Solomon Jones

Solomon Jones profile
Drafted #33 in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Hawks
Height: 6'10" (208 cm)
Weight: 224 lbs (102 kg)
Position: PF/C
High School: Mount Dora High School (Florida)
Hometown: Mount Dora, FL
College: South Florida
Current Team: Tijuana Zonkeys
Win - Loss: 33 - 13


NBA Scouting Reports: Filling in the Blanks- the Centers

Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Aug 20, 2009, 08:00 pm
Overview: Young center who is trying to solidify himself as a backup. Isn’t terribly tall for a center, but has an enormous wingspan. Shows nice athleticism, but remains skinny for a post player despite adding a lot of weight throughout his college career. The definition of a late bloomer. Didn’t emerge as a serious draft prospect until his senior season. Played two seasons at Daytona Beach Community College before moving on to South Florida. Had some nice games as a senior and provided a nice defensive presence, but really emerged during the draft process. Has improved in each of his seasons in the NBA. Now has some of the skills to match his solid basketball instincts. Brings some things to the table on the defensive end. Will be asked to make an impact off the bench for the Pacers.

Offense: Has seen his role shift considerably as his skill set has developed. Did most of his damage finishing around the rim as a rookie, when he posted a solid shooting percentage before taking almost exclusively jump shots in a limited role in his second season. Came back strong in his third year, showing a vastly improved shooting stroke and regaining many of the touches he didn’t get down low as a sophomore. Has improved his jumper dramatically over time. Now capable of knocking down midrange jumpers with surprising consistency. Has a super high release, allowing him to hit many shots with a hand in his face. Not a bad catch and shoot threat for a player that didn’t develop a jumper until reaching the NBA. Still does most of his damage around the rim. Long and athletic enough to finish down low. Doesn’t show a refined post game, meaning he gets most of his touches by moving without the ball and pulling down offensive rebounds. Shows a face up jumper as well as a turnaround, but lacks the consistent hook shot to be a threat to make a move going at his opponent. Outstanding finisher when he doesn’t have to put the ball up moving away from the rim. Length and quick leaping ability are great tools for him, as he often beats his man into the air and is the first player above the rim. Gets to the line at a solid rate and shoots a decent percentage. Not a glamorous scorer by any stretch of the imagination, but his finishing and midrange shooting make him very efficient with what touches he does use.

Defense: Foul prone shot blocker who is big on tools and small on fundamentals. Has more than enough lateral quickness, length, and leaping ability to make an impact on the defensive end. Very good weakside shot blocker who is good at anticipating shots and helping his teammates moving from block. Lack of bulk hurts him against some players. Tends to have issues with fouling due to his aggressive shot blocking mentality and struggles with holding position. Will diligently protect the rim, making him an attractive player in limited minutes. Needs to cut back on his fouling to get more playing time.

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 can’t be taught, averaging 3 per game on the season, good for 10th in the country (tied with Tyrus Thomas, just behind Patrick O’Bryant), 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, it’s 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 doesn’t give up on plays. He has never gotten much recognition over his basketball career (rightfully so as he wasn’t all that good up until his senior year) and therefore doesn’t 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. He’s improved considerably not just from year to year, but even from game to game in his team’s Big East slate this season, and appears nowhere close to realizing his full potential. Besides, he’s only 21 and won’t turn 22 until after the draft.

Most of Jones’ weaknesses revolve around his lack of strength and experience.

His frame is very narrow, particularly in his shoulders and lower body, and there are some concerns about whether he’ll be able to add enough weight to his frame to allow him to bang with NBA big man in the paint. We must keep in mind that he is a very late bloomer who grew 3 inches after beginning his senior year of high school, and therefore is likely nowhere near fully grown into his body at this point in his basketball career.

Offensively is where Jones will have to improve the most to be able to contribute in the NBA. He really isn’t much of a factor in half-court sets, as his footwork and post moves are extremely unpolished, his left-hand is basically non-existent, and he doesn’t have enough strength to hold his spot on the block. His ball-handling is certainly not a strength of his, and considering how skinny he is, he could definitely stand to work on his face-up game in terms of becoming more consistent with his mid-range jumper.

Despite being an excellent shot-blocker, Jones will likely struggle initially to play the kind of man to man defense most NBA coaches expect from their big men. He can be extremely foul prone at times, picking up too many cheap fouls around the hoop due to the fact that he has a tendency to bring his arms down on his man while defending as well as stick his hands in all kinds of places that they should not be.

Jones is an excellent rebounder at the college level, but will surely have to add strength to help him fully translate this part of his game over to the NBA. His hands in particular aren’t strong enough, often having loose balls just grabbed away from them if he can’t get two hands on them.

Although the blame for this certainly can not fall on his shoulders considering the fact that his team played with a walk-on point guard and generally mid-major talent in the murderers row known as the Big East, South Florida was absolutely atrocious this season, going a dismal 1-15 in conference and 7-22 overall (all of their wins in OOC came against cupcake types). They had lost 17 straight games going into their last game of year, which they won at home against Georgetown, with Jones having probably the best game of his career (23 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks).

