HAMPTON, Va. – Tre Jones can’t hold back the slight snicker.
No, he’s not offended or even tired of the redundancy, but he knew it wouldn’t take long to be posed with the comparison question to his older brother, Tyus, the star point guard who led Duke to its fifth national title in 2015 and now runs the controls for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“That’s always one of the first questions reporters ask,” Jones said. “I get it, we’re both the same size, we play the same position and we look alike. It’s cool though, my brother is a great player so I’m honored to be compared to him.”
Still, while Tre has readily accepted that he’ll “probably never” escape the correlation, Tyus’ resume makes the comparison almost unfair … except in one category: Rebounding.
“I definitely take pride in getting boards,” Tre said. “It’s all off of instincts. I like to play fast and I feel like if I get the rebound we can start the break right away.”
Jones managed six rebounds, scored 12 points and handed out eight assists in the Howard Pulley Panthers (Minn.) 65-62 loss to Albany City Rocks on opening night of the Nike EYBL Friday at the Boo Williams Sportsplex.
Jones isn’t “a good rebounder for a guard,” he’d be a good rebounder for a big man.
This past season at Apple Valley (Minn.), Jones averaged 11 rebounds a game to go along with 23 points, 7.4 assists and 3.6 steals.
He had 18 rebounds in the Eagles’ state title win over Champlin Park (Champlin, Minn.) last month, his second title in three years.
Jones also managed six triple-doubles this season.
What’s Jones’ secret to snagging rebounds like a seasoned 7-foot center?
“From where I am on the perimeter I can see where the ball is coming off,” Jones said. “I usually attack the backside on the rebounds because the ball typically comes off there. My dad taught me that ever since I was younger.He said around 70 percent of rebounds are right there in that area.”
Still, Jones contends that, when it comes to hitting the glass, no sightline or percentage game trumps sheer effort.
“You just have to try harder than the next guy,” Jones said. “You’ve got to want it more. That’s what helps me. When I lock in, no one wants it more than me.”
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