After spending much of the holidays seeing his name in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, you'll have to understand if Chris Jones is sporting an abnormally large smile on Monday.
The senior point guard returned to the starting lineup on Sunday night and delivered his best performance of the season, scoring 22 key points and dishing out a career-high 10 assists to help U of L escape Winston-Salem with an 85-76 victory over Wake Forest.
Jones spent the bulk of the first half not even thinking about shooting. He attempted just two shots in the opening 20 minutes, but handed out eight assists, the bulk of which wound up in the hands of Montrezl Harrell. With Terry Rozier hindered by foul trouble in the second half, however, Jones was forced to become more offensive-minded. He responded with 18 points in the second frame, including 10 in the game's final five minutes to carry the Cards to victory.
Harrell finished with a team-high 25 points to go along with a team-high 13 rebounds. Rozier added 18 points despite being forced to watch a majority of the second half from the bench.
Sunday was also a coming of age moment for true freshman Shaqquan Aaron, who saw 23 minutes of court time and responded with 11 points and 5 rebounds. With the play of Aaron combined with the ineffectiveness of each of Louisville's three centers, expect to hear plenty of talk in the coming days about the possibility of a Jones, Rozier, Aaron, Blackshear, Harrell lineup ... because you know we have to talk about something like this in January.
There were certainly some negatives that warrant discussion -- the interior defense was terrible, and the Cards forced just three Wake turnovers in the second half -- but it's hard to complain too much about a 9-point road win in your ACC debut.
Here's the final box score:
|Montrezl Harrell, F||38||9-14||2-3||5-8||3||10||13||0||0||1||0||2||25|
|Anas Mahmoud, F||17||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||3||3||3||2||2||2||2||0|
|Wayne Blackshear, G||20||1-3||1-1||1-2||0||1||1||0||1||0||0||3||4|
|Terry Rozier, G||25||8-14||2-4||0-0||0||2||2||0||1||0||2||5||18|
|Chris Jones, G||36||7-13||0-0||8-9||2||2||4||10||3||0||2||2||22|
|Mangok Mathiang, F||12||0-1||0-0||0-3||3||1||4||0||0||1||0||5||0|
|Chinanu Onuaku, F||7||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0|
|Jaylen Johnson, F||2||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Shaqquan Aaron, G||23||4-9||1-5||2-3||1||4||5||1||1||0||1||2||11|
|Anton Gill, G||16||2-7||1-4||0-0||1||1||2||1||0||0||0||1||5|
|Quentin Snider, G||4||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Wake Forest Demon Deacons|
|Darius Leonard, F||23||1-4||0-3||0-0||0||3||3||1||0||1||0||3||2|
|Devin Thomas, F||36||11-14||0-0||9-17||1||10||11||1||0||2||0||1||31|
|Greg McClinton, F||20||3-5||0-0||0-1||3||3||6||4||1||0||4||0||6|
|Mitchell Wilbekin, G||33||5-8||3-6||1-2||0||1||1||1||0||0||0||3||14|
|Codi Miller-McIntyre, G||31||5-10||0-1||4-8||1||7||8||1||1||0||5||3||14|
|Andre Washington, C||2||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|Grant O'Brien, F||0||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Konstantinos Mitoglou, F||18||2-7||0-3||2-2||1||0||1||0||1||0||1||4||6|
|Cornelius Hudson, F||17||1-3||0-2||0-0||0||2||2||1||0||0||2||4||2|
|Madison Jones, G||20||0-2||0-0||1-2||0||2||2||6||1||1||0||2||1|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None
Officials: Brian Dorsey, Joe Lindsay, Karl Hess