In the months leading up to the 2021-’22 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a brief look at DeVante’ Jones of the Michigan Wolverines, who came in at No. 10 in the rankings. The Wolverines are hoping to build off last year’s Big Ten title with another NCAA Tournament run this year.
'BTPowerhouse 25' - No. 10 DeVante’ Jones:
- Eligibility: Redshirt Junior
- Career Totals: 81 games, 2,587 minutes, 1,381 points, 460 rebounds, 341 assists, 158 steals
- 2020-’21 Averages: 32.8 MPG, 19.3 PPG, 2.9 APG, 7.2 RPG, 2.8 SPG
- Positional Role: Point Guard
Entering Juwan Howard’s third season, Michigan is now a Howard-eseque team and Jones is a perfect example of it. The roster is loaded with elite talent and athletic pieces that can play multiple positions. Jones is part of the team’s substantial influx of talent this offseason and should fill in for the recently departed Mike Smith.
Jones is an offensive weapon. During his time at Coastal Carolina, Jones played significant minutes and had a massive usage rate. But despite being 11th in the league in percentage of shots taken, he still had a 116.5 offensive rating and a 59.8 percent true shooting percentage. Those are incredible numbers for a player with that usage rate.
Additionally, Jones is a solid defender and can play inside the paint. He ranked fourth in the Sun Belt in steal rate, fourth in fouls drawn, and seventh in free throw rate. Jones also shot an impressive 87.6 percent from the line in league play once he got there.
-Areas for Improvement
This isn’t necessarily an “area” to improve, but it’s something that should be noted here. While Jones’ career numbers are impressive, they should be kept in perspective. The Sun Belt is a solid league, but it’s not the Big Ten. Translating his game to a higher level of play is going to be a major challenge this season. It’s undeniably the biggest question mark for Jones and arguably for Michigan as a team. If he translates well, Michigan could be in play for a national title. If not, the Wolverines will be good, but likely not great.
On the court, Jones’ biggest weakness is his perimeter shooting. He shot 33.3 percent from three last season and is a career 32.2 percent shooter. Jones can be streaky at times, but it’s unclear whether he can be a capable enough perimeter shooter to perform at the highest levels in the Big Ten. We’ll have to wait and see.
Michigan is widely regarded as a top 10 team entering this season and Jones is a big part of that evaluation. He has a polished offensive game that should fit in well with Michigan’s needs this season. All the pieces are there for an incredible year.
Expect Jones to put up big numbers for the Wolverines this season and to be the primary offensive initiator. Hunter Dickinson should be the team’s best player, but Jones might be one of the more overlooked players entering this season.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:
- #26-27 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Moussa Diabate (Michigan)
- #24 - Donta Scott (Maryland)
- #22 - Justice Sueing (Ohio State)
- #22 - Max Christie (Michigan State)
- #20 - Miller Kopp (Indiana)
- #20 - Connor McCaffery (Iowa)
- #19 - Zach Edey (Purdue)
- #18 - Tyson Walker (Michigan State)
- #17 - Eli Brooks (Michigan)
- #16 - Keegan Murray (Iowa)
- #14 - Kyle Young (Ohio State)
- #14 - Andre Curbelo (Illinois)
- #12 - Caleb Houstan (Michigan)
- #12 - Trent Frazier (Illinois)
- #11 - Ron Harper (Rutgers)
- #10 - DeVante’ Jones (Michigan)
- #9 - To Be Continued ...