At This Point In Bryce Jones(Limoges ESP Elite) Career It Isn´t About The Accolades But To Continue To Always Get Better

Bryce Jones (183-PG-1994, college: Murray St.) is a 28 year old 183cm point guard from New York that is playing his 5th professional season and first with Limoges CSP Elite averaging 15/2/5 stats in the Pro A and 12/2/4 stats in the BCL. He played the last 3 seasons in Serbia with KK Borac Mozzart Cacak (Serbia-KLS) and last season with KK FMP Beograd (Serbia-KLS). He played his rookie season with KK Ulcinjska Rivijera Ulcinj (Montenegro-Erste Liga). He began his basketball career in Brooklyn, New York at the Boys and Girls high school. He then played 2 years at Jones County Junior College (JUCO). He finished his college career in the NCAA with Murray State averaging 12.7ppg, 4.0rpg, 4.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 87.1% as a junior and 12.2ppg, 3.3rpg, 3.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 88.8% as a senior. He spoke to before a Basketball Champions League game in Ludwigsburg.

Thanks Bryce for talking to Your playing your first season in France Pro A with Limoges CSP Elite. How blessed do you feel having made this step in your 5th pro season? Is it fair to say that you have paid your dues?

It is an honor to play for this organization. It has a lot of history in French basketball. I have been a pro now 5 years and it feels like it has been a long road, but still feels like it went fast. I think that my name is on the rise. I believe I have been doing a good job here.

You had a great NCAA career but played your first 4 seasons in Montenegro and Serbia. Do you feel your size has slowed down your progression moving up the basketball ladder overseas?

No I don’t think so. I think the reason was that I began my pro career a year late. I had a tough start with the agent that I had. He sent me to a try out in Greece and I got cut. Then I returned home. I couldn’t find a job that first season. I also think that coming from a mid major, my stats weren’t really outstanding. I think that that could of played a role. But once I got that opportunity in Montenegro, I took it and ran with it.

What kind of an experience has it been playing in Limoges? What have you learned to enjoy most about the experience?

I think the best part has been the fans. They are a big part of it. They pack the gym every night. The fans really show a lot of love. They give you that family feeling. It’s pretty cool.

The team has a do or die game in Ludwigsburg in order to reach the next round. How big would you classify that game in your career up to now?

I think it’s one of the biggest games in my career. It means a lot to advance. I have to be honest that at this point in my career, I’m not in it for the accolades. Now it’s all about how I can get better.

The first game was a tight affair as you lost by little and in game 2 you blew them out on home court. They seem rattled and were missing a few key players. Limoges has the momentum. How confident are you that Limoges can pull it out?

I think key will be to stick to the game plan and to be able to execute against their defensive pressure. They are an aggressive and physical team and I think that if we stay calm and respond well to what they bring, then we have good chances to win.

Talk a little about your American teammates Javontae Hawkins and Jayvon Graves. What have you appreciated most about their games this season?

Jayvon is one of the best athletes that I have ever played with. He is a quiet kid, but he listens. He comes to me for advice. He doesn’t know the ropes yet so well so I try to do the best I can to help him. He is going to be a great player. Javontae is a go getter and can get a bucket at any time. I appreciate his scoring abilities and communication skills. I try to help him with playmaking so that he can reach the next level. He is a big time threat at any time. He is definitely a 4 level scorer.

Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 183cm point guard. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would you compare it to most?

I have no idea really, but I can tell you who I like to watch and study. Those players would be Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, James Harden and Kevin Durant

You’re a player that can fill he stat sheet with ease. What do you believe is your biggest strength?

I think that I can score at a high level if I put my mind to it. But I have this unselfish gene in me where I tend not to be as aggressive and rather get my teammates involved. But I do like to score. I can’t lie.

How did your game grow in Serbia? How are you a better player now then in 2019?

I think that my game grew through experience in my time there. In my first year, I didn’t really have to do much. We had a solid team. In my second year, I had more responsibility to have to score and do playmaking. I accepted the challenge and was able to adapt to the play in the league. In my last year, I had figured out the schemes and how teams scout me. The game slowed down and I picked teams apart. That experience has helped me stick to a routine and that is keeping me consistent.

You have proved that you can be a lethal playmaker in Serbia. What will be most key to be able to continue to this at higher levels?

I think key will be adjusting to the players and my teammates on the court. Also having a better feel for the game will help. There are so many leagues and all are different. It is all about how fast you can adapt to each level. Being able to play through mistakes is also important. That is how you learn.

What kind of a defender are you now and what kind of defender do you still want to become?

I feel like I’m a pretty solid defender at the moment. I have good hands and instincts on rotations. In the future, I want to be able to be that defender that can do things to help his team win. Doing the dirty work and hustle plays.

On what areas of your game are you working on most now so you can continue to improve your game?

