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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

LaBrittney Jones takes leadership role for Wildcats

Arizona+forward+LaBrittney+Jones+jumps+for+a+shot+during+Arizonas+67-57+loss+against+USC.+
Tom Price
Arizona forward LaBrittney Jones jumps for a shot during Arizona’s 67-57 loss against USC.

In a conference that currently boasts four teams in the top 15, it has been a struggle for the Arizona women’s basketball team. Arizona is currently sitting at 11–13 on the season.

If the Wildcats are going to finish the season on a positive note it, they will need big contributions from junior forward LaBrittney Jones.

Last season as a sophomore, Jones averaged nine points and five rebounds per game. She also earned a spot on Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention. She had looked to build off last season, but an injury served as a minor setback for this season.

After sitting out the first eight games of the season, Jones picked up right where she left off against Southern Methodist University, She racked up seven points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes off the bench.

While there may have been an adjustment period for Jones and some of her teammates, her teammate Keyahndra Cannon felt right at home when Jones returned.

“We are really close, so it wasn’t necessarily an adjustment,” said Cannon. “But I know for her, she had to slow down because she was trying to rush everything, but now she is back at it.”

Jones is glad to be back on the court and leading her team again. Currently, she leads the team in points, blocks and steals per game, and still embraces her role and the pressure that comes with it.

“Being the leading scorer, I think it just comes with the game and how I am as a player, but I think I do have to score for us to be successful,” Jones said.

Jones added that her role as a leader is not limited to how many points she scores, since the Wildcats have other capable players such as Malena Washington, Taryn Griffey and Breanna Workman.

“The way our team is set up, whoever’s on is on and if it’s me, it’s me, and if it’s not, it’s someone else,” Jones said. “As a leader, I still have to do my job of being vocal on and off the floor.”

Jones’ teammates agree that her leadership abilities have brought the team closer together. “Her leadership skills are very high,” Cannon said. “She is helping teammates learn plays, the little things that the coaches cannot do she does.”

While her numbers may be similar to last season, Jones feels her defense has improved over the course of her Wildcat career.

“I struggled a little bit with that when I first got here, being younger as a freshman,” Jones said. “But being older, growing and listening more to my coaches so I’ve gotten better at that but I am still looking to improve.”

Although Jones tries to implement the fundamentals and moves of San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan, Cannon believes Jones plays more like a teammate of the Spurs legend. “She has an inside game and can step outside and knock down a shot as well, as well as block shots and play defense, so I would say Lamarcus Aldridge” said Cannon.

Although this season has not gone as expected for Arizona, you can bet your last dollar that Jones will continue to give her all and set the tone for the Wildcats.


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