“I don't want to be a point guard, or a two-guard, I want people to think of me as "creative", I just want to create on the court.” - “The Answer," b.k.a. “Bubba Chuck.”
The point guard, or the floor general, is essential to a team's success. A great point guard controls the pace of the game and the emotional swings of his team. Great point guards have mastered the art of communication. In a limited period of time, they can relay a message with very few words. They read emotions and react. They utilize dead ball situations and timeouts to seek tutelage and make adjustments. As they go, so shall the team .
Below is an article within our feature series titled, "The Floor General." During the series we will link with countless point guards to pick their brains and see what makes today's point guard tick. Next up is Hudson Catholic guard Zanai “The Quiet Storm,” Jones. --By Christian Mordi @thedribbledrop on Instagram and Twitter.
TheDribbleDrop: If you were to use one word to describe your playing style, what would it be and why?
Zanai Jones: Crafty. Basketball is fun to me and I try to be creative on the floor. Whatever comes to mind in the moment that feels good I go with.
TheDribbleDrop: Being a floor general doesn’t just focus on offense but defensively. As a point guard, what do you feel your primary job is to do defensively?
Zanai Jones: My job is to apply pressure on the opposing guard. This year I have stepped it up and I take a lot of pride in stopping the person in front of me. Defense is often forgotten and we are trying to build something long lasting here at Hudson. I think it starts with how we defend.
TheDribbleDrop: Tell me one facet of your game your worked hard to improve on this off-season that you wanted to take to another level?
Zanai Jones: I’m working hard on my defense but I think there is another level I can take it to and I’m working very hard to become an elite defender. I think that’s how I separate the gap. A lot of guards can create but very few can defend at a high level.
TheDribbleDrop: Everyone uses the words “pace and tempo” when discussing their point guard. What do you think is the ideal “pace” to play at for today’s young player?
Zanai Jones: I think it depends on the team you are playing. Personally I like to play at a fast pace, so my tempo is upbeat. With that being said there is a time to slow it down and make sure we get the best shot available. The point guard makes that call.
TheDribbleDrop: Do you think the pace that the game is being played at right now on the High School, College and pro level is ideal on the girls side? Have you seen an increase in tempo in a good way?
Zanai Jones: I love where the game is and where it’s going. The competition level has improved big time. You can see where the game is going when you see the players on the AAU circuit. I’m excited to see where the game will go with the next generation.
TheDribbleDrop: Tell me the best piece of advice you got from a coach, fellow teammate or an older player that plays the point guard spot that pushed your game to another level.
Zanai Jones: My coach says “the point guard is the coach on the floor.” I love my role and take pride in being responsible for where the game goes for my team. I don’t feel any pressure. I love my role on the team.
TheDribbleDrop: Playing point guard often comes with a bit of sacrifice offensively in regards to shots, but what happens when you are the best player on your team and they rely on your scoring? How do you provide that balance?
Zanai Jones: Well I think a point guard should have a pass first mentality, but there are times my team needs me to score. I think the scoring part of your game you need to keep alive at all moments in the game. You need to be a threat to put the ball in the rim to apply pressure.
TheDribbleDrop: In order to be a floor general, people have to want to follow you. If I’m a coach recruiting you and the star center is there listening, what would you say to sell yourself as a leader and a good teammate.
Zanai Jones: I would start by saying I take pride in getting my teammates the ball and making the game easy for everyone. I like the bright lights and big moments, but I love the light to shine brightest on my teammates. It’s not about me. We win the championship together. We all should shine.
TheDribbleDrop: Who are some of your favorite point guards to watch play?
Zanai Jones: I love Steve Nash. He plays with great balance. He can shoot the ball from anywhere but is an amazing passer. In regards to current players, I love the way Damian Lillard plays. I like his approach to the game and his ability to score. In the WNBA I am a big Diana Taurasi fan and Diamond DeShields fan.