Jeff Jones knows that his career has been on an up-and-down path so far at Virginia. He knows about his inconsistent shooting and scoring. Jones also knows that time is flying and that his time as a Cavalier is already half over. That’s why, he says, he has plenty of motivation to have a strong junior year in orange and blue.
That’s at least an encouraging sign for coach Tony Bennett. The first-year coach believes that players like Jones and Mustapha Farrakhan among others need to make improved contributions if UVa is going to be more competitive this season.
“You certainly can see a beautiful stroke,” Bennett said when asked about Jones. “I think we’re gonna need the Jeff Jones ‘ the Mustaphas, but some guys maybe who didn’t have as prominent of a role in years past, now that they’re upperclassmen, we’re gonna need two or three of these guys to really step up for us to have a competitive team.”
That’s a challenge Jones says he is willing to take on for his junior campaign. Sabre Editor Kris Wright sat down with Jones on UVa’s media day to talk about the upcoming season, confidence, Coach Bennett and more.
KRIS: How excited is it for things to officially be getting underway vs. individual workouts and short team sessions?
Jones: I’ve been ready since the end of last season – the last game of last year, I’ve been ready since. I think I watched the season probably twice. I’ve been in the gym many hours working on my game, working on my strength, flexibility, everything. So it’s a big motivation factor for me individually and overall as a team, especially with a new coach and a new atmosphere. Everybody’s working.
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