When Mason Jones hit Fayetteville a couple of years ago it didn’t take long to get the story about him being a chubby kid who went to a junior college and re-made himself in a lot of ways.
Aside from losing over 50 pounds, he also turned into a heckuva player and he told Tommy Craft and Tye Richardson on The Morning Rush on ESPN Arkansas on Thursday what he wants Razorback fans to remember.
“I just want Arkansas fans to know that Mason Jones played his hardest every game and he made sure that win or lose, my team knew that we played my hardest and we gave it everything we could game in and game out,” he said in a roughly 20-minute interview. “I just want to leave that Mason Jones was one of the best scorers ever at Arkansas and that he could score at all three levels, knowing people said he wasn’t really athletic.
“(They said) he couldn’t do this and he couldn’t do that, and he proved everybody wrong, and that Mason Jones was a hard worker. He didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, he didn’t let people stop him and he proved people wrong.”
Now fans are wondering if the SEC’s co-MVP this past season will move on to play pro ball or come back and Jones danced on both sides of that issue.
“Right now I’m just taking it day by day,” he said. “There’s a good chance that I’m going to stay in the draft and just take on bigger challenges.”
Then he later left a little crack in the door out of town.
“It’s sweet being the man on campus, but you also have to think about how you want to be remembered,” he said. “Did you leave it all on the court, do you feel like you have anything else to prove, did you show your worth?
“There’s so many little things that go into it … you never know what will happen, but right now I’m just taking it day by day and letting God handle everything.”
The bottom line is he may know but he isn’t saying.
And he talks with Isaiah Joe a lot but he wasn’t letting anything slip about what his decision might be, although most NBA mock drafts have him slotted in a higher position.
“A big decision is coming for my guy Isaiah,” he said. “I just want to let him just make his decision freely. I want him to make the best decision for him.”
One thing that came out clear in the interview, though, was the impact new coach Eric Musselman has had through all this, bringing a pro-style coach to the college game.
“Who wouldn’t want to play hard for a coach who treats you like a pro before you go pro?” Jones said.