Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Second-chance players find home, success at Texas Southern

HOUSTON, Texas -- 1.7 and 1.9.

Those were 7-footer Marvin Jones' scoring and rebounding averages, respectively, as a Kent State Golden Flash in 7.2 minutes per game in 2015-16.

They are numbers he never will forget.

"I come from the inner city of Chicago, and I grew up playing versus some of the best players in the country," Jones said Monday at Texas Southern's practice ahead of Friday's first-round game against top-seeded North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. "I knew my skill set. All I knew was I just needed an opportunity."

That opportunity came in a transfer to TSU, where he quickly became a part of the Tigers' success on the court, earning honors as the Southwestern Athletic Conference's tournament MVP and the league's defensive player of the year.

Texas Southern always seems to have one or two interesting stories on its roster - diamonds in the rough who have overcome obstacles and looked to press the reset button for a second chances.

Jones finds his place

Jones, who made it to TSU by way of Highland Community College before Kent State, is one of several new faces making a difference on a 23-11 team a that won both the SWAC regular-season and conference championships. He averages 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds and leads the team in blocks (53).


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