Mason Jones was a big get

Every program needs the Joe(s) that are heavily recruited, but a lot of programs thrive on finding players like Thurman, Bradley, Qualls and now Mason Jones who were lightly recruited.

Mason has played like a 4-star from the day he stepped on the court and continues to improve his game. And it is not like he is getting open shots because the defense is focused on Joe. If he stays on this course, towards the end of the season he could work himself into NBA talk.

He came here with some reputation of shooting threes but not on a consistent basis, but what has been impressive over the two seasons is his ability to take the defender off the dribble and drive to the hoop. If Joe is a pro prospect, at this time Mason does this better than Joe.

Glad to have Mason at Arkansas.


Good post, PJ. Jones does have a better all-around offensive game than Joe right now. Jones is what I call a scorer with good touch and great range. He has a nice shot from long range, but he has the other parts of the offensive game, too. He is not as well known as Joe, but he is making a name for himself.
Jones and Joe are going to score a bunch this year. The offense is designed for each of them.

Great post! Did you guys ever him tell his story about not really liking basketball and being kind of chubby in high school?

Mason has really came a long way!

I did read that story.

If he stays thru his senior year, he may become as good or better than Matt, his brother who started for Duke.

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At his chubbiest, he was 275 pounds, which is mind-boggling when you see how he looks now.

I had a good talk with DeSoto head coach Chris Dyer, who was his coach and is also still there for Arkansas 2021 commit Duncan Powell.

He really considers Mason a great turnaround and great story.

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Mason was probably Mike’s best recruiting job in his time at Arkansas. Mike and/or the assistant that found him had to do some great research to see what they had in Mason. I’m glad that he worked even harder on his weight and athleticism since Muss got here, because it’s really helped his overall game.

He’s always been a great rebounder for his size, even when he couldn’t jump over a phone book. Now that he’s lost the weight and may actually have a measurable vertical, he will be an even better rebounder and a better finisher at the rim. I’m so glad Mike found him and he’s now a Razorback.

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Maybe Qualls is in there too. I wonder if there will be another Mason or Sills or Qualls type of recruit on the roster again.

Muss recruiting strategy seems to be sign 4 stars or 5 stars and if you can’t get them, fill the roster with proven transfers. That strategy will require less player development and it will have better talent than Mike’s teams at any given moment. Very very sound and less risky strategy that Muss has. But will there ever be Joneses and Sillses on the roster?

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Since you brought up Sills, that reminded me of something I worried about with CEM. In looking at Muss’ best teams at Nevada, they were long at the guards. That worried me that he wouldn’t give Desi the chance to show how important he could be to this team. Muss went up another notch for me when, in a very short time, he saw what qualities he had in Desi, despite his size.

But is that because we have to play four guards right now? We will know for sure next year when JD Notae, Davis, Moody And hopefully KK are added to the rotation.

In fact, I was wondering if Desi is going to get lost in the mix with Joe, Jones, Moody, Notae, Davis, KK, Harris on the roster. Of course, Joe may not be here.

No I don’t believe he will get lost in the rotation. Without a doubt, Joe (if he comes back), Jones, and Desi will not get the minutes they are getting now. That is a good thing for the team. The reason I believe that is because, this year, Desi is getting nearly the same minutes as Jones and Joe. I believe that CEM sees how important Desi and his offensive and defensive intensity is to the success of the team. Just like last night, Desi was tied with Mason as the rebounding leader. I think Desi is the glue that brings this team together, and I believe Muss sees that. I believe Notae and Harris will be the odd men out.

Speaking of Harris. How was his play against the Meanies, and how is he handling not starting?

When you hear about young men losing that much weight to play ball and get in shape it is a success story in itself. If he would have been a TE we wouldn’t look at it from a BB point of view. He has the ability to make the right play most of the time. Scorer or team player is a good way to look at him. His defense as well as the whole teams defense is greatly improved from last season. He also came off the bench last season to help the team!
I doubt Desi will be the odd man out next season with the guards coming in.
Muss’s Recruiting bringing in 4 and 5 stars with Grad transfers may be just to fill voids! Consider this if Muss can sign 4 and 5 star players instead of grad transfers with experience which way will he lean? If he has a solid JR and SR class coming back he may not lean that way! The roster management
May be a lot different in the coming years that’s my opinion.
Once this recruiting class is signed we may see some changes in the current roster. Joe may be a question mark about entering the NBA draft and not returning but will the young man come back and improve or take the pay day?

Ever any official word on his body transformation? Weight lost, body fat reduction, etc? I have to believe he’s a good 20lbs or more lighter than last season.

I’m thinking it wasn’t a huge weight loss, but a lot of exchanging fat for muscle. I’m sure his body fat percentage took a nice drop. There’s certainly a weight drop, but probably not as much as it looks like, since muscle weighs considerably more than fat.

At the end of last season he was 218. When I interviewed him in early July he was 199.