By Luke Elder
David Jones has been a mainstay for DePaul men’s basketball this season, but tends to go unnoticed due to the stardom of guard Javon Freeman-Liberty, the Blue Demons’ leading scorer with a slick playing style. Freeman-Liberty replaced game shorts with sweatpants tonight, fighting a groin injury. This was Jones’ game to shine as the leading man-but his team's first half was not pretty. Though they closed the first period down just one, the Blue Demons were shocked early as Georgetown exploded for an eight-point run in the game's first few minutes. Playing at a borderline out of control pace offensively in the first half, DePaul shot a dismal 34.4% from the floor, and just 18% from outside the arc. It was beginning to look like things may get out of hand.
Jones played with constant effort and execution. No matter the circumstance, Jones’ effort is a mainstay. That being said, he’s struggled to score the basketball in the Blue Demons’ last two games, shooting just 2-for-13 from the field against UConn and 5-for-12 versus Xavier. Scoring no more than 10 points in DePaul's last four games, it could be easily argued that there was room for concern.
David Jones celebrates his team's win versus Georgetown.
Photo courtesy of Ben Zebrowski
There will no longer be any concern after DePaul’s 82-74 win tonight against Georgetown. Undoubtedly overcoming his recent slump (and his team's first-half troubles), Jones recorded his first triple-double tonight (and DePaul’s fourth ever) with a dominant 22 points, 10 assists and 14 rebounds in 37 minutes of action. He was easily the best player on the floor; dominant in finishing ability, and locking down opponents consistently. DePaul fans were quick to question Jones after his recent struggle, but were even quicker to cheer for his successes after tonight’s performance.
“Let me say this–you know, even though people say David was struggling, he was still bringing a lot of good things to the table, you know, maybe struggling from an offensive standpoint, but as far as providing leadership, just playing hard, guarding rebounds, he was still doing it. Game in and game out.” Blue Demons head coach Tony Stubblefield said. “The ball wasn't going in the basket as much as he wanted, but you know, he stuck with it. He got in the gym, he continued to work. And you know, this young man has a bright future. He's really a true freshman. Things are only going to get better.”
David Jones dances as he is introduced in tonight's game.
Photo courtesy of Ben Zebrowski
Truly a player with a work-first mentality, Jones refuses to get a big head over tonight’s triumph. DePaul will face Providence College on Saturday, who wholloped the Blue Demons in their home arena on New Year’s Day, 70-53. Though his contagious, toothy grin shines as he answers questions, Jones mindset is unchanged.
“Same as always. Bring energy.” Jones said. “Keep our team together. We’ve still got a lot of season to go. We’ve got to keep focusing, take it game by game. We can’t let two wins get to our head, we’ve just got to keep working.”
"He puts the work in. When you put the work in, the basketball gods will bless you." Coach Stubblefield said. "He's always in the gym working at it. He did a great job of sharing the basketball, making the extra pass and obviously did a good job on the board. 14 rebounds. So proud of his effort as part of our effort tonight."