Bama Hoops Hype

Herbert Jones Crucial in Tide upset over Oklahoma

Photo by Joe Habshey - Bama Hoops Hype

Alabama’s home win over 12th-ranked Oklahoma was a total team win for Avery Johnson’s men who were flying high offensively and limiting a top NBA prospect to one of his lowest offensive outputs of the season.

Even in the midst of one of their best team performances of the season, freshman guard Herbert Jones still managed to stand out for the Tide as he posted a season high scoring output of 14 points.

But it was in more than just the scoring department where Jones made his mark.  Jones was one of the main defenders assigned with the task of slowing down one of the nation’s top young talents in Trae Young.  His length was a difference-maker for the Tide, disrupting passing lanes while making life difficult for the Oklahoma offense.

“We knew he would get some off but it was just about staying close, contest, and make him drive,” Jones said.

Defending Young is no easy task, as the Oklahoma freshman has been recording incredible numbers his freshman season, averaging 9.6 assists to go along with his 30.3 points per game.  In order for the Tide to be successful against such dynamic offensive threat, it was imperative that Jones take Young out of his comfort zone and take away what he does best.

Finishing the game second in minutes behind Collin Sexton, Jones recorded five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block to cap off his season high point total.  Herb Jones was a part of many of Alabama’s big-time plays, including one that completely flipped the momentum of the game.

Jones shook up Coleman Coliseum with eight minutes remaining in the second half when he threw down a monster slam in transition to steal back the lead for the Tide.  A lead the Tide refused to relinquish for the remainder of the contest.

The Greensboro, Ala. native has been gaining a lot of trust from head coach Avery Johnson, who spoke very highly of his freshman’s potential and roll in the team going forward.

“His ceiling is high. He has some different levels to go to. When he gets going downhill, he’s tough to cover. When he raises up under the basket, he looks like he’s 7’4. He’s as good defensively as anyone,” Johnson said.

Going forward, the Tide understand that players like Sexton, Petty, and Hall will need to bring their game each and every night.  If Jones can continue his improvement and gain more confidence to contribute on the offensive end more consistently, his play could prove to be the biggest deciding factor in determining how strongly the Tide can finish this campaign.

Johnathan Anderson covers Alabama Basketball for Bama Hoops Hype.  You can follow him on Twitter for updates and analysis.

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