The first of the “Bucket Brothers” and praised as a shooting guard prospect that was underrated by a fair margin, James Jones brings an all around game to Buffalo.
Position: Shooting Guard
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Height and Weight: 6-4, 177 lbs.
James Jones flew so far under the radar that it’s still hard to find anything on him. Hopefully that changes now that he’s at UB. While attending Bogan High School in Chicago, Jones impressed the local media and many schools in the recruiting process. He carried offers from Illinois State, UMass, Loyola (IL), and Northern Illinois among others. Right before he committed, the high major schools started knocking on his door as he generated interest from Arkansas, Kansas State, DePaul, and Minnesota. Wanting to go somewhere were he’d be an immediate impact, he chose Buffalo.
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The 6-foot-3 shooting guard carried Bogan to the championship against a loaded field, scoring 31 points and making nine 3-pointers in the final against Kenwood.
He also scored 22 in the semifinals against Oak Park and 26 against Marian Catholic.
"We've got another Luwane," Goodwin said. "He is ready to take over the reins. It is his turn. James actually has more talent than Luwane. Luwane has a motor you can't find anywhere. But James is athletic and can shoot and can guard a lot of guys at his size."
Jones is playing out his natural position, but the alternative is that taller and more physical defenders are forced to match up with him.
“Most of the time we play against bigger teams and they can’t really stick me, so I just beat them off the dribble,” Jones said.
In practice, Jones is often pitted against 6-8 senior post player Antonio Thomas, Goodwin’s strategy of forcing Jones to learn how to score against bigger players.
Like Quate McKinzie, I think Jones has a big chance at making an immdiate impact for the Bulls. The guard is a lights out shooter and it’ll be interesting to see where his role will be. I can definitely see him running the point but he may serve better at a shooting guard role (his natural position). Either way expect “JJ Buckets” — a name given to him during the Canada exhibitions — to have a a big role of getting the ball in the basket this season.