Double Damons

By Craig Degel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

One is a senior All-American. The other is a little-known freshman.

Damon Stoudamire, the Arizona basketball team's senior point guard, got a look last night at Damon Jones, Houston's freshman outside shooting specialist in a match-up that is sure to spark some comparison.

Both Damons sport a tattoo of their names across their left bicep. But Jones calls it pure coincidence.

"I've had mine since the eighth grade," Jones said. "I didn't even know about Stoudamire until about two years ago."

He may have only heard of him recently, but last night he learned what the rest of the college basketball world already knows.

"He's a great player," Jones said. "He'll be a good asset to any ballclub in the NBA.

"He's very smart, he's a true point guard."

If Stoudamire is a true point guard, then Jones is all shooter. Jones put on a three-point shooting clinic, hitting six of Houston's 12 threes.

His display was just one shy of the record for threes by an opposing player, set in 1992 by Trent Forbes of Providence.

Cougar coach Alvin Brooks attributed Jones' shooting success to his team's ability to move the ball.

"Damon is one of the better pure shooters you'll see," Brooks said. "And his threes were a result of us moving the ball around."

Jones led all scorers with 20 and threw in five rebounds to boot.

Houston should have followed his lead beyond the arc. The Cougars shot a paltry 35 percent for the game, but 50 from three-point country, mostly because of Jones.

"He's a good player," said Stoudamire, who led Arizona with 16 points, mid

14 of which were in the first half as the Wildcats shot 59 percent from the field. "The coaches said he's a great shooter and he went out and proved that tonight."

Jones' three-point total bettered his young career best by one. He hit five against James Madison Nov. 25.

Arizona coach Lute Olson was not surprised with Jones' touch.

"He shot the ball well in tapes," Olson said. "What you saw tonight is not something you should not expect."

Jones is at his best when he gets squared to the basket and has time to bomb away.

"If he gets a good look, he can't be beat," Brooks said.

Damon No. 1 is headed for the NBA, and if you ask him, big things are in store for Damon No. 2.

"He's a young player," Stoudamire said. "He's only going to get better."

Read Next Article