Jones solidifies role as Lady Topper floor general

Sophmore guard Micah Jones drives past Arkansas State sophomore guard Britteny Gill during the first half of their game Saturday at Diddle Arena.

Kyle Williams

Due to depth issues last season, Lady Topper guard Micah Jones was thrust out of her natural shooting guard position and into the role of starting point guard as a true freshman.

However, the Greensburg native started in 32 of WKU’s 33 games, logged nearly 30 minutes per contest and dished out a total of 68 assists while averaging 5.7 points per game.

Jones is used to being productive at a young age. The 5-foot-8 floor general played on the varsity level for Green County High School as just a seventh grader and her former coach, Chris Blaydes said her high basketball I.Q. allowed her to make an impact at a young age. 

“There’s three things,” Blaydes said. “One, she’s not going to get outworked. She’s going to outwork everyone out there. Two, her competitive nature is something that has always been there, no matter in sports or academics…and three, she’s just so smart when she plays…she was able to play at a really young age and be very successful.”

In her second season as a Lady Topper, Jones has started all 24 games and boasts numbers of 10.4 points, 2.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds a game while shooting 47 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range.

Jones’ miscues during her freshman year wore on her, but as a sophomore, she said her confidence has risen, allowing her to learn from her mistakes.

“Last year I was shaky all the time,” Jones said. “Just trying not to mess up. This year, I’m confident. I know I’m going to mess up, and I just have to keep playing.”

Jones is one reason the Lady Toppers (16-8, 8-5 Sun Belt Conference) find themselves just two games back from first-place Arkansas State in the Sun Belt Conference standings despite having been without junior guard Alexis Govan for the entirety of league play.

When Govan was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her left tibia, coach Michelle Clark-Heard encouraged Jones to increase her leadership role.

“Coach Heard challenged me when Alexis got hurt,” Jones said. “She said I just have to lead and the other players will follow me, so that’s a big deal.”

WKU dropped a 74-65 decision to South Alabama in its first game without Govan, but went on to notch six of its next seven games by an average margin of 14 points. The only loss during said stretch came against current league-leader, Arkansas State.

Despite the loss, Heard acknowledged Jones’ steady point-guard play as a positive outcome. Jones tallied 14 points on four-of-five shooting with three steals.

“Micah is doing a tremendous job for us and is doing a phenomenal job at the point guard,” Heard said.

WKU is currently riding a two-game win streak and Jones believes the Lady Toppers will be hard to beat if they continue to play with intensity.

“If we play with that energy and that focus and confidence every game, we’re going to be tough to beat,” Jones said. “We do have to bring it every single game, because in this conference, you never know what’s going to happen.”