If you look at the past season Mason Jones had he’s a top five pick. But whether it’s do to defensive issues, fundamental issues, athletic ability or skill his grade doesn’t mirror his stats. The main reason why Jones could succeed at the next level is his ability to draw fouls at an absurd clip. He posted a .688 free throw rate (which is ridiculous) and got fouled in a multitude of ways. He drew fouls on the gather, at the rim, at point of attack, downhill or on a jump shot attempt. He tends to initiate the contact and force the defender into a difficult situation. If he can translate even just a fraction of his ability to draw fouls at the next level than that alone is pro worthy. But he also takes and makes a lot of tough shots.
He almost seems better taking guarded shots rather than open shots sporting a 1.21 points per possession on guarded catch-and-shoot opportunities and a .643 points per possession on open catch-and-shoot takes. His tough shot making ability and overall shooting portfolio raises his floor at the next level. With all that said though he doesn’t have the greatest of first steps. He doesn’t have the greatest control on his handle or many dribble drive counters. His gathering ability is pretty predictable for a guy who gets fouled a lot. He doesn’t have the greatest of instincts but can still take advantage of his shot making ability and leverage that into play making. His weak off ball ability caps off another reason why his stats don’t mirror his grade.
To keep it simple for Jones: he plays the game too upright. He started his basketball career late in high school so maybe he’s a ‘late bloomer’ but as of now his defensive fundamentals are worrisome at the next level. His defensive creation and help defense are the main reasons why his grade isn’t drastically lower. He can wall off drives from low man position, tag the roll man, return home and pick up off-ball rotations. But we’re still talking slightly above average. With no center of gravity his on-ball defense is too hunched over with his chest in front of his toes. His strength is the biggest reason why he didn’t grade way lower on-ball either. His strength does help with body resistance and rerouting drives. Being disengaged at times doesn’t help either. His effort needs to be on point 100% next level.