St. Joseph’s junior guard Carl Jones has learned that lessons come from games regardless of the outcome.
What Jones has learned from the Hawks 3-1 start that includes a win over Georgia Tech of the ACC, is that the Hawks appear to be an improved program from one that earned 11 wins in each of his first two seasons.
Jones said in the one early blemish, a 78-70 loss to Seton Hall in the second round of the Charleston Classic in South Carolina, the Hawks also learned how to deal at first with prosperity.
See, they held an early 17-7 lead, but weren’t able to continue throughout the contest.
“I feel we learned from that game and it helped us against Tulsa.”
The Hawks won the third place game over Tulsa, 79-75.
What others are learning about Jones is that he can really score.
It’s not as if he has come from nowhere. Last season he averaged 17 points per game.
Now one of the true veterans on a still very young team, Jones, named on Monday the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week, would have traded every single point for a W. He averaged 26 points in the three games.
Against Seton Hall he scored a career-high 38 points, shooting 12 for 17 from the field, 4-6 from beyond the arc and 10 of 11 from the foul line.
In four games he is shooting 28-50 from the field (.560) which isn’t even the best percentage in his own backcourt. Sophomore Langston Galloway is 22-39 (.564).
This is shaping up as one of the better backcourts not only in the area, but well beyond.
Teams with productive guards have a habit of playing well into March.
This is not to suggest that the Hawks are NCAA material, but they are at least building a resume.
The Hawks progress will be measured during Wednesday’s matchup at Iona. That’s the same Iona team that beat Maryland by 26 points in the fourth place game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off
Even though Maryland may be down, it’s still and ACC team. And 26 points?
Scott Machado had 15 points and 15 assists against Maryland, which means the Gaels are getting a little production from their backcourt as well.
Iona (2-1) lost to Purdue, 91-90 in the opening game of the tournament and then beat Western Michigan, 94-88.
So this will be another major test in a competitive opening non-league schedule for the Hawks.
“I think this team is coming along,” Jones said. “We did some good things in our tournament.”
Many of them done by Jones, who has been the driving force to the quick start.