Matt Jones: It's just a lot of new and different goals for me. I've got things I want to get better at, and it's so great to just concentrate on just playing hard and not have to worry about recruiting or pressure on what school to decide on. I feel like I can just play free and work on the goals that I have and show the coaches what I can do.
What are some of those goals?
Working on my dribble stuff, my athleticism, showing the coaches what I can do, showing that I can compete with the best athletes in the country on the court. Mostly just working on my dribbling though, become a more complete player.
It sounds like you heard the whispers that some had that you were just a shooter…
Yeah, that's something I heard since last year for sure, but I haven't heard it as much recently because I've been putting the work in and it's showing now. I'm still putting in work on my dribbling because I know I'm going to shoot well, so I always keep it in mind, I want to be a complete player, I don't want to just be a shooter.
What really motivates you to become more of a complete player?
Really it's a combination of self motivation, my family, and people like Julius. Julius just always brings out the best in you. Also, my coaches and Coach K. When I step on campus, I want to show him that I can play and that I'm a complete player and that I'm hungry, that I'm ready to win and do whatever.
You sound like you feel like you have something to prove?
Yes sir, I always have something to prove, and I'm never complacent, never satisfied, and I've always been hungry. There's always been somebody who wants to try and nitpick, so I just want to let everybody know that I'm not going to rest until people know that I'm coming hard.
What kind of influence do the Duke coaches have on you now that you're committed?
The coaches have been great. They just tell me to never be content, and to work on my ball-handling, to be more aggressive, to work on being a leader, and just always come to play. They really encourage me to be more vocal and to lift up my teammates, things like that.
What are some things that you and Coach K and the staff talk about that might surprise people Matt?
Well, I know we talk about basketball a lot, and not just Duke, but just like top players in the league that Coach K has coached like LeBron, Kobe and other NBA greats. We talk about off the court stuff like bowling too.
Bowling with K?
Oh yeah. I think he likes it a little bit, but I love bowling. If I could ever compete in the PBA, man, that'd be cool. We talk about my sister too, she made the All American game this year and how she just raised the bar for my family and for me as a player.
How competitive did it get between you and your sister?
When I was younger, she'd put it on me a little bit because she played a lot more when she was younger than what I did. Then I just got good after awhile and now that I've grown, it's a lot more competitive. And I win a lot.