Solomon Jones NBA Draft Scouting Report
Apr 20, 2006, 02:35 pm
Jones has good height at 6-10, but plays much bigger than his size thanks to his pterodactyl-like wingspan. Athletically, he is outstanding, featuring great footspeed, an excellent (and very quick) vertical leap and all the quickness he needs to make his presence felt on the floor.
Being a player who really just started coming into his own in his 2nd season playing Divison I basketball (his senior year), his offense shows sparks, but is still lagging way behind his defensive ability. His mid-range jumper is a part of his game that has come a long way in the past few years, but still needs even more work to become a consistent part of his offensive arsenal. Jones has soft hands and can even put the ball on the floor a little and spot up for a 14-foot jumper featuring a very high release point; generally showing a soft touch in regards to everything surrounding the way he shoots the ball. The most obvious sign of this comes from the fact that he shoots an outstanding 78% from the free throw line, with picture perfect mechanics, plenty of backspin and excellent concentration at the line.
Even though he consistently showed sparks of new raw (but inconsistent) skills throughout his senior year, Jones still gets most of his points either in transition or off offensive rebounds, running the floor extremely well, being very active on the glass, and getting many of his points by setting solid picks and rolling to the basket before finishing athletically around the hoop.
Where he really excelled in college was in terms of rebounding and defense. Jones has a knack for shot-blocking that cant be taught, averaging 3 per game on the season, good for 10th in the country (tied with Tyrus Thomas, just behind Patrick OBryant), doing so while playing in the toughest conference in America night in and night out, the Big East. He gets his blocks both on the ball as well as off, using his length, timing, instincts and excellent leaping ability to intimidate around the hoop; recovering and rotating to get where he needs to be and send back shots at times without even having to jump in the air. Even when he gets beat by his man in the post, he is often quick enough to recover and swat away his shot on his 2nd attempt.
Defensively, he is probably a better team defender than he is man to man (he gets outmuscled frequently in one on one situations), closing out well to trap on the baseline, switching or hedging athletically on the pick on the roll, rotating from the weakside, being active and showing a good all-around attitude in this area.
As a rebounder, Jones shows a lot of potential, but also managed to translate that potential into actual ability in his time in college. He finished 2nd in the Big East in rebounding at 9.8 per game. He shows a good feel for anticipating and timing, boxing out about as well as his skinny frame will allow him to, again being very active in this area and going after everything that is even remotely in his area, on either his first or second bounce. Thanks to his quickness, length, tenacity, leaping ability and soft hands, its not rare at all to see Jones go well out of his area and sky for an impressive looking rebounding.
In terms of attitude, Jones looks very good, as he plays hard, appears to be very coachable, and doesnt give up on plays. He has never gotten much recognition over his basketball career (rightfully so as he wasnt all that good up until his senior year) and therefore doesnt seem to have much of an ego. Despite being a college senior, Jones has as much upside as almost any of the underclassmen big men in this draft still. He was playing JV basketball up until his junior year of high school, and only garnered interest from a Divison II college in Tampa as a senior as well as a couple of local community colleges, due to the fact that he was only 6-7 and 180 pounds at that point. Hes improved considerably not just from year to year, but even from game to game in his teams Big East slate this season, and appears nowhere close to realizing his full potential. Besides, hes only 21 and wont turn 22 until after the draft.