saying a lot. Amaker ran his team like a dream. He was superb and an incredible defender. Hurley was a stunning point and once he matured a bit, he was as tough as nails and never backed down from anything. We loved to watch Scheyer because you could watch him for a full half and literally never see him make a mistake.
However, Jones had an incredible ability to goose the game in the right way at the right game. We always heard that the plan for him was two years at Duke and then a move to the NBA but winning the 2015 title moved the schedule up.
Our question about Tre is simple and complex at the same time: given that he has more physical gifts than his brother, has he had to learn to play as smart at Tyus?
In other words, our belief has always been that not being the most talented guy in the gym actually worked in Tyus’s favor because he had to think the game through to succeed.
If Tre’s intellectual grasp of the game matches Tyus’s, the sky’s the limit for that kid.
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