USABB: One on one with Tyus Jones

Duke's incoming freshman point guard sat down with TDD at the USA Basketball camp in Colorado Springs to discuss his transition to Durham, the relationship he's built with Coach K, and the huge expectations on he and his freshman class next season.

How did the first day of camp go for you?

Tyus Jones: It went very well, very well, it was competitive and guys were playing extremely hard, so that was good to see.

You are a veteran now with USA Basketball, how does that change things for you?

It feels good, being comfortable here and being one of the older guys, I got to be a leader, both vocally and by example and make sure things are on track and we're going smoothly. Coaches have told me I'm responsible for talking and being a leader with the other guys. I'm looking at this like I have to come out to every practice and play hard and play to the best of my abilities so I can hopefully make this team.

What's it like for you having some of your future Duke teammates there alongside of you?

It's good and I'm having a lot of fun, been working out some chemistry you could say, but mostly just making sure we're all working hard. I'm rooming with Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow. It's been fun.

Who has the messiest part of the room with you and Stanley and Justise at camp?

The messy guy, the room isn't messy yet, it's still pretty clean but Stanley definitely brought the most gear to camp, his might be the hardest to contain, he's a big shoe guy.

Speaking of shoes, I saw Jahlil mention he was gonna have to send down a lot of his shoes to Duke in advance, are you doing something similar?

I will be, I think we're all pretty into sneakers, that's kinda the new era, we all gotta find our ways to get our shoes on campus.

You mentioned you were finished with high school now, correct?

Yes, and I feel...I'm just excited to be honest, it's kinda bittersweet being done with high school, but I'm also really looking forward to getting there to Duke and taking the next step and getting on campus and starting there. I'm anxious to get down there.

What kind of workouts have you been doing to prepare for Duke?

You know, just the same, I haven't tried to change up much, just trying to get stronger because the next level guys they are much stronger. I'm also trying to become more explosive and have a quicker first step. Lastly, I've been continuing to get up a lot of shots just because you can never work enough on your jumper if you want to be a better shooter.

How many shots a day are you getting up?

I would say, I don't have a number, I try to make at least 300 shots a day, that is a goal, I try to stay in the gym as much as possible.

As you get closer to being on campus, how are you feeling about getting there and playing alongside a Senior Quinn Cook?

I'm excited, there's going to be a lot I can learn from Quinn. With him being a senior like you said, a veteran guy, he's been there, done that, he's seen a lot in terms of college basketball that I haven't seen, so I'm hoping to learn from him and like you said, play alongside him, we're both excited about that.

Is that the plan from what you heard from the coaches, to you and Quinn may play a lot together once the season starts?

I don't know if they have an exact plan, but that's definitely a potential plan that could be beneficial for us.

And, speaking of plans as you head to Duke, is there any ideal situation for you in terms of your stay at the college level?

You know, you have to look at it, but you have to focus on the college season. You can't look past it, and that's really what I'm going to do now, if the time comes where I could have the opportunity to go pro, then I will sit down with my family and with the coaches. Right now my only plan is to go in, work hard, try to help the team out in any way I can.

If and when you sit down with the coaches and you are evaluating going pro, I'm sure part of the assessment is going to be comparing you to other guards coming out of college, how do you see yourself taking that assessment into account if and when you have those conversations?

You know, you gotta look at it, you know the coaches will be honest with me, they will shoot me straight, whether it's what you want to hear or not what you want to hear. To be honest, that's one of the things I love about Coach K, I trust him with everything, no matter what the situation is, I know he has my back and I think that's just another spot where I'll be able to trust him and he'll have my back. Like I said before though, I'm not looking closely at that right now, I'm looking at it like I'm going into college and I'm trying to work hard and just have a good year.


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