Scouting Dominique Jones And The Legends

It wasn't exactly how the Legends drew it up as the games this week included two losses at the hands of the Dakota Wizards (102-115 and 95-101), but let's sort through the positives, OK? And let's also delve deep inside a scouting report on Dominique Jones …

The Legends didn't react well to Antonio Daniels being out with his hand injury for the first time all year, but they better get used to it because he's not coming back anytime soon. It's a play-the-hand-you're-dealt league, and coach Nancy Lieberman acknowledged that when she admitted, "In a perfect world Antonio would get on a plane and meet us in Bismarck at, let's say 7, but it's not going to happen.''

Role experimentation served as the theme of the week as Dominique Jones received the majority of the minutes at PG for the first time.

Which brings us to the Down On The Farm Report … from Dominique Jones to the rest … Legends' player evaluations! As always, these stats are weekly averages.

Dominique Jones, G, 15

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

45

15.5

30%

82%

2-5

7.5

5.5

2.0

0.5

10

With AD out for the next month or so, headlines out of the Frisco camp centered around Dominique Jones receiving the bulk of the point guard minutes. In initial scouting reports, we can all agree that Dominique Jones can get to the basket, finish around the rim, and play strong individual defense. Since we know that, we'll just focus on his offensive game while playing the point guard position. With the small test sample of TWO games, let's break down how it went for the rookie:

Positive: When running the point, Dominique is more comfortable pushing the pace as opposed to slowing it for the half-court offense. He constantly looked to run when he got the ball after a Dakota possession and did well to either drive to the basket or find a shooter in the corner (usually Justin Dentmon or Kelvin Lewis) for 3. We can't help but think (and hope) that some of Jason Kidd's unselfishness has rubbed off of the youngster when we see him push the ball at every opportunity.

While he definitely looked more at home at a faster pace, he was not necessarily ineffective in the half court.

In the early stages of the first Dakota game, he looked a little bit passive while running the offense in the half-court by making only simple passes and not taking many risks. As the game progressed, though, he seemed to realize that he could use his biggest asset (taking the ball to the rim) in the half-court set in order to facilitate. At this point, Dominique picked his spots to beat his man and when the help defense rolled to him at the basket, he looked more to find the open man in the corner 3, which also seems to be the pet spot where Jones feels the most comfortable passing the ball when he is trying to create offensively.

Could Improve: He definitely is more likely to drive and dish rather than give an entry pass inside to a big, as the entry-pass portion of his game needs some polish. DoJo's assists and turnovers were up both this week compared to last week, which is fairly obvious due to the heavy increase in usage and minutes. The good news is that the jumps were almost proportional as his assist/turnover ratio fell at a miniscule level from 1.25/1 to 1.1/1, though there is much room for needed improvement in both of those numbers. The main negative point we came away with after watching Jones at this position is that his shooting percentage fell off dramatically from 43% to barely 30%.

It must be noted that Jones found himself forcing a few shots late in the shot clock after he had run out of options. This may be because he had too much on his plate while running the offense and trying to look for his shot, or it could just be because it is a small sample size of two games and he was just in a shooting funk.

Either way, this stat is one that needs to be monitored as the season progresses.

Initial Conclusion: Overall, it can be stated with confidence that Dominique is going to have his struggles while running the half court offense at this stage in his career, but to be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Considering that he was thrust into this role, had an incredibly high usage rate (45 minutes a game usually with the ball in his hands), and is still learning to run new plays, it seems to me that DoJo should be commended simply for not letting the wheels come completely off the offense.

That being said, Dominique looked uncomfortable at times and sometimes struggled with the decision of whether he should score or pass. He had some silly turnovers that would've made you almost change the channel in frustration had it occurred in a Mavs game, but almost any mistake he makes at this point is forgivable as long as he continues to develop.

Ideally, the potential is there for Jones to be a scoring point guard. Right now though, that's all it is… potential.

To steal a line from Fish, "Coach ‘Em Up!''

Joe Alexander, F, 23

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

41

17.0

42%

80%

0-1

9.0

2.5

0.5

2.0

4

Hurt toe or not, it's clear Joe won't let his injury eat into his minutes. Or his stats, for that matter. It seems like you can pencil Joe in for 40+ minutes, 15+ points, 10+ rebounds, and perfect hair every game. Everyone knows Joe is athletic, but he is really gaining confidence with his jumpshot, posting up of smaller players, and dishing inside to another big when he can't get to the rim. Defenders of Joe must always reckon with his quick first step to either side, as well as the hair. Killer combo.

