The best defender on USI’s men’s basketball team this year is senior Ben Jones, hands down. And he has no choice but to keep his hands down. With the new foul rule that punishes hand checks (or even brushing a finger nail over an opponent’s butt), Jones has had to adjust his guarding technique. The hand check was a major part of his arsenal, as it was a big part of USI’s previous lockdown defender, Kenyon Smith.
“The biggest adjustment is just keeping your hands off,” said Jones. “Defensively my whole life I’ve put a little hip check on them. It really got to me in the Kentucky Wesleyan game.”
Covering KWC’s leading scorer, super quick guard Lonnie Hayes, Jones often got burned — not by Hayes, but by an official’s whistle.
“Hayes would drive into me and I didn’t get my hands up fast enough,” said Jones. “You have to learn to keep your hands off whoever you’re guarding. You really have to beat your man to the spot and be quick on your feet. They (the officials) are going to call those tick-tack fouls.”