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IOWA HAWKEYES PLAYER PREVIEWS: DALE JONES

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Iowa hit the JUCO ranks for a possible Aaron White replacement. Can Dale Jones be that guy?

Dale Jones

Bio: Jr. 6-7, 220 lbs. (Waterloo, IA)
Last season: JUCO (Caring is Creepy)

What we saw last season: Dale Jones spent last year at Tyler Community College in Texas lighting it up in Division I of the NJCAA. He helped Tyler to a Region XIV Championship, a win in the NJCAA National Tournament, and a 25-9 overall record.

For a forward, Jones had a really great year shooting the ball from distance and from the line. He made 45.4% of his threes and 83.9% of his free throws averaging 16.9 points per game. He also added 8.3 reounds per game.

What we need to see this season: Fran McCaffery looked to the JUCO ranks to find an Aaron White replacement... someone who could play in the post, but also shoot the ball from range, and grab boards. Those are pretty big shoes to fill. What we really need though, is for Jones to just fill those shoes part of the way. Jarrod Uthoff should continue to grow and will take over some of what White brought. And it's Dom Uhl's time to step up, too. So Jones needs to be able to provide minutes at forward to spell those guys.

Best case scenario: It's going to be really hard to replace White's knack for making plays in transition, difficult for Jones will be to replace White's ability to make really smart plays on D and almost impossible to replace White's production on the free throw line. So best case for Jones is that he does all of those thing good enough. Jones can have a good year on offense if he can stretch the D and score inside and out, and then can find ways to get to the line, where he shoots really well. Playing defense is going to be his key to seeing lots of minutes. If he turns into a serviceable defender, he could see Gabe Olaseni-type minutes, score 10ish points per game, average a handful of rebounds and become a real threat with the versatility he brings.

Most likely scenario: Uthoff isn't going to be on the bench very much this year. He averaged over 30 minutes per game last year and I expect that to go up. So, if Jones is mostly Uthoff's backup (which isn't even a guarentee as he'll probably have to battle Ahmad Wagner for time), then he'll probably get 8-10 minutes per game, kind of like Uhl last year. With his ability to shoot, he'll make a handful of 3s every few game and might go off once or twice this year. On the normal night, though, I see something like 8 minutes, 4 points and 2 boards.

One request: Iowa is going to have size and versatility in its front court. While they won't have a replacement for Aaron White, Fran needs to piece together a Frankenforward monster with Jones as a piece. If he doesn't quite get there on defense, then still find a way to get him in situations on offense where he can score.