For the second time in the last four years, Duke’s recruiting class is going to be headlined by a Jones.
On Sunday, Tre Jones, the younger brother of Tyus Jones and a top ten prospect in the Class of 2018, announced that he has committed to play his college ball for the Blue Devils. He is their first commitment in the class, and he may not be their last point guard commitment, either. Duke is also targeting Darius Garland, another five-star point guard.
While Tre and Tyus come from the same bloodline and play the same position, they are total opposites in the way that they attack the point guard spot. Tyus was more cerebral, a floor general that read the game, set up his teammates and embodied the “pure point guard” ideal that we talk so wistfully about.
Tre, on the other hand, is more dynamic and demonstrative, both in personality and the style that he plays. He a little bigger, longer and more athletic than Tyus was, and while he’s not yet on the same level as a shooter, he is an elite on-ball defender and a player that thrives in transition and when he’s allowed to attack the rim. There are people that believe that he is a better prospect that Tyus, that he has a higher ceiling.
But that’s not the biggest question surrounding his decision to head to Duke.
How will Tre handle following the path his brother blazed? What will the pressure be like heading to the same school where your brother won a national title and the NCAA tournament MOP?
To date, it has not bothered Tre. I wrote a long feature on the dynamic between the Jones brothers — they have an older brother named Jadee who is their trainer — and the topic of following in Tyus’ footsteps is something that they discuss often.
“We don’t feel like there is any pressure to outperform or live up to anything. It’s something we talk about quite a bit,” Jadee told me.
Part of the reason may be that Tre has surpassed just about every standard that Tyus set. He, too, played varsity in eighth grade. He’s also won a state title at Apple Valley High School; two, to be exact, one more than Tyus and one of which came after current Duke player Gary Trent Jr. left the program.
Tre has left his own legacy.
And he’ll look to do the same at Duke.
As I wrote last week, “maybe, one day, Tyus will be known as Tre’s older brother.”