Duke basketball: Tre Jones apologizes to Blue Devil fans

Duke basketball point guard Tre Jones (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball point guard Tre Jones (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball alum Tre Jones looks like an early leader for G League MVP.

It’s possible that Tre Jones did hold back his athleticism as a two-year starting floor general in Durham. Although he laced ’em up alongside epic Duke basketball rim-rockers in Zion Williamson and Cassius Stanley, he wasn’t exactly a high-flyer himself in college.

But outside of his lack of dunks, any limitations Jones may have put in place certainly neither showed nor diminished his production.

Rather, the former five-star out of Minnesota was a brilliant on-court conductor in 2018-19 for Zion & Friends, despite falling a possession short of the Final Four. Of course, Jones was also sensational in becoming the ACC Player and Defensive Player of the Year for his sophomore performances, which included an all-time magical moment in the Duke-UNC rivalry.

Still, after the Duke basketball program’s official Twitter account tweeted the highlight of his emphatic fastbreak dunk from Saturday’s G League action, Jones felt the need to apologize to his Blue Devil fanbase anyway:

Naturally, the Duke basketball social media team was quick to respond back to Jones with nothing but love and a special appreciation for his memorable Dean Dome delight:

Plus, let’s not forget the countless steals and sharp passes by Jones in transition, with several being of the alley-oop variety, that led to the seemingly nightly Blue Devil appearances on SportsCenter.

No worries, indeed.

How three Duke basketball products are faring in the G League

Duke basketball center Vernon Carey Jr., point guard Tre Jones, and shooting guard Cassius Stanley went No. 32, No. 41, and No. 54, respectively, at the 2020 NBA Draft to the Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, and Indiana Pacers. All three then primarily saw mop-up roles for their respective pro franchises before G League play began last week in the Orlando bubble.

Now, Carey and Jones are among the G League statistical leaders.

Carey, playing for the Greensboro Swarm (0-2), sits No. 4 in points with 25.5 per game and No. 9 in rebounds with 12.0 per game. He’s doing so in only 30.4 minutes per game and while shooting 56.1 percent from the field.

Jones, playing for the Austin Spurs (3-0), ranks No. 9 in points with 21.3 per game and No. 1 in assists — by a long shot — with 11.3 per game after finishing with 30 points and 11 dimes in Saturday’s 115-108 win over the Erie BayHawks. Meanwhile, he’s averaging 2.3 steals and only 2.0 turnovers.

As for Stanley, he’s averaging 16.0 points for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (1-2). However, he’s shooting only 37.1 percent overall and 22.2 percent from beyond the arc while turning the ball over 2.5 times per game.

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