Florida has already been productive in the transfer portal getting Brandon McKissic from UMKC and CJ Felder from Boston College and they’re far from finished and this time they’re going after arguably the biggest name yet.
Myreon Jones, a 6’3” guard from Penn State, is arguably the most high achieving player the Gators have targeted so far. Jones just finished up his junior season with the Nittany Lions where he averaged 15.3 points, 2.0 assists, and 2.7 rebounds. His points per game aren’t quite the 17 that McKissic averaged but considering Jones was able to accomplish 15 a game in a beast of a Big 10 speaks to his talent.
That wasn’t a one-off for Jones who also had a solid sophomore season avering 13.3 points and 3.0 assists. As a sophomore he was also in a bit more of a distribution role before becoming a primary scoring option last season.
Jones is a modern guard. He’s not a true point guard, but he handles the rock better than you’d expect from a standard shooting guard. When you look across college basketball and examine the best teams they usually have multiple ball handling “combo” guards on the floor and the Gators already got one in McKissic and they’d love to get another in Jones.
Penn State was 11-14 this season but that doesn’t tell the whole story of the quality of that team. Playing in a difficult Big 10 after completing a very challenging non-conference schedule where they played Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, and VCU, they were set up to take some losses. The advanced stats paint a better picture that shows they were a very good team who hung in a lot of games with quality opponents and just fell short. They were 42nd in the NET rankings, one of the highest ranking teams to not make the NCAA Tournament, and they were 39th in KenPom which suggests, at least in this popular metric, that they were one spot better than Florida who was 40th.
A lot of the reason they were able to hang with so many stellar teams was the play of Myreon Jones. He was their leading scorer for an offense that finished 34th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency (Florida was 45th) and he also provided solid defense at the top of their switching man to man alignment.
Jones’ biggest skill that jumps out is his ability to shoot the ball. He hit 39.5% of his threes last season and 40.3% of his threes the year prior, and at over 5 attempts in both of those seasons it’s safe to say he’s a legitimately productive marksman. His release is a bit funky and that does make him a bit inconsistent however, so he’s the kind of shooter that goes 2-9 and then 4-5, not the type of guy who consistently goes 3-7. Overall his percentages are good however, and that makes him a sought-after player.
One of his weaknesses is finishing on the inside. He has struggled inside the arc throughout his career, something that is a product of both some limitations in his game as well as the monster big men that reside in the Big 10. Because of his struggles to finish on the interior he’s likely to settle for jump shots and floaters which in fairness to him he is good at, though you’d love to see him be able to finish at the tin more often. Coming into his senior season, there is a chance we see a bit of growth.
He is allegedly down to four potential schools, all in the SEC. Arkansas, Ole Miss, LSU, and Florida are the schools he’s looking at, making for a tough task to land him. Arkansas is the most recently successful and plays a style that suits him, and LSU has a way of landing players they set their sights on. Florida could likely sell him on a starting role vacated by either Tre Mann or Noah Locke, while also pointing to their style of play that benefits screen reliant players like him.
There is some belief he may announce his decision on Monday, so keep an eye out for this one.