Floor generals: Jones is heart of Natchez boys basketball team

Published 12:02 am Monday, December 1, 2014

Natchez High School’s Daryl Jones takes a shot during a game against Wilkinson County High School. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Natchez High School’s Daryl Jones passes the ball during a game against Wilkinson County High School. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Editor’s note: Floor Generals is a weekly series devoted to athletes on the court who have been selected by their coaches. Coaches select players whom they view as an extension of their coaching staff on the floor, exemplifying leadership, composure and play-making ability. Each week, a varsity boys and girls player from the same school will be featured.

NATCHEZ — Daryl Jones is seemingly everywhere on the court.

Taking the ball up the floor, driving the lane, defending on the perimeter and in the post, the senior does it all for the Natchez High Bulldogs.

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But most importantly, he is the leader and heart of the team.

“Daryl has a good understanding of the game,” Natchez assistant coach David Haywood said. “We try to use him as the coach on the court. We relay the message to him, and he is supposed to get it out to his teammates.”

Jones’ importance as a player increases dramatically, as the Bulldog coaching staff calls on him to control the game.

“It is important for a coach to have someone like that,” Haywood said. “Sometimes you are in a packed game and kids can’t really hear what you’re saying, but to have him gives us a better opportunity of being on the same page.”

Not only has Jones been on the same page with the coaches, he has also been able to gel with his team, something he said is extremely important.

“You really have to be able to set your teammates up,” he said. “I get my teammates in a rhythm and that sets up for me later on.”

Jones is mainly found at point guard, where he is in charge of running the offense, which is fast-paced for Natchez.

The Bulldogs also try and stay up-tempo on the defensive end.

“We have to get our defense in,” Jones said. “The key for us now is defense, because we are a smaller team. With our press, we can’t let teams set up against us.”

Jones is in his final year in a Bulldog uniform, and he said he has one goal that he is striving for.

“I just want to go to the Big House,” he said.