You can now apparently put Aaron Torres of Fox Sports Radio and Kentucky Sports as another one that has now had what I’ve started calling The Mason Jones Effect.
It tends to happen with Jones, who has a drive that can be lost with his infectious personality … and it got Torres, who does a podcast on men’s college basketball and college football.
“I don’t think I realized where he started,” Torres said Friday afternoon on Halftime on ESPN Arkansas.
Jones’ story is well known to Razorback fans. He went from being a chubby kid that initially couldn’t make his high school team, dropping the weight, going to junior college and, finally, landing at Arkansas.
In his second year he led the SEC in scoring and was co-MVP of the league.
Now he’s apparently leaning towards turning professional, which Torres feels is going to happen.
“I got the sense talking to him that his college career is done,” Torres said.
He thinks Jones’ stock could go up before the NBA Draft, which is usually in June, but nobody really knows during the midst of a global pandemic and the league is trying to figure out a way to have playoffs.
Jones never was going to be a one-and-done, which may not be that big of a deal, according to Torres.
“That narrative is starting to change in basketball,” he said. “(Players with more than a year in college) are the kids that are having success at the NBA level. There’s some value to a kid with dirt under his fingernails.
“Kevin Durant goes out in the NBA Finals last year and everybody else on the floor played two or three years.”
Torres apparently was impressed with Jones on his podcast.
“He talks more than most high-level NBA Draft prospects,” Torres said. “He wasn’t afraid to admit that he has a chip on his shoulder. He was not about cliches.”
There’s also another factor that could play in Jones’ favor through all this, Torres said.
“Most of the people that do the mock drafts don’t know what they’re doing,” he said. “In the NBA there are good GM’s and bad GM’s. A lot of the NBA guys are still playing catchup on guys. You can’t help but turn on the film (of Jones) and be impressed.
“This kid can put the ball in the bucket in a number of different ways.”