A Closer Look: Shawn Jones
One-on-One with the Blue Raider Big ManFebruary 4, 2014 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - With Conference USA play in full swing, senior forward Shawn Jones of the Middle Tennessee men's basketball team sat down to chat about the team's first conference road win, his career as a Blue Raider and his close family ties.
FIRST C-USA ROAD WIN...
The team lost on the road at Tulsa then turned around and beat North Texas two days later. Did you feel a sense of relief after picking up the team's first Conference USA road win?
"Yeah, I feel like the first conference road win is always going to be the toughest. Us losing to Tulsa really made the team come together and get more focused, realizing that it's going to take a lot of hard work for us to get wins on the road."
In the North Texas game after going down early, it seemed like the team started to get some momentum toward the end of the first half, which carried over into the second half. What did Coach Davis say in the locker room at halftime to help the team carry that momentum over into the second half?
"Basically he just told us that in the last five minutes of the first half, we defended well and were rebounding the ball. He told us that in the second half, if we wanted to get out of there with a win we had to continue to pick up our play on defense and rebound."
Tavarres Jefferson was added to the team mid-season. How has that transition been?
"Some of the guys who have been here for a while, we were used to it because he played two years ago so I was used to it. Him coming to the team really adds another point guard to sub because I know Tweety (Knight) gets tired playing all the minutes. Tavarres has quick feet so he can defend too and plus he's an incredible passer.
He does seem to make some great no-look passes....
"Yeah, that's why when I get in the game with him, I just make sure I stare at him because there's no telling when he's going to pass the ball."
You're 30 points away from reaching the 1,000-point mark in your career. Is scoring 1,000 points important to you or do you ever even look at your career stats?
"No, I didn't know that, but that was one of my goals when I committed to coming here was to score 1,000 points."
You have 550 career rebounds, so if you reach the 1,000-point mark you'll be the 15th player in program history to have 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. What does that mean to you? Do you take pride in something like that?
"Yeah, that's something that I would be very proud of myself for. That's something I would be remembered for in the school's history as being part of the 15 people to do that."
You come across as one of the quieter guys on the team. Do you feel like that's true?
"Well I don't really like to talk unless I'm spoken to, but when I'm around some of my teammates they'd tell you that I'm basically the person that talks too much because they'll tell me to be quiet and stuff like that."
Do you see yourself as a quiet leader on the team?
"That's how I like to portray myself, as a quiet leader. I like to lead by action because I wasn't really a talker in high school either, so I always lead by actions and hope people follow me."
Being from south Florida and it being your senior season, does your family make it up here for games often?
"Well they're coming to Senior Night March 1, but they haven't been able to make it up much. They will be at the Florida games against FIU and FAU so I'm looking forward to that."
Your family always makes comments on the team's Facebook page anytime a photo of you is posted, saying they're so proud of you. Do you see that and if so what kind of motivation does that give you?
"Yeah, I always see it. It's really motivating because not too many people from where I'm from are doing positive stuff so knowing that my family is really proud of me really touches my heart. It makes me go out there and play harder knowing that I'm putting a smile on their faces."
Do you feel any added pressure as a senior to go out there and step up to make big plays?
"Well it's not really added pressure. I just know I've got to come out and bring my A-game every day. If I do that, it will give my team the best chance to win."
You're a senior and have played all four years here; what do you want to be known for? What do you want your legacy at Middle Tennessee to be?
"I just want to be remembered as a winner. I know people will probably remember me for some of the amazing plays I made, dunking and things like that. But I just want to be remembered as a winner."
What are you going to miss the most about being a Blue Raider?
"I'd probably have to say the family we have here. I came from a single-parent household with just my mother, I really didn't have a family and these guys are who I look to as my family, as my brothers."
What are you most looking forward to post-graduation?
"Hopefully, getting the chance to continue playing basketball, professionally."
AND JUST FOR FUN...
What does it feel like to dunk?
"Oh it feels amazing, especially when you know you had a good dunk and the crowd goes wild. There's nothing else like that. I would say that's my favorite thing about playing."
What's your favorite kind of dunk situation? Powering up from down low, breakaway or alley-oops?
"I would probably say the alley-oop is more exciting for me because you know it's coming."
What's your favorite childhood show?
"I'd probably say Tom and Jerry."
Do you have a basketball role model?
"Yes, Amare Stoudemire. I look up to him because he's from Florida and we play the same position."
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More Men's Basketball NewsMar 11, 2014: Knight tabbed C-USA All-Defensive Team
Mar 10, 2014: Jones named C-USA First Team
Mar 7, 2014: Jones snags final C-USA Player of the Week honor
Mar 6, 2014: MT wins share of regular season C-USA title with win at UAB
Mar 5, 2014: MT seeks regular season title at UAB Thursday
Mar 1, 2014: Raiders down Owls on Blue Pride Saturday, 65-41