March 16, 2008

Thanks for the assist, JJ

JJ was recovering from her ACL injury for the first dozen or so games this season, gradually regaining her strength and confidence at the point and working her way back into the starting rotation.

After her second start on Jan 26 in the game against Cal, 51 weeks after tearing her ACL, Tara said , "JJ's come full circle. This was a big game for her. This is her time to be out there. She takes care of the ball; she understands what we are doing. Her contributions are huge. We had steady guard play; she took care of the ball, hit big shots and worked hard on defense. What more can you ask for?"

JJ has been in the starting rotation ever since, playing an average of 29 minutes a game.

Tara said, after the Pac-10 championship game, "JJ Hones had a great tournament and played a great game for us. She was a real key to our team success today.”

And Sue Bair (Bootleg columnist) wrote, "One major challenge for the Cardinal is no longer an issue. It has become very clear lately how much the guard spots have evolved over the course of the season, to the benefit of the players involved and the team as a whole. JJ Hones has blossomed after shaking off the lingering effects of her lengthy rehab from ACL surgery to solidify her position as Stanford’s floor general. It is no coincidence that Hones logged the heaviest minutes of any Cardinal during the Pac-10 tournament. The offensive execution is noticeably better with Hones running the show."

JJ has also developed her three-point shooting. She has made 44 this season, second only to Candice's 69, and her three-point percentage (.386) is the highest on the team and third in the Pac-10.

And now JJ is on the verge of becoming an NCAA statistic -- the player with the highest assist-to-turnover ratio in the nation. The top three players in that category are currently:

#1. Kristi Cirone, Illinois State, 3.00
#2. Tara Miller, Butler, 2.84
#3. Christine Kinneary, Boston U, 2.68

So far this season, JJ has 94 assists and 30 turnovers, for an A/TO ratio of 3.13.

She's not on the NCAA list, because that requires a minimum of 3.0 assists per game, and JJ has only 2.94. She can achieve the required minimum with five assists in the first game of the NCAA tournament on March 22 or with a total of eight assists in the first two games. (She had 17 assists in the three games of the Pac-10 tournament.) With no more than three turnovers, her ratio will exceed Cirone's, and put her in first place.

We're so glad you're back, JJ. Thanks for the assist.

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