I’m working on my weak hand and developing more range from outside.

Last season you played for KK FMP Beograd (Serbia-KLS) averaging 15.7ppg), 3.1rpg, Assists-1 (6.7apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT-2 (93.8%). That was your third season in Serbia. Playing that long in 1 country like Serbia is untypical for an American. What did you learn to appreciate most about the country and it’s basketball?

We won a title during Covid. Budgets went down during that time elsewhere, so I decided to return. I did well my second year and in my third year I went to another Serbian team as they offered me good money. It was a logical decision. I knew the league and style. I was used to so much and I made a lot of friends. Everyone embraced me. I liked the coaches, food and language. It was a life changing experience for me. I’m really happy that I did it. I had good character and saw the good side of Serbia.

You played with KK Borac Mozzart Cacak (Serbia-KLS) from 2019-2021 averaging 11.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 32.9%, FT: 86.5%; and in the Adriatic League averaged 10.9ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.0apg, Steals-4 (1.8spg), FGP: 46.7%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 80.6% and in his second season averaged 12.7ppg, 2.7rpg, Assists-5 (4.6apg), Steals-1 (1.7spg), FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 77.4%. What memories do you playing in Serbia during Covid? The circumstances surely didn’t hinder your game at all.

Covid was tough. My team had a great fan base. Our gym would always had been full had Covid not come. I wish I could of played in front of the fans. Each game felt like a practice game. It was always quiet. It was tough because so many games got cancelled. You had to be ready and take care of yourself.

You played your rookie season with KK Ulcinjska Rivijera Ulcinj (Montenegro-Erste Liga) averaging 20.2ppg, 5.0rpg, Assists-2 (6.5apg), Steals-2 (2.3spg), FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT-3 (88.8%). What do you remember being your wake up call to being a rookie overseas where you knew that you were far away from home?

My wake up call was going into the first restaurant and no one knowing English. Then I got into my apartment and turned on the TV and there was no English. That is when I realized that I was far away from home. That was the first time in my life where I got home sick. I had been traveling since I was 17. I really felt alienated. It was crazy.

You had a rare triple double against Zeta scoring 34 points, getting 12 rebounds and 11 assists. What memories do you have of that game? Where do you rank it in the best games of your career?

I knew I was playing well and had buckets in my head, but I honestly had no idea I had achieved a triple double until like 3 days after the game. I never checked the stat sheet. My performance made the newspaper and that is how I found out after my teammate brought it to the gym. I had had no idea that I had scored so much. It had been one of the most efficient games in league history. It is a top 5 game in my career.

You played at Jones County Junior College (JUCO) from 2012-2014 averaging10.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 5.0apg, 2.3spg
and 19.4ppg, 4.0rpg, 5.9apg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 80.2%. Most guys I have talked to have said that playing JUCO was tough but one of the best things they ever did. How was it for you?

I agree with you. Jones County is a special place. It’s a very small college in Mississippi. I had no idea that I would end up there. I went there with some friends from New York. We had an up and down season, but ended up winning the title. I sacrificed a lot of time in the gym. I always felt like we could win the national title and did. We proved each game that we were a good team. My JUCO experience was a lot better than my NCAA expereince I had more fun in JUCO. It was a life changing event. I did something that had never been done before in the history of Mississippi. No one can take that away form me. I made life long friends. I still talk to guys to this day. People downgrade Juco, but shouldn’t. All have the mindset to get a scholarship to go to division 1. So you have guys battling each other on a daily basis in order to get ahead. It was the best feeling getting that scholarship. I don’t necessarily recommend JUCO, but it can definitely help you out.

What do you remember from winning the JUCO title? Did that group of guys become brothers for life?

I have created a good bond with a number of guys.

You had many memorable games at Murray State but where do you rank the 85-84 win over Tennessee State where you logged 41 minutes and scored 12 points?

Yes it was. That game was historic. That game was crazy. I almost played the whole game. I was more in awe just in playing and watching Jonathan Stark hit the buzzer beater. I will never forget it.

How did head coach Matt McMahon groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

Coach was all about positivity. He always had super energetic and had positive energy. He was always in a good spirit.

Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Jonathan Stark?

We only played once and I beat him by 1 or 2 points.

Who is the toughest player that you ever faced in the NCAA that reached the NBA?

I don’t think anyone that I played against went to the NBA

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Leroy Fludd, Johnny Zuppardo, Dezi Rodriguez, Garret Nevels and Dusan Miletic

Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?

Jordan, Kobe, Lebron, KD

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron and why isn’t Kobe mentioned more?

They are both completely different players and one of a kind. Lebron has the overall game and Jordan is the assassin. It is like picking between apples and oranges. It depends who you like better. I take Jordan.

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

They should of left it alone.

Thanks Bryce for the chat.


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