Alabama Basketball: What Herb Jones’s return means for Crimson Tide

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Herb Jones is back. What does this mean for Alabama basketball?

When Alabama basketball ended this season, there were three athletes that were considering to forego their college eligibility in pursuit of an NBA career. Kira Lewis, John Petty, and Herb Jones all declared for the NBA Draft, although Petty and Jones have left their options open to return. Well, Jones has decided to return to Alabama basketball for his senior season.

Jones brings a great versatility to the Crimson Tide as a guard and a wing. His speed and wingspan allow him to switch screens across the court on defense, and his athleticism shows on the court.

Herb Jones also brings a veteran presence that Alabama basketball will desperately need. With the entire country trying to overcome adversity on so many fronts, having a senior lead the way is incredibly helpful. It means even more when it’s Herb Jones.

Jones fits the bill as a superstar in Nate Oats’ system for the Crimson Tide. He might not be the most skilled player on the court, but he will outwork just about everyone he sees. That was proven last season when Jones played with a cast on one hand. When you can’t properly take a jumpshot or a free throw and still play significant minutes, you’re simply out there for your effort.

Alabama desperately needs depth at the point guard position. Jones isn’t a point guard, but he can at least handle the ball enough to facilitate the offense if necessary. Whether it’s a designed play or a fast break, he can make something happen with the basketball in his hands.

Jones has a gaping hole in his game, which is probably why he decided to return to play for the Crimson Tide. Jones really needs to expand his range with his shooting. His 3-point percentage was abysmal last year, but that is because he rarely takes those shots. Defenders will instinctively give him the jumper because they are confident that he will miss. He doesn’t have to become Kevin Durant, but he would become an instant NBA lottery pick if he could make an open jumper.

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Nate Oats will hopefully add that facet to Jones’s game in his senior season. Herb Jones can’t carry Alabama basketball on his shoulders, but he will be a major contributor in helping the Crimson Tide contend for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.