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Penn State Basketball Player Previews: Curtis Jones

Penn State’s newest addition brings some much-needed bench help.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Combo Guard

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 185 lbs

Curtis Jones comes to Penn State as a graduate transfer who has made two prior stops. The first of which came at Indiana after a highly touted high school career landed him as a top-100 prospect. After two relatively quiet seasons with the Hoosiers, Jones transferred to Oklahoma State where he averaged 8.1 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist a year ago in 24 minutes per game.

What He Did Last Year

Jones was a heavy contributor for the Cowboys last year. He didn’t start, but was often the first player off the bench and played what essentially amounted to starters minutes. He played both point and shooting guard and was decent from beyond the arc, shooting 32.5 percent on 5.1 attempts per game. Mostly, he brought energy and defense, two things he’ll need to bring this year if he wants to get into rotation this year.

What We Need This Year

With the departure of Rasir Bolton, the Nittany Lions will likely need Jones to log heavy minutes again this year off the bench. The hope is that he can improve on his shooting from deep last year and become somewhat of a microwave scorer for a Nittany Lions team that badly needs a bench scorer.

As Ross pointed out in yesterday’s Patrick Kelly preview, Penn State will need 3-point shooting from any and everywhere, as has been the case for most of the Pat Chambers tenure. If Jones can come in and hit a couple 3-pointers a game at around a 40 percent clip it would be a massive, massive help.

Additionally, Jones’ on-ball defense can be a huge asset for the second unit. Penn State’s identity this year will once again be focused on the defensive end. This time, the Nittany Lions will hope to actually back up that identity with their play and Jones’ length and quickness will be an important part of doing so.