Adding an immediate impact player can be a overwhelming task for college basketball coaches. Finding a talented player with leadership skills is not a goal that most coaches accomplish.
The University of Utah added a player this week with both talent and character in combo Guard Jarred DuBois (Loyola Marymount).
At LMU, DuBois (pronounced Doo-Bwah) averaged 12 points per game for his career, and shot over 36% from 3 PT territory. DuBois will graduate from LMU this spring, he will be eligible to play in 2012 as a Senior.
Out of high school, DuBois originally signed with SMU, but when the coach that recruited him left to take another job, DuBois asked for and was granted a release from his LOI. DuBois landed at LMU, where he was one of the Lions' best players as a freshman.
The transition to college basketball was smooth. DuBois skills translated immediately, and his mind wasn't far behind either.
"My biggest transition [to the college game] was just understanding player personnel. My coaches did a very nice job in teaching me, and guiding me through and that you're going to make a lot of mistakes, but that was ok. He was a teacher. If each and every individual improves their game, that's going to make the team better."
As a freshman guard, DuBois was relied on to be a scorer. As his career progressed, DuBois became a team leader that always put teammates ahead of himself.
"I grew a lot in my decision making and my ability to run a team and get guys in the right place and motivate teammates."
In off seasons, DuBois worked out with great college players, and even some NBA players. Though DuBois doesn't try to pattern his game after one specific player, he's a student of the game that is always looking to learn from others to give himself and his team an advantage.
"I don't compare or try to pattern myself after any one player, but I do try to take a little bit and learn from each player. Even if it's Pau Gasol and his soft hands, or Kobe's desire to win, or Steve Nash's ability to pass out of the pick and roll. I try to take something from each player."
DuBois has his own style of play, and a relationship with an NBA legend has gotten the team-oriented workhorse to approach the game differently.
"The last couple of years I've built a relationship with Gary Payton, so I've taken that mentality of keeping your man from scoring by any means necessary. He's helped my growth as a player most definitely…he's been there before, and he knows what it takes. The future is bright as long as you can guard your man, and guard the ball. There's always a place for a guy that does that."
With college graduation looming, DuBois was faced with the opportunity to transfer to a different basketball program, earn a masters degree, and play without sitting out a season (as is the usual process for transferring players).
The decision to transfer was not made lightly, and throughout the interview, DuBois was eager to express gratitude and love for Loyola Marymount, his teammates and coaches. Despite transferring away from LMU, it's clear that DuBois still has the team-first mentality, and wants nothing but the best for his former teammates and University.
With the decision made, DuBois set out to find a new university that would accept him with open arms, and one that could also help DuBois accomplish his goals of playing basketball beyond the college level.
"I was looking for a place that needed veteran leadership, and a coaching staff that I felt understood the game and could prepare me for the next level. When I took my visit (to Utah), that was one of the things that impressed me most was how much knowledge the coaching staff had of the game, and how detail oriented they were."
After the visit to Utah, the positive impression the Utah basketball coaches left on DuBois seemed to grow. The situation seemed to fit perfectly for both parties. After evaluating his options, DuBois is eager to join the Utes and help them take the next step.
"First of all, [my goal] is to come in with the mindset that we have an opportunity to do something special. Nobody has seen this group of players in the past. So as an individual, I just want to come in and bring my work ethic, bring some leadership, and bring that energy and mindset that if we believe in each other, anything can happen. I feel that I'm going to bring what we called at LMU the 'champions mindset', every day, in everything that you do. I think that if I can bring that to the University of Utah, to do that in every aspect of basketball and your lives, everything we need to do with a championship mindset. I believe that if we do that, we'll win a championship when it's all said and done."
Installing a winning mentality is the first step toward restoring the Utah basketball program. DuBois brings that mindset to the Utah basketball program, along with the team-first mentality that earned him the reputation as the "heart and soul" of Loyola Marymount basketball.
Introducing Jarred DuBois
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