Iowa adds juco scorer to round out class
Dale Jones took the long route to Division I basketball, with an extra detour thrown in.
The 6-foot-8 forward from Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas, signed a national letter of intent to play for Iowa Monday. Jones is the sixth and final member of the Class of 2015.
"I feel like I can come in there and make a huge impact for Iowa," said Jones, who averaged 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 45.4 percent on 3-pointers as a sophomore at Tyler.
Jones is a native of Waterloo and played at West High School. When no Division I offers came his way as a senior, he elected to play for another Iowa native in Tyler coach Mike Marquis. After a season at Tyler, Jones was taking part in a workout on Sept. 2, 2013, when he suffered a knee injury. He had surgery that October to replace the patellar tendon in his right knee.
Jones sat out the 2013-14 season, but returned in 2014-15 and helped Tyler go 25-9 and make the national tournament. Jones made 99 of 218 3-pointers and shot 83.9 percent at the free-throw line.
"He can really score the ball," Marquis said. "He's got a very polished offensive game. He shoots the ball well above average, with range. He's also got a low block game where he can post and score a little bit there. He was barely a year out of his injury. His future is even brighter because he's going to get healthier on that thing."
Jones, who grew several inches at Tyler, said he is "not all the way right yet," but he plans to work with Iowa strength coach Bill Maxwell during the summer to get ready for next season. Jones sees himself fitting into the spot vacated by Aaron White, a stretch four who can score inside and out.
"Iowa's game fits me perfectly," Jones said. "Setting screens, driving and kicking, really spreading the offense out and finding mismatches."
Jones is the seventh player Marquis has sent to Iowa. Jones was preceded by Jake Jaacks and Jason Price when Marquis coached at Marshalltown Community College, Chauncey Leslie when he coached at Indian Hills of Ottumwa and Kurt Looby, Justin Johnson and Kurt Spurgeon at Tyler.
"(Iowa) coach Fran (McCaffery) was upfront about everything with me, what he needed out of me and how we wanted to use me," Jones said.
Jones joins five incoming freshmen — Ahmad Wagner, Brandon Hutton, Andrew Fleming, Isaiah Moss and Christian Williams — in the largest class McCaffery has ever signed at Iowa.