Mentally stronger: Darrell Jones matures over time as redshirt

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Nederland graduate and John Brown University transfer Darrell Jones said his mental approach to his game has improved quite a bit since coming to Lamar State College Port Arthur.

“I feel like I’ve gotten way better mentally,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t say I was on the edge at first; I wouldn’t say I was a hothead, either. I was coming from being a redshirt, and I didn’t have a good year my freshman year.

“That time I redshirted gave me a lot of time to think of all the things that are important to me, and not even all on the basketball side but more on a life level.

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Coach Lance Madison agrees his time as a redshirt has given Jones time to mature as a person and in basketball.

“He got into the weight room, got bigger and stronger and got another year of academics,” Madison said. “I think it’s paid off. He’s gotten maturity and he’s gotten more experience. He’s playing with a motor and he gives us a lot of energy, and he’s a good all around player, not just offensively but he’s a pretty good defender. So we like his experience and his leadership.”

In fact, Madison says it’s Jones’ “edge” that makes him the player he is.

“He’s always had an edge to him,” Madison said. “He’s always had a motor and that’s what’s helped him play hard.”

The redshirt sophomore is averaging 7.7 points per game, along with 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

He gave the Seahawks 10 points in the close 66-64 loss to Angelina College Jan. 22 with 5 rebounds and three assists. Jones’ physical strength is indeed one of his strengths when it comes to basketball, especially in the midrange, he says.

“I’m stronger than most guards, and I have a post fade-away that helps me a lot when I can shoot over people,” he said. “On the defensive side, I’m good with anticipating passes. Since I’m stronger I can guard probably from the four to the one, size can be an advantage but I feel like my mentality no matter the size of the person, I’m going to play hard regardless and I’m going to make it hard for you to score.”

Jones says confidence is something younger Seahawks should work towards to get better. Confidence was something his coach at Nederland, Brian English, and Madison emphasize.

“A lot of them, they take criticism and the first thing they do is go down, so once you get into the college process you start to realize you just need to listen and get better from it,” Jones said. “That’s the best thing you can do. Our chemistry has to get better for us to go further and further. It has to get better every single day, every single practice, every game and even when we’re not in practice.”

Jones’ attitude developed over his time as a redshirt as he dedicated himself to his sport and school.

“I realized that without school, I can’t play basketball,” he said. “School and being smarter will help me get farther in life, and the greatest people are people that never stop learning, so I want to be one of those people.”

The Seahawks travel to Baytown to play Lee College at 7 p.m. today and host Jacksonville College at 4 p.m. Saturday.