Teven Jones: Bigger than the box score

The line score isn’t what you’d call impressive: nine minutes, one point, one assist, one turnover. But Teven Jones might have been UVa.’s MVP in its 59-56 loss to #14 VCU Tuesday night.

teven jonesJones (Fishburne Military School ’12) entered the game with seven minutes left in the first half, and the Cavs trailing 21-14. The Rams were getting into the lane with ease, with guards Rob Brandenberg and Briante Weber getting to the rim for layups, kickouts to Treveon Graham and dishes to cutting post players.

That stopped with Jones doing his best impression of Tenacious D. Jones kept the ball out of the lane, kept the Rams out of their offensive sets, and sparked a half-ending 12-3 surge that sent UVa. into the locker room up 26-24.

Jones only saw two more minutes of action the rest of the way. VCU shot 48.8 percent from the field in the second half and scored 35 points en route to posting the 59-56 win.


“My role on this team is the be the best defender I can be, a lock-down defender, to bring energy to the team and knock down open shots when they come to me,” Jones said after the game.

Jones only took one shot from the field Tuesday night, and made one of two free throws. But he’s a difference-maker on defense, as was obvious in limited action.

The question begs: Would the result against VCU have been different with more Tenacious D from Jones?

“The coaches have been talking to me about being more aggressive on offense, so I’ll be more aggressive on offense. But primarily, my role is to look for my teammates, help them get good shots, and bring energy,” Jones said.

Some of that energy on defense in the second half could have been a game-changer.

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Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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