Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 2/20/12
When Lazeric Jones scored just six points against USC last Wednesday, it went pretty much unnoticed in the Bruins 10-point win. When Jones scored five points last Saturday at Madison Square Garden in the Bruins three-point loss to St. John's, it was noticeable. "I thought Zeek didn't get enough shots (against St. John's)," said head coach Ben Howland to FOX Sports Radio of Jones, who was just two of eight from the field on Saturday. Also, according to Howland, Jones was reacquainted with an old habit against St. John's. Howland noticed hesitancy on Jones' part to shoot jump shots. "Late in the game he passed up a wide open three to drive and take a guarded shot. He's got to shoot more jump shots. He's going to the basket and shooting floaters instead of shooting jump shots," said Howland. Last summer, Jones spent a lot of time working on his floater while playing pickup games with then-locked out NBA players. Once the season began, Howland believed Jones had become too reliant on the floater. Jones started the season three for 20 from the field. The senior guard made the adjustment, found the touch with his floater, and became more selective about shooting it. Once Jones' contributions were better, the Bruins started to play better. He's been the team's most valuable player this season, due in part to him being assertive on offense --something that's been missing lately. "We need Zeek to take more (shots). He should be leading us in shots attempted or right at the top every game and he really hasn't been," said Howland. "We got to get more shots for him." A part of Jones being able to be more assertive is being able to play off of the ball more with Jerime Anderson shouldering the brunt of the point guard responsibilities. With that, Jones has also had to guard more athletic wings. On Saturday, Jones was given the task of guarding St. John's guard D'Angelo Harrison. "That takes a lot of energy," said Howland. "He'll guard the other team's best player. That's been his role here a lot." Jones is three for 12 from the field in the Bruins' last two games. It's the first time since November that he's registered single digit point totals in consecutive games. UCLA (15-12, 8-6 Pac-12) will be back at practice on Tuesday in preparation for Arizona State (8-19, 4-11 Pac-12) on Thursday.
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