Lady ’Dog Jones puts next stop in writing
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013 12:00 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
No one’s future is written in stone, but Gleason basketball standout Briana Jones is sure her future includes playing college basketball in the state of Georgia.
Jones signed to play her college basketball at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., on Tuesday.
The signing ceremony was full of fanfare with her teammates, mother, brother, head coach, assistants, the assistant head coach of the Bears and the entire senior class at Gleason.
Jones led the Lady Bulldogs to a 21-8 record and to a District 13A third place finish during the regular season, and she was instrumental in Gleason’s come-from-behind win against Dresden in the district tournament finals.
Jones, who had seven programs expressing interest in her including UT Martin, chose Truett-McConnell because of the connection between the college and Gleason High School and the chance to win at the next level.
Truett-McConnell assistant head coach Megan Price is a 2006 graduate of Gleason and played under former head coach and current Weakley County Schools Superintendent Randy Frazier.
“She is one reason I want to go there,” Jones said. “I know that is where God wants me to be, and I will be loved there and taken care of.”
Jones led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring during her senior season, averaging 19.7 points a game along with 9.7 rebounds per game. She shot 42 percent from 3-point range, made 80 percent of her free throw attempts and had 15 double-doubles. She has scored over 1,500 points in her four years at Gleason.
Jones averaged 12.7 ppg and 7.2 rebounds per game during her high school career, and she already knows her role on the team will be scoring points and to make plays happen.
“I am going to be expected to make the shots when I am open,” Jones said. “If I am guarded, I am to make something happen. How I played in high school is going to carry over to how I play in college.”
Jones is game-changer, and that is testament to her being named to the District 13A All-District Team, district MVP and named to the Region 7A All-Regional Team. Price, who helps Truett-McConnell with recruiting, recognized Jones as being that type of player.
“I think the main thing I saw in Briana is she is a game-changer,” Price said. “When she steps onto the court, her presence is made known to everyone in the stands and on the court. That is the biggest thing for us.”
Price said the plans for Jones on the court is have her playing as a guard so she can take advantage of her perimeter shooting.
“We are going to bring her out,” Price said. “We are going to play her at the guard position. Shooting 42 percent from beyond the 3-point line is unheard of from a really good player. Even a great player usually shoots just 35 percent. So 42 percent is phenomenal.”
Jones was the center of attention from opposing teams during her senior season, and Price thinks that is how she will be in college as the coaching staff is planning on building the program around Jones.
The Bears finished 1-29 during the regular season and 0-19 in the Southern States Athletic Conference this past season. Jones will have the opportunity to be the focal point of the program Price and head coach Matt Sanders, who is going into his third season head coach, are building.
“We are definitely going to be building our program around Briana,” Price said. “She is exactly the type of player we want to build the program around.”
Published in The WCP 3.28.13