“His numbers were down, but they won more games,” Weaver said. “So I think he tried to blend more, help his teammates more and understand that coming back, taking more of a leadership role, he had to kind of spread his wings a little more and spread his game out.”
Baylor went 18-13 (7-9 in Big 12 Conference play) in Jones' freshman season. This past year, however, the Bears went 30-8 (12-6 in conference play) and advanced to the Elite Eight.
The Thunder is betting on a Jones as a teammate. Oklahoma City will trust the 28th overall pick is a natural-born winner who simply doesn't mind taking a backseat.
The Thunder is banking on Jones' head and his heart being in the right place as he prepares to begin his professional career as part of Oklahoma City's program.
Ultimately, the Thunder has Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kevin Durant commanding most of the touches offensively. So it might have worked out for the best that Jones doesn't mind playing second fiddle.
On this team, he'll need to, and the Thunder drafted him with that in mind.
“We really see him as a blend player,” said Thunder general manager Sam Presti. “We see great value in the fact that he's incredibly talented, but he's able to play within a team and understand how he can impact a game.
“He doesn't need to be forcing the issue at all times. And with our particular team, we feel like that's a huge quality that we looked at as a positive for us.”