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    LouLife

    Photo courtesy University of Louisville Men’s Basketball Facebook Page
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    Chris Jones has been hard to stop since “the flop.” 

    The University of Louisville men’s basketball team’s senior point guard drew the ire of Cardinals coach Rick Pitino, as well as national attention, after he faked (proven by countless television replays) getting elbowed in the mouth and fell to the floor in UofL’s 58-50 loss to archrival Kentucky on Dec. 27.

    Three days later Jones played only nine minutes off the bench - his punishment, according to Pitino - in Louisville’s 63-48 win over Long Beach State.  

    Since then, though, Jones has been on fire. He’s tallied 22 points in each of the Cards’ first two Atlantic Coast Conference games - both victories.

    First he scored 20 second-half points and dished out a career-high 10 assists in Louisville’s 85-76 win at Wake Forest on Sunday.

    “All Chris Jones has to do to be one of the better point guards in the country is listen,” Pitino told the Associated Press after that game. “He’s gone from never listening in junior college and high school to listening about 70 percent of the time. All he’s got to do is get it to 100 (percent) and we’ve got ourselves a special player.”

    Jones, apparently, listened to Pitino on Wednesday night when he once again scored 20 second-half points in UofL’s 58-52 victory over visiting Clemson. Jones, whose shooting has been hot and cold so far this season, was 5-for-12 from the field - hitting a trio of 3-pointers - after intermission.

    “A lot of shots I didn’t want to shoot tonight, but coach made me shoot so it shows how much confidence he has in me, even when the shot clock was winding down,” Jones, who is third on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg), first in assists (3.1 per game) and tied for first in steals (35), said afterward. “And if he yells ‘Shoot!’ you have no choice to shoot, or you’re coming out.”

    We’ll see if Jones can continue - in addition to 44 points he’s also tallied 12 assists (against only six turnovers), eight rebounds and eight steals - Saturday when the fifth-ranked Cards (14-1, 2-0) play at 17th-ranked North Carolina (11-4, 1-1). Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. in Chapel Hill, N.C.

     

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