MINNEAPOLIS — Tyus Jones had two pretty good seats for Apple Valley’s nationally televised showdown with Minnehaha Academy on Thursday night.
The first was just a couple rows up the Apple Valley bleachers behind the scorer’s table, as the Eagles’ alum observed his younger brother, Apple Valley senior point guard Tre Jones.
The second was from the broadcast table, as Tyus joined Paul Biancardi, ESPN’s national director of recruiting, for a few minutes of in-game analysis in the second half of the ESPNU broadcast. Maybe that was a preview of Tyus’ career after basketball?
“I haven’t really thought too much about it, but I enjoy it. It’s fun,” Tyus said. “I think it’s kind of something that comes natural to me. Biancardi is easy to sit there and talk with, but yeah that’s something I might look to do in the future.”
At one point during Tyus’ time on the broadcast, Tre went hard to the rim, only to have it swatted away. The ESPNU broadcast team asked for Tyus’ input.
“Knowing Tre, he’s going for the dunk,” Tyus said. “Tre thought he got fouled, the ref thought he didn’t so they play on.”
Perhaps there’s no one better than Tyus Jones to break down his younger brother’s game. He attends many of Tre’s high school games, and vice versa.
“It’s enjoyable for me, just because I know how hard he works, I know the amount of time he puts in,” Tyus said Saturday. “So for me, I just enjoy it, sit back and watch and I wait until after the game or the next day to critique and talk about what he could have did differently, things of that nature.”
Tre accepts the criticism from his brother, even at times looking to Tyus for advice during the game. When that happens, Tyus tries to tell his little brother to “just play.”
And the critiquing doesn’t go only one way. Tre attends many of the Timberwolves’ home games, and usually has something to say to Tyus afterward.
“Every game he’s telling me shots I passed up on or defensive assignments I miss. I just blow him off,” Tyus said with a smile. “No, but we do talk about things like that after every game, that’s just kind of the relationship that we have.
“We talk basketball all the time. ... We just want the best for one another.”
Tre Jones, a Duke commit, is the top point guard in the nation in the Class of 2018. If he, like Tyus, goes to the NBA after just one season of college, Tyus and Tre could theoretically meet on an NBA court in less than two years, a possibility Tyus looks forward to.
“That’s the whole goal,” Tyus said. “He wants to meet me up here, and that’s been a goal of ours is to both be in the NBA to play against each other. So we’re working toward that.”
In that scenario, who would their mom, Debbie, cheer for?
“Both,” Tyus said. “She’d probably get a jersey, split it down the middle — half my jersey, half his jersey.”