Oct. 7, 2011
by David Cassilo
A lot of people like to talk about Baylor’s Perry Jones III. The scouts fawn over his oozing potential. The powers that be say he’s yet another student-athlete to break NCAA rules. The fans call him crazy for coming back to school for another year.
Normally a quiet, reserved kid, the 20-year-old Jones actually has a lot to say about these things. So let’s give him the floor.
Why are you coming back?
“Being suspended made me want to come back even more because I never got to play in the postseason, and that was something I wanted to experience,” Jones says. “I’m still here, and if things don’t go the way I want to this year, then I’ll come back another year.”
His longer than expected tenure in Waco encapsulates exactly what he is right now—a project. Just a hair short of 7-0, the native Texan has the proper basketball frame but is still learning the game. Originally a football player, he didn’t exchange his cleats for sneakers until 7th grade.
“I wasn’t good at basketball at all then,” Jones says. “I couldn’t chew gum and dribble up the court without falling.”
While he says he still has “too much room for improvement” and “a long way to go,” Jones’ freshman season had its moments. The point forward averaged 13.9 ppg and 7.2 rpg, mixing in greatness (most notably a 27-point game against Texas A&M) with inconsistency.
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