JONQUEL Jones continues to put up phenomenal numbers during the offseason in China and is pegged as one of the early candidates for MVP.
Jones is currently averaging 25.7 points and 18.1 rebounds per game for Shanxi Xing Rui in the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association and was named the league’s top performer last week.
In her latest game she finished with 34 points and 19 rebounds, while her team crushed Xinjiang by a 23-point margin 102-79. Her week also included 24 points and 20 rebounds in a marquee matchup against the Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart with her Shanghai club. She also dropped a season high 40 points and 14 rebounds in an 88-82 loss to the top ranked team in the league, Beijing Great Wall.
Jones is the league’s second leading scorer behind Stewart’s 26.7 points per game.
Shanxi XR is currently fourth in the WCBA standings at 6-4.
Led by Jones, Shanxi XR has been the second ranked scoring team at 82 points per game and second ranked assist team at 15.8 per game and tops in rebounding at 37.9 boards per game.
The WCBA is the top-tier professional women’s basketball league in China and is the women’s counterpart to the Chinese Basketball Association.
The 2017-18 WCBA will include a 26-round regular season and playoffs, as well as All-Star weekend on January 20, 2018. The league expanded by two clubs this year to bring the total number of teams to 14. The top eight teams will advance to the playoffs.
Jones’ last offseason propelled her into becoming the WNBA’s Most Improved Player, an All-Star and an All-WNBA Second Team selection, leaving fans and pundits eager to see what this offseason will bring.
Jones was selected No. 5 overall by Woori Bank in the Korean Basketball League and led the team to a championship title. On the season she averaged 15.8 points, 14.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks - all team leads - in 24 minutes per game for Woori Bank in 38 games.
At the league’s award ceremony, Jones earned the Foreign Most Valuable Player Award, Defensive Player of the Year award and was named “Best Five” in the league.
Her performance led WNBA general managers to vote Jones as the player most likely to have a breakout season in the WNBA.
Jones finished the year averaging 15.5 points and 11.9 rebounds per game - a dramatic increase from her rookie season when she averaged 6.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
She also set a new WNBA single-season record with 403 rebounds for the season and added 20 double-doubles.