YOU CAN call it the "Derrick Jones effect."
No, not just the audible astonishment the 6-6 senior's aerial displays elicit from the Archbishop Carroll faithful. Apparently, Jones' exploits also change the energy of his teammates.
"It definitely gives us a spark every time he gets a dunk," said Patriots guard Samir Taylor. "I feel like that helps us change the game around."
Last night at Widener University, Jones and Co. jumped on Haverford School, 69-49, in front of a near-capacity crowd at the Pete and Jameer Nelson Holiday Classic.
Jones (UNLV) finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and an MVP trophy. He also sent the crowd into hysterics with several explosive dunks (and even a few missed attempts).
"It picks us up when he gets a dunk," said Josh Sharkey, a 5-10 junior guard. "The whole team gets excited and energized, and we feed off plays like that."
However, Carroll's ancillaries were also key during a 13-2 second-quarter push, especially considering that senior forward Ernest Aflakpui remains sidelined by injury.
Taylor (nine points, four steals) scored eight during that run, while 6-3 sophomore Dave Beatty (13 points) capped the burst with a three for a 30-14 Patriots advantage. Junior guard John Rigsby also added 11 points (4-for-7 shooting, 2-for-2 from three).
"Having the role of being another scorer on the team," Beatty said, "it's like when [Jones] is tired I have to step up or when I'm tired [teammates] have to step up."
In contrast, the Fords received 40 of their 49 points from senior guard Levan "Shawn'' Alston and junior forward Lamar Stevens. Alston, a Temple signee, finished with 21 points and an MVP trophy. Stevens added 19 with five rebounds.
Jones, one of the nation's top recruiting prospects and winner of several dunk contests, may garner much of the spotlight, but Taylor, for one, doesn't feel slighted.
The 6-foot senior said he's been drawing some Division II college eyeballs as another result of the "Derrick Jones effect."
"It's a great experience because you get more exposure because he brings a lot of exposure," Taylor said. "I don't really care about the attention. I just want to play basketball."
In a losing effort, Martin Luther King senior Tyere Marshall (17 points, five rebounds and three blocks) took MVP honors in the Cougars' 53-44 loss to St. Benedict's, which was led by 17 points from Nate Pierre-Louis, who also won MVP.