Emil Jones: ball hawk with a Mohawk

Published 12:39 am Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Troy guard Emil Jones wasn’t looking to change his image. He wasn’t trying to make a fashion statement. Jones just let his competitive nature get the best of him when he made a friendly wager with teammate Hunter Williams before Troy’s matchup with Georgia State on Dec. 15.

Williams and Jones made a bet that Jones would dunk during the contest with the Panthers. If he didn’t he would have to cut his hair into a Mohawk.

As Jones took the court against Arkansas-Little Rock on Saturday, it was apparent to those who didn’t see the game in Troy a week earlier that Jones did not record a dunk. At least, however, he is a man of his word.

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“(Williams) first said he wanted to cut it anyway he wanted if I didn’t get the dunk, but I couldn’t let that happen. We settled on a Mohawk,” Jones said.

But, the bet doesn’t end there. Jones is obligated to keep the ‘do’ until he does go above the rim in a game.

“I have to keep it until I dunk,” Jones said. “I’ll get one soon. I can’t worry about that though. We’ve got to concentrate on winning games.”

While Jones isn’t known for his dunking skill, he has, once again, turned in a solid season below the rim. The senior leads the team in points per game (10.1), blocks (11), steals (26) and is second to Ray Chambers in rebounds per game with 6.1.

Troy defeated Arkansas-Little Rock on Saturday, 67-64, to earn the team’s first victory in Sun Belt Conference play. Troy (6-10, 1-4) relied heavily on Jones down the stretch of that contest especially after Troy trailed by as many as 11 in the second half.

Jones finished with a game-high 18 points, but most importantly, was 6-for-6 from the free throw line and scored 14 of his points in the second half.

With 3:36 to play, Jones made a pair of free throws to extend the Trojans lead. Two minutes later, he made two more to all but ice the game.

“That’s something we put great effort into everyday,” Jones said. “That’s one of the little battles that you can win to help the team win a game.”

Troy will host Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday. Both the men’s and women’s game will be televised on the Sun Belt Network. The women will kick off the action at noon. The men are set for a 6 p.m.

Troy head coach Don Maestri will be honored by the university pregame as the court inside Trojan Arena is renamed Court Maestri.