Jones plays for the worst team in the best conference in America, the Big East. He finished 2nd in the conference in both blocked shots (3.0) and rebounds (9.8), and found a way to score 13.2 points a game as well.

Some of his more impressive games include a 7 point, 17 rebound, 5 assist, 5 block performance against Villanova, a 12 point, 12 rebound, 6 block effort against UConn, and scoring 23 points (9-10 FG) with 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in a game against Georgetown.

As a junior Jones started in most of his team’s games next to a beast of a college player in Terrence Leather and a terrific PG in Brian Swift, averaging just 6.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks on the year, in 26 minutes per game. He only shot 55% from the free throw line, but improved to 77.8% the next year as a senior.

Jones played his first two years of college at Daytona Beach Community College, and averaged only 11 points and 8 rebounds in his final season there. The only other school that had interest in him coming out of high school was the University of Tampa, a Division II college. He was just 6-7 and 180 pounds as a high school senior, which means he has added 3 inches and 50 pounds to his frame in the past 4 years.

After an excellent showing at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which led to him being named to DraftExpress’ All-Tournament First Team (see links: Portsmouth Recap), Jones has put himself in an excellent position to get drafted. He will attend the Orlando pre-draft camp in June and try to improve his stock even further, or at least try not to regress on the ground he’s gained so far.

As a 6-10 super long and athletic big man with nice touch, good basketball instincts and lots of upside, he will get plenty of looks regardless in the 2nd round. With a good showing in Orlando, he could potentially move himself into the 1st round picture.

No one else is really talking about him publicly as even being a draft prospect at this point, but that has more to do with the school he played for and the fact that only NBA scouts and DraftExpress were present at Portsmouth.

Bio photo courtesy of Kyle Jefferies/

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament: Recap

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Eric Weiss
Eric Weiss
Apr 11, 2006, 01:47 am
Jones came in here as the highest rated participating big man on our board, and left in exactly the same spot. Although he was up and down, struggling at times to get touches and score with his obvious lack of bulk, Jones showed flashes of the type of athletic brilliance that few players in this draft can claim. Most everything of what he contributes revolves around his length and athleticism, but he still did a nice job with his timing around the basket in terms of rebounding and blocking shots, as well as showing a certain soft touch that most would not expect. Besides his overall rawness, NBA teams will try to project just how much weight Jones will be able to put on his skinny frame, particularly in his lower body which is especially weak. Even though he is a young 21-year-old senior, his facial features and body look much younger than that. Jones is clearly a late bloomer, so the question is: Just how much longer will he continue to improve?

In Case You Missed It...the Top Weekly Performers, 2/13-2/20

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Feb 21, 2006, 03:47 am
Being ranked 2nd in the best conference in America in both rebounds (10.0) and blocked shots (3.1), as well as shooting 80% from the free throw line, you would think that a 6-10 and super long athletic big man like Solomon Jones would be getting plenty of hype from the national media and draft world alike. That has hardly been the case for Jones.

Part of that has to do with the fact that his South Florida team has yet to win a game in the Big East at 0-12, and the lack of positive exposure that comes along with that. Another reason would be the fact that he’s really crept up on the college basketball world, being a no-name in high school, transferring in from Daytona Beach Community College at just 195 pounds, and having a fairly pedestrian junior season averaging just 6 points and 6 rebounds in conference USA.

None of that is of any interest to the NBA scouts that have become a regular fixture at his games this year, though. After adding 35 pounds to his wiry frame (now at 230) since transferring into USF, Jones has become an extremely intriguing prospect thanks to his excellent athleticism, superb length and budding skills in all facets of the game. He’s slowly but surely making great strides from game to game, showing new things every time he steps out on the floor and most importantly looking like he still has an extremely high ceiling to continue to improve.

Jones runs the floor as well as any big man in the conference, possessing great quickness and an outstanding vertical leap which has made him one of the top 10 shotblockers in the country in this his senior year. He’s extremely active both defensively and on the glass, rotating well from the weakside and going out of his area to grab double digit rebounds every game.

His offensive game is still fairly raw, but he shows some nice sparks from time to time; putting the ball on the floor and spinning his way to the lane, knocking down mid-range jumpers as well as his free throws, and showing decent coordination catching balls in the post and going up for emphatic finishes.

He doesn’t like to use his left hand much, and his lack of strength eliminates most possibilities of a potential back to the basket game, but he wouldn’t be the first skinny 6-10 athlete to make it in the league if he continues to work hard on his all-around game. He gets outmuscled right now trying to hold his spot on the block on both ends of the floor, and really isn’t much of a factor in half-court sets beyond setting picks and sneaking up on his matchup occasionally thanks to his activity level and athleticism. Foul trouble has been one of Jones’ worst enemies throughout his career, picking up too many cheapies just by sticking his hands in all kinds of places they should not be, but to his credit he’s still found a way to average an outstanding 37 minutes per game this season in the extremely tough Big East.

All in all we are talking about a rare senior who appears to be nowhere close to reaching his full potential as a basketball player at this point in his development, and could very well hear his name called on draft night based on the upside he shows in workouts and NBA draft camps. Jones has received his invite to Portsmouth already and according to his coach at South Florida is likely to accept it and attend.

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