Final Four: The biggest stage awaits 'big-game player' Tyus Jones


From his first varsity basketball game as an eighth grader at Apple Valley High School to Saturday's NCAA Final Four game between the Duke Blue Devils and Michigan State Spartans, Minnesota native Tyus Jones has been shining on the biggest stage.

Bleacher Report has a feature column on the freshman point guard titled, "Tyus Jones was Born to Play in the Final Four."

Jones will start at point guard for Duke, and if the Blue Devils win the national championship, Jones will become just the second freshman point guard to start for a national title-winning team, Bleacher Report says.

"The bigger the moment," teammate Grayson Allen said, "the better he plays."

"The five years he was here we consistently played in front of full gyms," Apple Valley basketball coach Zach Goring said of Jones, thinking back to the five years Jones was played for the Eagles. "Wherever he went, there was a big crowd. We'd play in events where there's games in front of us and three games before we would even play, the stands are packed just because they want a chance to watch Tyus play.

"He's used to that. He's always risen to the occasion."

This is will be Jones' second opportunity to slay the Spartans. Jones scored all 17 of his points in the second half of Duke's 81-71 win over Michigan State earlier this season. News-Observer called it the game that showed Jones was a "big-game player."

In Duke's other marquee games this season, Jones averaged 23 points in a pair of wins over North Carolina and 22 points in wins over St. John's and Wisconsin, whom Duke could possibly play in the national title game.

The bigger the stage the better Jones seems to play, and he'll be on his biggest stage yet Saturday in Indianapolis.

Next Up


Walter Mondale dies at age of 93

His death was confirmed by family on Monday.

National Guard

Man charged in connection to shooting that injured National Guard troops

Four soldiers were inside a military vehicle that was shot at.

Chauvin trial

Walz declares emergency in Twin Cities, bringing in police from Ohio and Nebraska

The governor has asked the Legislature for emergency funding for the additional police.

derek chauvin court - closing arguments

Closing arguments in Derek Chauvin trial: Here's what was said

The jury listened to lengthy presentations from the prosecution and defense.


Man, 55, airlifted to a hospital after hit-and-run in Granite Falls

The passenger in the vehicle told police about the incident.

Minneapolis, unrest

Facebook labels Minneapolis 'high-risk,' will remove posts that incite violence

Facebook will remove posts that call for weapons to be brought to Minneapolis and anything that celebrates George Floyd's death.


After being sued, MyPillow is now suing Dominion Voting Systems

The company's lawsuit claims the voting system suppressed free speech and hurt its business relationships.

Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren makes his decision ... and it's Gonzaga

The Minnesota basketball phenom is following the footsteps of Jalen Suggs.

Sarah Glover

MPR News hires NBC's Sarah Glover as new managing editor

The experienced journalist was the first to serve two terms as president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

football play

Watch: Sixth-grader with cerebral palsy makes touchdown in Detroit Lakes

Kale Hannahs' classmates made sure he got a chance to play during recess.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, April 19

The latest from Minnesota health officials.