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Nov. 20, 2013

CHARLOTTESVILLE – Sophomore guard Teven Jones (Kannapolis, N.C.) plays a valuable back-up role for the Virginia men’s basketball team. He played 30 games last season, including nine starts in place of Jontel Evans. This season, Jones is providing leadership to Virginia’s young point guards London Perrantes (Los Angeles), Devon Hall (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Maleek Frazier (Charlottesville, Va.).

Jones recently sat down with to talk Virginia basketball and his leadership role on the team.

Q: What is different about your leadership role on the team this season?
TJ: It has definitely changed. When guys do something wrong or they are struggling, I feel like I need to be there and help them. Even when I’m struggling, I feel like I need to show the younger guys how to react and not get down too much. My role has definitely changed when it comes to leadership.

Q: What gets you excited about playing defense?
TJ: Locking down the player I am guarding gets me really excited, especially when it gets in the other player’s head. That can be a game changer, especially as a point guard. The point guard is out there running the whole team, and when you disrupt the point guard you’re interrupting the whole offense and the other team’s flow, and that works in our favor. That’s what gets me so excited about playing defense.

Q: Why did you pick basketball over football?
TJ: I had a bunch of injuries during football and I looked at it long term. I actually came here pretty beat up from football. Of course I love football and basketball, but basketball is my true love. Football was my first love, but basketball turned out to be my true love.

Q: What part of your game have you improved most since you got to UVa?
TJ: Probably my offensive game, in terms of my decision-making and composure. I also have improved my defensive game. When I came here I wasn’t a great defender, but now I think that’s a strength of mine. I want to get awards for my defense this year. Those are definitely the two biggest areas this year.

Q: What did Jontel Evans teach you about being a point guard that you’re trying to pass on to London Perrantes, Devon Hall and Maleek Frazier?
TJ: When to be aggressive and when not to be aggressive, especially on defense. On the offensive side mostly when to change speeds and when to use my quickness. But, he mainly taught me on defense when you need to press up on somebody and when not to, as well as how to read offenses and shoot the gap. I learned a lot from Jontel and I’m thankful for that.


Best player you’ve ever played against?
Erick Green. He’s the most aggressive and difficult to guard.

If you could go anywhere to play, where would you go?
California. I feel like California is great place and I’ve never been there.

Why do you wear No. 5?
I wore number 20 up until high school, but then I felt like nobody wore five and I wanted to make a name for it. Now my cousins and people in my family are wearing number five because I do.

Favorite Movie?
Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee

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