By MTN Sports Reporter: Ian Wolfe
Junior MTSU Forward Jared Coleman-Jones has gone from Freshman at Chicago-based Northwestern University to MTSU transfer, suffering injury, and bouncing back.
The Jacksonville, Florida, and Powder Springs, Georgia native played in all 31 games for Northwestern as a Freshman, averaging 2.9 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. Showing glimpses of promise, after his Freshman season he got a call from long-time friend and current MTSU teammate, Elias King. King had the idea of the two linking up in Murfreesboro. “Elias King called me. That’s my boy since sixth, seventh grade. He called me and said this is a good spot, you could come here and we could do some good things.” Coleman-Jones said. “Coach Nick was heavy on recruiting me and I liked what they were saying.”
Making his commitment was played in part by the coaches that recruited him. Former MTSU Assistant Coach and current Cincinnati Assistant Coach, Andre Morgan, played a big part in Coleman-Jones’s recruitment. He liked what Morgan brought to his recruitment. “Andre Morgan was real adamant in his recruiting.” He continued, “Talking to me a lot about things we would do and the ways that I would play. I was really liking what I was hearing based off what they wanted to do with me Basketball wise.”
MTSU Coach Nick McDevitt liked Coleman-Jones’s qualities when looking for a big player. Coach McDevitt noticed his size and skill as qualities he was impressed with along with being a mobile player. “His ability to stretch the defense (referring to qualities as a player). He’s big and powerful, just a lot of things to like.”
After only a couple of seasons with the Blue Raiders, Coleman-Jones was sidelined during the 2021-2022 season with a knee injury. Instead of letting it put him down, he said it helped him slow down while in college. “I’ve been through a few knee injuries. In addition to that, a few other things that have slowed my life down, I was moving fast in college, but too much of something isn’t good.” Continuing, “I learned how to moderate and delegate my energy to places where I need to move forward.”
One of the biggest challenges in coaching is developing the players and Coach Nick McDevitt said Coleman-Jones has done a good job of simplifying his game and getting experience in college basketball, helping him improve. Coach McDevitt says his physical ability and skill caused him to play too fast early on as a player but he has been able to make plays with those abilities due to the game slowing down for him.
Coleman-Jones gave a lot of credit to Assistant Coaches Wes Long and Brett Carey, for helping with his development at MTSU. “They’ve both been really hands-on with me in terms of positioning on the block, having space on the block to create my moves since I’m a bigger body,” Coleman-Jones said. Continuing, “Patience, passes, and little things like tipping the ball off the glass, catching and finishing. Those things.”
This season, Coleman-Jones is averaging 9.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, more than doubling those numbers from last year. “I think he’s in a pretty good playing rhythm. Maybe three of the last five games he’s had double-doubles.” Coach Nick McDevitt said. Going on to mention, “He’s right now, aggressive around the basket offensively and he’s aggressive at getting rebounds.”
With the trajectory of his development increasing and nine games left to play in the conference this season, Coleman-Jones will look to help MTSU improve its record and make a push for a higher conference tournament seed.
Photo Credits: MT Athletics