Bobby Jones is a defensive stopper in the truest sense. He has great size and quickness and moves his feet intelligently, always staying in front of his man and taking great pride in harassing whoever he is guarding. He is a versatile defender as well; being used in college to defend any position on the court 1-5. Jones does a good job with post defense and he can defend shorter players on the perimeter as well. He is exceptional at sliding his feet from side to side, knowing when to extend or advance his on the ball defensive position and having the instincts to retreat backwards while staying in his defensive stance and keeping his technique.
He is not incredibly thick or bulky as a player physically but is a very good athlete overall. He runs the court well, can slash to the hoop, finish in traffic and make some agile plays while in the air. He is a quick leaper as well that can get off the ground in a hurry. Jones has a very good wingspan and uses it on defense to get into the passing lanes and pick up steals.
Jones is mostly a role player and doesnt seem to have a problem with that. Offensively he is a decent slasher, being able to take a few short dribbles with his right hand to get to the hoop. Jones moves well without the ball, cutting to the basket and looking for opportunities to come up with cheap baskets in the paint. Once at the rim, he has the length and athleticism to finish well at the hoop.
Most of his scoring opportunities on offense will come in the form of put backs off offensive rebounds or layups created by teammates. Jones anticipates well and uses his quick leaping ability on the glass to get the ball at its highest point. For a SG or SF he is an above average rebounder, and can also use his length and quickness to get loose balls on defense and offense.
Bobby Jones is not going to be a star at the next level, instead he is your consummate role player who could be a true defensive stopper in the NBA under the right coach. The special thing about Jones is the defensive versatility he has shown in college, being asked to guard all positions on the floor. If asked to switch on a screen in the NBA this will come in very handy as he is used to defending all kinds of
offensive players, which will increase his value at the next level. He is a smart defender, and he just understands that part of the game.
It would have been very easy for Jones, a starter for years at Washington to demand more shots and more of a role on offense. He did not do that though, he just did what was asked of and in many ways relished and grew into that role. If asked to set screens he did that, if asked to defend a bigger, larger player than him in the post he did that, if asked to guard a quick athletic scoring guard he did that as well.
In terms of intangibles, Jones is about as solid as they come. His coaches rave about his work ethic and attitude off the court, and hes known as a quiet hard-working type off the court as well.
The biggest concern about Jones is whether he is going to be an offensive liability at the next level.
For a player that is going to be a SG/SF in the NBA, he does not handle the basketball very well, particularly with his left hand. He is effective when he can take one or two steps and go to the hoop; however he has shown problems effectively handling the ball for longer periods of time than that. That will hurt him because he has the athletic ability to finish strong at the hoop and still does at times, but it makes him less of an offensive weapon because he cannot attack off the dribble as effectively as most guards or wings.
To truly develop into the type of role player that can be valuable to an NBA team, Jones must continue to hone his perimeter shooting. He has shown the ability to knock down 3-pointers over his career at Washington, but has been very streaky and hasnt always had to green light from his coaching staff to take these types of shots. He has range on his jumper, but his mechanics are the main thing holding him back, releasing the ball from too far in front of his body in a way that does not allow him to get a consistent release point on his shot. Jones can knock down 3s with his feet set, but when pressured he struggles to get it off. Jones will not be a great three-point shooter at the next level, but for the defense to respect him he will have to improve that part of his game a great deal
With his lack of consistent slashing and perimeter shooting skills, Jones is a fairly limited player who needs offense created for him by teammates. Its not so much strictly a lack of ability that is the sole concern with Jones, but also a tendency to be extremely passive on the court and pass up wide open shots on the offensive end. Jones dispelled these concerns a bit with the way he performed at Portsmouth, but the tapes from his senior year show otherwise.
Ideally, Jones would have an offensive game equal to the greatness of his defensive game, but he does not. However in the NBA defensive players can usually stay on the court longer than just pure offensive players can because they are not a liability on defense. With that being the case if he shows any glimpse of an offensive game be it short put backs off offensive rebounds or just simply hitting the open jump shot, he should be able to find a way to stay on the floor.
Statistics really dont do Jones credit because statistics do not numerically chart the impact a defensive player can make on the game outside of steals, rebounds and blocks, which he refuses to gamble for just to pad his numbers. Where Jones is a standout is his defensive foot speed and technique on the defensive end. He has put up some solid games in a solid Pac-10 conference however. No matter if he is matched up against a guard or a post player, he will always do a very solid job on the defensive end.
Jones likely has the athletic ability and the defensive ability to stick in the NBA until he develops the rest of his game. His overall weaknesses in ball handling and shooting will limit what he can
do at the next level, however, a defender is a defender and at his size with his athletic skills, he can play at the next level and be a great defensive stopper.
If he shoots the three like he did as a sophomore or senior he will be in trouble, but since he has proven he can play guard and is not considered just a skinny post player he is currently is a solid 2nd round pick potentially.
What greatly helped his stock beyond his showing at Portsmouth was his performance against Dee Brown and James Augustine in the NCAA tournament. This was a great showcase of how he can change a game with his on the ball and post defense.