Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino made the decision to bench starting point guard Chris Jones for Tuesday’s matchup with Long Beach State due to the infamous flop that took place against No. 1 Kentucky in Saturday’s Bluegrass battle.
Initially, many thought that Jones was benched due to his poor performance against Kentucky, going 3-for-15 and only distributing one assist. Not to mention, Jones was completely outplayed by 5-foot-9 freshman Tyler Ulis.
After Tuesday’s game, Pitino cleared up the speculation.
“I was very upset at that,” Pitino told the Courier Journal. “We don’t do that type of thing, and then to fake with the jaw like you got hit, you can’t fake like you got hit. You can’t fake it… That’s something Louisville guys don’t do.”
Jones admitted that he had become an expert on flopping during his Junior college days where the success fate sat between 92 or 93 percent.
“I tried to time his elbows,” Jones told the Courier Journal. “He swung twice. I thought he was gonna swing a third time, but obviously he didn’t… I tried to dodge it, but he didn’t swing, so it made it look worse than it was.”
“When you rewind it, the truth comes out,” said Jones.
Consequently, Jones played only 90 seconds in the first half and the final 7 minutes of the second half, when he went scoreless on only one attempted shot in Louisville’s 63-48 victory over Long Beach State on Tuesday.
The good news moving forward is that Jones has learned from his mistake.
“It’s just something I’m not gonna do anymore,” Jones said. “I’m just gonna play straight-up defense. You’ve got to do what you got to do, and if you get bowed you get bowed. I’m just gonna have to take it.’
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.