USI’s four seniors, Part 1

With the regular-season finale on Thursday night against Kentucky Wesleyan, four seniorsĀ  on USI’s men’s basketball team — Travis Jones, Melvyn Little, Keith DeWitt and Kenyon Smith — will play their final game at the PAC. Following are their comments and those of coach Rodney Watson on their contributions to the Eagles:

Travis Jones, guard, two-year player, started out as a walk-on but is now on scholarship and is best known as a 3-point shooter: “It’s been a lot of fun. Winning the conference championship last year was great. I get a few minutes here and there, maybe I can get some shots off. I do what this team needs me to do. I just want to get another championship, so I’ve got to be on top of my game right now. I’ve got to stay focused and get shots up to take pressure off Keith (DeWitt) and Wisch (Taylor Wischmeier).”

Watson on Jones: “Here’s a guy who just kind of showed up a couple of years ago and hung around practice, sort of a quasi-manager-type thing. That spring he played with our guys (in pickup games) and one after another came up to to me and said, ‘This Jones guy is good.’ Sure enough, he’s got a really impressive skill — he can shoot the ball. I’ll never forget what he did in that Northern Kentucky game last year. He makes two gigantic threes to really cut into their lead. He’s a sniper. When he comes in, his role to catch and shoot. He was a guy we were very blunt about his role, that he would get very limited minutes and that there would be games he may not see the court, but he has to shoot the ball.”

Melvyn Little, two-year guard, was recruited as a shooter whose strength has been coming off screens, catching a pass and shooting: “Being here has been a great experience. I can’t believe this is over and it’s my last game here. It went by in a flash. (On his coming off the bench) I just wait for my number to be called. It’s about staying focused and being ready when he calls my number.”

Watson on Little: “His career hasn’t gone on the court the way we wanted it and how he wanted it. He wanted to be a more regular player. But last year he had that horrible injury (a severe ankle sprain) and that cut into his season. This year we got depth at guard. But he has kept a really good attitude. He’s a guy coming down the home stretch who we really want to bring in to get us a basket. He may not be at the top of the scouting report, but he can really make a contribution with his strength, which is shooting. He understands there’s a bigger picture to this whole deal. He’s been really a pleasant person to have on the team.”

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