Roosevelt Jones’ ‘old-school game’ perfect for a Butler guy

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Roosevelt Jones knew he was ideal for the “Butler Way” before the “Butler Way” became a thing at the 2010 Final Four. It shows in his game, too.

The 6-4, 222-pound freshman guard focuses on defense, crashes the boards and is usually more focused on ensuring his teammates are involved, rather than focus on trying to score himself. As Bulldogs coach Brad Stevens told David Woods of the Indianapolis Star, Jones’ style resembles that of a guy like Anthony Mason, a beefy, undersized power forward who was a bit of a throwback.

“That’s what everybody’s been telling me my whole life,” Jones told Woods. “They say I got kind of an old-school game.”

If Jones only shot 3s, he’d be the perfect Butler player. But the Bulldogs will settle for his all-around game, thanks.

Small wonder why Stevens made Jones a starter in early December. He’ll almost certainly stay one the rest of his Butler career, doing all the dirty work so guys like Kellen Dunham and Rotnei Clarke (sharpshooters who will be mainstays next season) can have open shots on the perimeter.

The ideal comparison is to a guy like Willie Veasley, a 6-3, 204-pound guard who was a defensive terror on the Bulldogs’ 2010 Final Four team. Veasley usually took the opponent’s top scorer during that magical March and took them out of the game, ensuring guys like Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack had plenty of room to work on offense.

If Butler (12-9) manages to get hot and make a late-season run and somehow sneaks into this year’s NCAA tournament – winning at Milwaukee tonight would be a huge help – I’m certain Jones won’t be the one scoring all the point or be in the spotlight.

But he’ll almost certainly be foundation for it.

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