Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler, when he was still with the Minnesota Timberwolves, once flew Tyus Jones on his private jet to see his brother Tre debut for Duke. Now, the Sixers swingman isn’t going to miss his chance to see the up and coming collegiate point guard.
Thursday evening, the No.2 Blue Devils and the No. 12 Texas Tech Red Raiders faced off in Madison Square Garden in New York. Duke has many of the top recruits coming into this season, including the heralded Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish. They have a team full of future NBA top scoring talent.
But one name isn’t mentioned nearly enough with that trio – and that’s guard Tre Jones.
Jones has been the “glue guy” for Duke this season. His ability to defend on a high level, keep the offense moving, and hit shots when he needs to makes him the perfect contributor for Duke.
“I’m here for Tre,” Butler told Jeff Goodman of Watch Stadium at halftime. “That’s my guy.”
For Jimmy Butler, it was worth every minute. Jones played with ferocity, running all over the court hitting shots when he needed to as well as getting key defensive stops. He made sure Duke didn’t lose to one of the grittiest, grind-it-out teams in the country.
Jones has even talked about his role as the ball-handler for Duke, per ESPN’s David M. Hale.
“With all these guys, they can all really play. They’re versatile. So I just try to get everybody in a position to be successful. I just have to get them the ball. They’re able to create their own shots and make plays.”
The Duke Blue Devils are 11-1 on the season. They play next at home versus Clemson January 5th.