2021-22 Season

With NCAA Tournament aspirations in sight, DeVante’ Jones steers Michigan past Ohio State

Troy Jones could see it in his son’s eyes. 

He didn’t make the trip to Columbus, but he saw the determination through his TV screen, as DeVante’ Jones willed Michigan — without Hunter Dickinson — to a seismic victory over Ohio State, all but punching its ticket to the Big Dance. 

“He was locked in, ready to go,” Troy Jones said by phone Sunday afternoon, a few hours after DeVante’ notched 21 points and nine assists. “I just know he wants to get to the (NCAA) Tournament, period.” 

Jones came to Michigan, as many up-transfers do, with the primary intention of winning. He endured a quartet of fruitless seasons at Coastal Carolina, not once qualifying for the NCAA Tournament despite his individual success. 

Enter Michigan, a program with a recent penchant for NCAA Tournament wins, coming off a Big Ten Tournament Championship and replenishing its roster with the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class. On paper, it seemed like a cookie-cutter swap — Jones would step in to fill the void left by Mike Smith, a seamless transition. 

Very quickly, the plan dissolved. 

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