Jones, Wall Make C-USA All-Conference Team; Jones is Defensive Player of the Year
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Southern Miss center Vandarel Jones continues to improve
on an already stellar senior season for Head Coach James Green and the Golden
Eagle basketball team.
He and senior guard David Wall have been named to the Conference USA second
and third teams, respectively; and, Jones, who was named the Conference USA
"Player of the Week" for the final week of the regular season, today received
the league's "Defensive Player of the Year" award for the 2000-01 season.
Jones posted impressive numbers throughout the season, but finished even
stronger as the Golden Eagles won their final five games of the regular
season to earn a C-USA co-championship, and the number two seed in the league
tournament that starts March 7, at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.
His "Player of the Week" honor was only the second such award presented to a
Golden Eagle. Wall earned the same award early in the 1999-2000 season. In
his two games during the week ending Mar. 3, Jones made 14-of-18 field goals,
was 11-of-16 from the free throw line and grabbed 21 rebounds, including 15
in the regular season finale against South Florida. He also had 14 blocked
shots in the two games, including an impressive, career-best eight in the
South Florida game.
Jones finished the season with a 12.7 point scoring average to go with a
team-best 7.3 rebounds a game and a team-best 69 blocked shots while shooting
an impressive .617 (124-201) from the field. He produced five double-figure
rebound games including a season-high 16 in the Charlotte game, had 18
double-digit scoring games, including a season-best 25 in the Memphis game,
and recorded four double-double games.
In that final five-game win streak, Jones' numbers were even better. In the
five league games, he hit 32-of-44 field goals (.727), made 23-of-33 free
throws (.697), grabbed 36 rebounds (7.1 rpg), scored 87 points (17.4 ppg) and
recorded 27 blocked shots (5.4 bpg).
Jones also has quietly moved into some select Southern Miss basketball
company. During the just-completed regular season, he was the only Golden
Eagle to start all 28 games and averaged almost 29 minutes a game playing
He used a pair of free throws early in the Feb. 14 Houston game to reach the
1,000-point mark and become the 30th Southern Miss player ever to reach that
level. He currently is 24th on that USM career scoring list with 1,084
points. He has 707 career rebounds (10th on the USM list), and is one of
only eight Golden Eagle players ever to reach the 1,000-point, 700-rebound
mark. He also has recorded 69 blocked shots this season (third best single
season mark ever), has 167 career blocks (also third on the USM list), and he
is only the third USM player ever to reach the 1,000-point, 700-rebound,
150-block level. The other two players on that list are current NBA standout
Clarence Weatherspoon and Glen Whisby.
Wall, who missed three games with a knee injury, finished the regular season
with a team-high 14.2 point average. He scored in double figures in 20 of
the 25 games in which he played. He had a season-best 27 points in the
Arkansas State game along with 25 in the first Memphis game. He also led the
team in three-point shooting with 53 three-point baskets while shooting .398
from beyond the arc. Wall has scored 848 points in less than two full
seasons as a Golden Eagle.
The Eagles got in two practice sessions Tuesday, will work again Wednesday
(Mar. 7) and, on Thursday (Mar. 8), play the winner of Wednesday's Saint
Louis-Houston first round game. The Golden Eagles beat the Cougars twice
(72-58 in Hattiesburg and 62-58 in Houston, Texas) and edged the Billikens
69-67 in St. Louis, Mo.
Eagle Club Champion award to Joe Henley.