Let’s just get this fact out of the way first. Forward Perry Jones III has been lauded as one of the top players in the country and a possible candidate for Player of the Year, already earning himself Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year honors.
Jones was subject to a questionable five-game suspension by the NCAA for the beginning of the 2011 season and has only played six games since his reinstatement. Yet, he is the player for Baylor when it comes to basketball and he has already made his presence known in the few games he has played this year.
In six games, Jones is averaging a whopping 63.3 field goal percentage and a 66.7 three-point percentage. In addition, he put up the biggest game of his career against a very tough BYU opponent, scoring 28 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.
To top off that remarkable showing, Jones went down late in the second half with what Baylor fans and Jones feared as a season-ending injury only to walk back onto the court, knowing his leadership was essential, and help to seal the win for Baylor.
All too often the players that are built up in the preseason’s media hype do not show up for their team in the regular season. Jones, at this pace, will not be one of the players remembered for such disappointment—but rather, for leading his team deep in the NCAA Tournament.