Tre Jones deserves this three-part summation of his Duke basketball legacy.
I got to be honest: Tre Jones was one of my favorite players to ever put on the Duke basketball jersey. Jones came back after his freshman season to try and replicate the same success that his brother Tyus had back in 2015. Unfortunately, some very unprecedented circumstances prevented Tre from even having a chance at pursuing a national championship.
There have been bigger and more athletic players to come through the program, yet few were as successful as Tre Jones. He truly had the heart of a lion and an unwavering will to win. There was never any fear in Jones; he just attacked everyone in his way and always made winning his No. 1 priority. Despite never bringing a title back to Durham, Jones was able to do as much, if not more, in two years than most guys do in four.
Jones had a great freshman year playing alongside a class that included three top 10 draft picks in Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish. He was the least heralded of the four but quickly became the most indispensable player. Mike Krzyzewski even referred to his floor general as “the straw that stirs the drink.” Despite struggling with this outside shot, he made the offense click with his leadership, unselfish play, and ability to force turnovers.
Now, let’s take a deeper dive into the freshman version of Jones and then examine his sophomore campaign. After that, I’ll sum up what made the Minnesota native a bonafide Duke basketball treasure…