Still, there's a balance there between aggressiveness and selfishness.
"K.J. is not going to force things. He's not going to take bad shots. He kind of lets the game come to him,'' Huggins said Wednesday. "Really, when you look at it, a lot of what he does is off the offensive glass. The last game [after one of those offensive rebounds], he threw it out. He didn't have a good angle to score. He threw it out. Instead of throwing it back to him and re-establish, we shot it. I guess it's good if it goes in, but it didn't go in.
"But we've got to do a better job of getting the ball to him. At the same time, I don't want him to force things. I think he kind of did that beginning of last year, tried to be somebody that he's not. I think he's done a great job of playing within himself this year.''
That might work at the end of games were Jones surrounded by a cast of supporting players who, as Huggins would say, had any idea what they were doing. When defenses collapse on Jones, someone else has an opening somewhere. Jones tries to find that someone. More often than not, even if he does, it doesn't work out. Witness that 3.6-point average scoring deficit in eight of 13 losses.
Jones wishes some of his younger teammates would take the initiative, but he knows when games get tight they are all looking at him and Truck Bryant.
"As senior leaders, kind of a go-to guy, me and Truck are definitely out there to make sure we get the ball late in games, kind of demand it more. Our teammates have to do a better job of either finding us or taking advantage of, like you said, them denying us,'' Jones said. "I think our teammates kind of look around and look for us to do something instead of making their own play. I think it comes from both sides. We both have to do a better job.''
Don't expect the attention paid to Jones tonight to be anything less than what it has been all season long. Gonzaga is well aware not only of Jones' reputation, but also his value in clutch situations. The Zags aren't going to let him beat them.
"By any means necessary, you limit his touches,'' Gonzaga center Robert Sacre said. "Keep him off the glass. He's boxing them out. He has a great talent of finding the ball, locating the ball whenever it goes off the rim. So we've just got to make sure that you keep a body on him at all times, be physical with him. I think we have a great game plan for him. I'm not too worried about it. I know he's going to come out and play his style of basketball. We'll be ready.''
Hopefully Jones will be, too.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.