Michigan Wolverines basketball awaits two-player decisions – inbound transfer point guard DeVante ‘Jones and first year center Hunter Dickinson. The former received Sun Belt Player of the Year honors at Coastal Carolina last season, while the latter is the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a second All-American team.
Both entered their names in the NBA Draft, but both are guided by NCAA-certified agents and have made it clear that the pre-draft process is exploratory. They each have until July 7 to remove their name from the draft and remain eligible for the 2021-22 varsity season.
Yet, for now, they are chasing their NBA dreams.
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Jones, who averaged 19.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.8 steals last season, trained in Dallas with other draft prospects and added more to his game during the process.
“I’ve been in Dallas for about a month now and it’s crazy how much I’ve seen my game change,” Jones told The Rookie Wire.
“Starting with my body, it definitely changed a lot. I’m a lot faster, I have a better pace and I understand how to attack from different angles.
“My flow of the game became really good. My three point shooting is much smoother. A lot of scouts questioned my shooting. They wanted to see it become smoother and they wanted to see my body change, so these are the two things I’ve really come a long way on. “
Jones, who was invited to the G League Elite Camp, a three-day event that gives NBA Draft prospects the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of scouts, coaches and front-office executives of the NBA and NBA G League, is looking forward to the opportunity to train with other prospects in front of NBA clubs.
“In June, I’ll have a chip on my shoulder for these workouts,” he said. “Hope they put me in a training session with some guys from the first round so I can prove to the scouts and the teams that no matter what school you come from they can’t save you. when we’re together on the pitch. I’m just going to prove that I’m a better player all the time. “
Once he’s laid out everything this month and got all the feedback, he’ll have a final decision to make as to whether or not he wants to stay on the project. At the moment, he doesn’t appear on simulation projects, but hopes to make it into the top 60.
“I know a team can’t promise anything, but if a team can promise me that they’ll take me as collateral or whatever, that would probably be the deciding factor,” he said. “I still have a year left, so there’s no need to roll the dice on something when I know I can go back to school and increase my stock higher than it is.
“Basically, if a team can guarantee me a spot right now, there would probably be a good chance I would take it, but if not, I would happily go to Michigan and have a great title race and improve my stock.”
While Jones didn’t see his name appear on the 2021 drafts, but he was projected by Jonathan Givony from ESPN as a second round pick in next summerThe NBA Draft is 50th among the Indiana Pacers.
“When I first saw it, I took a screenshot of it and saved it to my phone,” Jones said. “If Michigan was the route, I would just keep it in my phone and use it as an incentive.
“I look at all the guards who ranked above me and whenever I get the chance to play them I want to kill them. It’s not just me who’s going to score 30 points, I want them. kill mentally and physically as a team thing to do whatever i need to do to get this victory.
“I feel like people have their opinions. I’m glad they did that. I’m going to use it as more motivation. I feel like I have enough already, but it doesn’t. only added more fuel to the fire.
“I’m glad they did what they did. I like to prove people wrong. I’ve been doing it all my life. It hasn’t deterred me. I just use it as motivation. knowing that if i end up going to michigan i feel like [getting drafted in the second round] would not be the result. “
That’s why Jones chose to move to a bigger school at a higher level, he said, knowing it would help him achieve his ultimate goal. The Hunting Championships meanwhile, however, aren’t a bad consolation if he joins the Wolverines.
“I’m not saying I can’t go to the championship now, but deciding Michigan, I felt like it was going to help me build a lot of buzz,” Jones said. “That was really the reason.
“Michigan is a great place. [Head coach] Juwan howard is a great guy. [Assistant] Howard eisley, [associate head] coach Phil [Martelli] and coach Saddi [Washington], that the coaching staff, in general, is really family oriented. They showed me a lot of love. Plus, Ann Arbor’s fan base has shown a tremendous amount of love.
“If I came back to school I would like to go to a place where the coaching is amazing, the fan base is exceptional and the team is easy going. They are as hungry as I am.”
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