Florida’s relentless pursuit of talent in the transfer portal continued on Wednesday as they landed the commitment of 6’3” guard Myreon Jones from Penn State.
The Gators already did well to land Brandon McKissic and CJ Felder but Jones is arguably the biggest name yet due to his production in a talented Big 10. Jones averaged 15.3 points, 2.0 assists, and 2.7 rebounds, making him the most accomplished player from a statistical standpoint (factoring in the quality of the Big 10) the Gators have landed so far.
Losing Tre Mann and Noah Locke means the Gators lost a lot of their points from the 2020-21 season but Jones goes a long way in projecting as a replacement. Jones was the offensive focus of other team’s scouting reports and despite the fact he saw great defenses he was able to get free for a lot of open shots. Jones is a floor spacer who does most of his work from the three-point line and midrange, hitting 39.5% of his threes last season. His stroke is a bit hitchy and unorthodox which makes for some inconsistent shooting nights and he is definitely a player that runs hot and cold. However, given his 39.5% three-point mark (after shooting 40.3% the year prior) it’s still safe to assume the hot streaks last longer than the cold spells. Like Locke, Jones isn’t someone who is particularly adept at scoring on the inside and he’s not a great finisher in the paint but he is willing to get to the cup and draw contact. There, he’s a capable free throw shooter hitting 77% from the charity stripe on his career.
Jones just finished his third season for Penn State and provides experience at the guard position the Gators have been hoping for. In a league with great guards the experience Jones has had will be extremely valuable and considering he was able to produce at a high level there it’s easy to think his impact will be translatable to the SEC. Oftentimes when a team lands a transfer you have to ponder just how much his game will translate to a new home, but when it’s a proven producer at a Big 10 program it’s hard to imagine their being a huge drop off in the SEC.
Penn State was 11-14 last season but that number doesn’t exactly tell the whole story. They dropped a lot of close games to really good teams, and for that reason the metrics were very kind to the Nittany Lions. Popular analytics site KenPom actually had Penn State as a better team than the Gators, and considering Jones was a key piece of a team of that quality, Florida fans should be excited.
Jones’ reputation wherever he goes is one of hard work and character. Multiple coaches have said he is one of their favorite players they have ever worked with and upon news of the transfer a number of former teammates expressed their well wishes while pointing out that Jones was a favorite player to compete alongside. There shouldn’t be any concerns of him fitting in with what will be a very interesting Florida roster and entering his fourth year of college basketball he’ll probably expect to be a leader.
Florida’s backcourt is now looking a lot more experienced than it has been in the past. Tyree Appleby and Brandon McKissic will be in their fifth years of college while Jones will be in his fourth. That’s a big departure from the very young guard groups Florida has had recently, and hopefully that will pay dividends.
Jones’ transfer also means a lot to Florida because they were able to beat out Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, and Ole Miss for his services. Any time you can beat out conference rivals for a player it is huge, and the fact those schools all had interest speaks to the quality of Jones as a player. Full credit to the coaching staff for going out and getting him.
The Gators still have multiple scholarships open, and more transfer news could come down the pipe at any minute.