Sean Williams, F/C, 18

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

38.0

17.7

64%

73%

0-1

12.7

0.3

0.7

2.3

9

Sean will put up monster stats every week, but they don't tell the whole story. While playing center, an advantage Sean will always have on his defender is quickness. It's good to see him recognize that as he is taking it to the basket more and more with both hands. He is also building a great rapport with Dominique Jones on pick and roll/pops. If he can keep his jumpshot consistent, then he will be an absolute matchup nightmare when he's back in the league. The only thing that can slow him down is foul trouble, which limited his minutes in the first Dakota game. The same thing can be said about local basketball savior Tyson Chandler though, so we'll allow it.

Justin Dentmon, G, 32

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

41

22.0

55%

85%

3-7

6.5

3.5

0.5

0.0

8

With AD out, Justin and DoJo received almost all of the backcourt minutes this week, which is fine by us. The Dent-MAN was just about unstoppable with 22/7/4 averages as he took advantage of his heavy usage. One thing Justin provides that isn't on the stat sheet is what we call "controlled hustle.'' He picks the perfect spots to unleash all of his energy and hustle to make things happen, yet nothing is reckless or wasteful. His big moment this week though was a bomb he unleashed from somewhere in Montana for a 4-point play against Dakota in the first game. We expect nothing less from the Dent-MAN.

Matt Rogers, F/C, 24

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

11

6.0

50%

100%

0-1

0.5

0.5

0.5

1.0

1

Matt saw his minutes come back down a little this week with the return of Joe and the increased time for Rece Hampton. Though he didn't take many shots, he had a good shooting percentage considering he takes so many from midrange for a big (sounds like a certain German/Dallas basketball player doesn't it?). Matt is looking more fluid every day, and as long as he continues to mix in his improved low-post moves with his midrange game, he will be such a valuable mismatch.

Booker Woodfox, G, 11

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

23

11.0

41%

100%

2-9

1.0

0.5

0.5

0.0

6

Mr. Cool Name had a good shooting week, except for the spot from where he is most effective, 3-point land. It was very obvious this week that Booker made a concerted effort to drive to the basket rather than wait for his shot. It really was an aggression we had not yet seen from him and we hope it stays because it fit him well. The respect teams give him for his shot will definitely open options for him on the drive. Note this though, as is the case with great shooters like Ray Allen and Dirk Nowitzki, we really could sit and watch the guy shoot all day. Note it!

Rece Hampton, F, 41

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

25

1.0

17%

0%

0-2

5.0

1.0

0.5

1.0

1

It appears "Hardhat" Hampton has taken control of a starting spot on this team and more power to him. Every successful team has a guy on it that does what Rece does. He creates opportunities for the team and himself with hard work. He had some good battles this week with Grizzlies forward DeMarre Carroll where he blocked him on one end, then took a charge from him on the next play after a Legends turnover. Not a great shooting week for him, but if he knocks you down, you stay down. And you feel it the next day.

Kelvin Lewis, G, 22

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

18

6.5

33%

50%

3-6

1.0

0.0

1.0

0.0

2

Kelvin spent the week developing a great playing relationship with new PG Dominique Jones. We mentioned earlier that DoJo loves looking to dish to the corner on a drive. Well, Kelvin seemed like he was always on the other end of that pass, and it always seemed like he made the defense pay. Along with Booker, we also noticed that Lewis was imposing his will on the game a little more by taking the ball to the basket. Though he may not get as many minutes as he deserves, it is rare to see Kelvin make a mistake or be in the wrong place. He's always in the right place at the right time, and it's not by accident.

Moussa Seck, C, 99

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

5.0

1.0

100%

N/A

0-0

1.0

0.0

0.0

0.5

1

The Moose! Big Moose had some productive, although short-term, minutes this week. The main thing we can say for Moussa is that there was a noticeable pep in his step while he was on the court. He sprinted up and down the court every play, and his effort to gain position in the paint was the best we have seen from him. Most importantly, the best moment of every game is hearing the announcer's reaction to gigantic Moussa entering the game. Seriously, someone needs to make a collection of every announcer response. Classic.

This week's MVP: This week it was a landslide vote of 1-0 in favor of Justin Dentmon taking the trophy.

The Dent-MAN had all the numbers, shot impeccably, and unleashed his "controlled hustle" on every Dakota Wizard in sight. No spell-castin' up in here!! Congrats Justin and here's to hoping for better results next week, but more importantly a Happy Holidays to everyone.

Go Legends and Go Mavs!

Upcoming Texas Legends Games (Home Games in Bold):

Sunday, Dec 26 @ Rio Grande Valley Vipers – 3:00 pm CT

Monday, Dec 27 vs. Rio Grande Valley Vipers – 7:00 pm CT


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