Duke Basketball: Tyus Jones puts rest of NBA to shame in key metrics

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

After dishing out a career-high 13 assists on New Year’s Eve — without committing a single turnover — the floor general who efficiently led the Duke basketball program to its fifth title in 2015 increased his lead over the rest of the NBA across three efficiency metrics.

In terms of assist-to-turnover and steal-to-turnover ratios, no NBA player in history has ever finished a season with better marks in both than former Duke basketball player Tyus Jones is on pace to finish with this season.

After drawing his second consecutive start — his fifth of the season — on Monday night due to Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague being out indefinitely with ankle injuries, the 6-foot-2 point guard responded with 15 points, 13 assists, one steal, zero turnovers, and zero fouls during his Minnesota Timberwolves’ 123-114 road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

The previous night, a 113-104 road win over the Miami Heat, Jones finished with 12 points, five assists, five steals, one turnover, and zero fouls.

The following is a breakdown of some of the statistical feats this season that indicate the Apple Valley, Minn., native is a hidden treasure in what would be his rookie season had Duke basketball fans been lucky enough to see him stick around for four seasons in Durham:

  • He now has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 6.8; the next-highest mark is 5.7 from the Denver Nuggets’ Monte Morris, and only two others are above 4.0.
  • He now has a steal-to-turnover ratio of 2.4; the next-highest mark of any player who is averaging at least a steal per game is 2.1 from the Washington Wizards’ Sam Dekker, and no one else is above 2.0.
  • He now has a steal-to-foul ratio of 1.4; the next-highest mark is 1.2 from the Philadelphia 76ers’ Jimmy Butler, and no other player is above 1.0.
  • He now ranks fifth in the league with 3.1 steals per 48 minutes; to put into perspective his ball-hawking prowess, others who are averaging 1.3 takeaways per game are the Milwaukee Bucks’

    Giannis Antetokounmpo

    , the Charlotte Hornets’

    Kemba Walker

    , and the Los Angeles Lakers’

    LeBron James

    , all of whom average nearly double the minutes of Jones.

    More from Ball Durham

    All of the above stats suggest the number of minutes Jones plays (currently 19.8 per game) should increase. And if the Timberwolves can’t find enough minutes for him after Rose and Teague return, they should consider finding a team that can before the Feb. 7 trade deadline.

    The above numbers also suggest that Jones is drawing inspiration from his younger brother, Tre, who has been catching the attention of scouts as the freshman point guard of the No. 1 Duke basketball team this season by putting up impressive efficiency stats of his own.

    ALSO READ: NBA’s 2019 resolutions don’t include ignoring Tre Jones

    And the Jones brothers’ combined stats as 2019 begins suggest that both could be starting for an NBA team by the early 2020s while putting on a clinic for the rest of the league with the following title:

    Mastering Efficient Play as a Point Guard.

    Tyus and the 17-20 Timberwolves are set to play on the road against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday at 8 p.m. (on ESPN). Tre and the 11-1 Blue Devils are set to play at home against the Clemson Tigers on Saturday at 8 p.m. (also on ESPN).

    Related Story. Top five point guards of the Coach K era. light

    Stay tuned to Ball Durham all season long for more updates of highlight performances by former Blue Devils in the NBA.