Chris Jones: Might not stand tall, but plays big

By on November 12, 2014

By Pierce Feltner–

“Mighty Mouse” is what head coach Rick Pitino calls his 5-foot-10 guard.

Senior Chris Jones is going to have play a mighty large role on this Louisville basketball team if they wish to see success in their first year in the ACC. Some say he’s too small to play at such a high level, but Coach Rick Pitino could not agree less.

“He’s a tremendous asset, because he is so strong that he can pick you up full court and you can’t lose him. He’s so quick that you can’t lose him,” Pitino said of Jones effort.

Jones enters his second season at U of L after transferring from NW Florida Sate College where he was a stand-out junior college player. He returns averaging 10.2 points per game last year where he scored 15 or more points in eight games. His role will need to expand for the team to have success. Coach Pitino has suggested that he will be playing around 34 of the 40 minutes a game.

Jones will also need to be a leader on and off the court for this team and he knows that.

“I am going to be a coach on the floor a lot this year so its up to me to get these guys to where they want to get to.”

After dominating on the junior college level, Jones had to accustom himself to the high level of play at Louisville. And on Pitino’s team there is only one thing that matters: defense. 

“The thing I had to learn most was the switching of Coach P’s defense and how hard he wants me to play every possession,” Jones said.

As a leader this year, Jones got to learn from the best upon his arrival to Louisville. The winning-est senior class in Louisville history who graduated last year, brought Jones along the Cardinal way.

“It was very fun last year playing with guys like Russ (Smith), Luke (Hancock), (Stephan) Van Treese and Tim (Henderson). And once guys like that leave, you miss them. The guys who taught you the way, taught you how Coach P wants you to play, so it feels good to know I can teach these young guys what they taught me, “ Jones said.

Jones knew with those guys no longer here that it was his responsibility to be the best he could be. Over the offseason, Jones shed some weight and increased his speed and endurance to ready himself for the weight he will carry this season.

“I worked hard to lose weight, to get quicker and faster. I know I have to take on a lot more of a scoring role and a passing role, I’ll have the ball in my hand probably 90 percent of the time so I just have to be able to balance those two roles out and hopefully win a national championship.”

Jones and his running mate, Terry Rozier, are being looked at as possibly one of the most dynamic backcourts in the nation. Coach Pitino even said they are one of the better backcourts he’s ever been around, which is a huge statement with the large amount of talent Pitino has coached over the years.

Jones’ teammates and coaches will be looking to him throughout the season for leadership. The fans certainly hope to see him assert himself as the player he truly wants to be for this team. Jones could truly be a dynamic guard and this season will be the last chance for “Mighty Mouse” to show he can.

Photo by Austin Lassell / The Louisville Cardinal 

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