Apr 3, 2012
2011-12 Final grades: Jordan Stone
34 games, 2 starts
60.5% - FG
N/A% - 3pt
48.6% - FT
Fair or not, I disclaimed from the beginning that part of Adam Thoseby's final grade was going to be judged partly on the early hype he carried, as well as his impressive showing in exhibition games. On the flip side of that, Jordan Stone gets a bit of leeway given the fact that coaches very much had hoped to redshirt him, but due to the lack of size down low, couldn't do it.
The thing that was tough about this was the fact that Stone very much looked in need of a redshirt year. Coaches had tabbed him as a project all along, and the last thing you want to have to do with a project player is pull a redshirt and thrust them into action. But when Brady Jardine got hurt and Igor Premasunac struggled to come along, Stone was needed. When Morgan Grim and Kyisean Reed had nagging injuries, Stone was needed more. On the bright side of that, he still got a decent amount of minutes for a true freshman, and all of it should help him for the future.
Positives: Project player or not, Stone showed some real progress throughout the year. Early on he often looked lost, never confident with the ball in his hands and never offering much more than a big defensive body to clog the middle and grab rebounds. The last month and a half of the season though, Stone had very clearly grown much more comfortable in every aspect of the game. His size is unlike anything Stew Morrill has had at USU, and if the progress he showed during a season where he should have been a redshirt and was thrust into a higher role is any indication, he should turn out to become a force down low. On top of that, he stopped looking nervous with the ball, even if he never tried to do much with it. The progress was undeniable, and for any player to earn consistent minutes on a Morrill team means they're putting in the work in practice.
Negatives: Stone's offensive game has been slow to come along. While he was the beneficiary of a couple put-back baskets he earned the hard way with offensive rebounds, as well as a couple nice feeds the resulted in easy dunks, he hasn't demonstrated much in the area of creating any scoring opportunities for himself down low that every one of Grim, Reed and Ben Clifford showed at times this year. Also, only four assists in 317 minutes played on a Stew Morrill team is something that needs to be improved upon. Shooting 48.6 percent from the free throw line is also not good.
Summary: While the scoring was sparse for the most part, Stone was a decent enough defender and rebounder to validate the minutes he played this season. In some games, his size and toughness down low had a major impact, which is very promising for any freshman. Still, in plenty of other games, Stone showed why the coaching staff had hoped they could redshirt Stone this season. That redshirt year is still something that could do wonders for Stone working under Morrill and his reputation for molding great big men. With Kyisean Reed and Ben Clifford returning as regulars, and incoming transfers Jarred Shaw, Matt Lopez and JUCO big man Sean Harris, redshirting Stone in 2012-13 is a real possibility. It could make for a tough situation at the center position for the first month and a half of the year until Lopez is eligible, but Stew has made due with only four big men for an entire season before, so six weeks shouldn't be much to ask.
Final grade: C
As the old saying goes, "C's get degrees." Stone showed some real progress despite a tough situation.