Jones making strides at GVSU

ALLENDALE — Corey Jones continues to make strides in his collegiate basketball career at Grand Valley State University with the Reed City native anxious to display his skills in his final two seasons of eligibility.

Jones recently finished his sophomore season at Grand Valley where the Lakers were 19-8 under coach Ric Wesley.

The 6-foot-10 sophomore saw action in 16 games and started two. He averaged 1.4 points and 1.0 rebounds an outing.

“At the beginning of the season, I started, then I lost a lot of my playing time,” he said. “I continued working hard in practice and I think I developed a lot of skills throughout the season and kept improving throughout the year.”

From his freshman season at Grand Valley, Jones said he improved “a tremendous amount.” Redshirted his freshman year at Grand Valley, Jones played in 19 games as a redshirt freshman and had two starts, both in the NCAA tournament.

“He had some good minutes for us. He’s still a work in progress for us,” Wesley said. “He has to get bigger and stronger. The minutes he gave us, he did a good job. He is a good defender. He has to work on his rebounding and his physicality. Each year, he’s gotten better.”

His parents, Bruce and Martha, both played sports at Grand Valley State. Jones said he wants to focus on rebounds and defense. He’s also more comfortable with playing outside the role of a typical center.

“I’m now more talented outside of the post position,” he said. “I’m a pretty good shooter. I’ve developed outside of the post game. I can dribble the ball better and shoot better.”

When he got playing time, “I guess I’m just a hustle player,” Jones said. “For being my size and my height, I can out-run a lot of players that I play against.”

Jones was Reed City’s team MVP as a senior, averaging 14 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks per game. The previous season, he averaged 10 rebounds and six assists per game.

Grand Valley is graduating four seniors from its basketball squad including another Reed City native Justin Ringler, a second-team all-Midwest regional selection.

The Lakers didn’t qualify this season for the NCAA tournament.

“I saw a big change from the beginning of the season toward the end,” Jones said. “At the beginning of the season, we had all our guys. They were in good shape and in good health. Throughout the season, we had a bunch of injuries. That took a big toll on us. We weren’t the same team as we were in the beginning of the season. We never got used to the rotation. There was always change.”