RiceOwls.com sat down with this year's Men's Basketball newcomers for a Q&A. The next installment features graduate transfer forward Dylan Jones.
Having gone through the recruiting process once before coming out of high school, how was it this time around?
“It was definitely different. Going through the process all over again, it was different as a grad student. It was more like I was looking at schools instead of being recruited. Asking schools if there was any room on the team. It was a different experience.”
What was it about Rice that stood out to you?
“It is a good graduate program that I’m doing, Global Affairs. Also, it was an opportunity to go home and actually play in front of my family instead of them having to pay to come to Philadelphia like they had to do the last four years. Definitely, the biggest thing was coming home and seeing my family and them getting to see me play.”
How different has it been going from undergrad to grad school?
“It’s definitely different. The biggest thing is the competitiveness between your peers. Once you get into grad school, it’s like a job. Everybody is focusing on different things. But, at the same time, we’re all trying to be the best student that we can.”
What basketball player do you try to model your game after?
“Probably Kevin Garnett. I remember watching him when I was younger and trying to be the same player that he was. Whether it is his rebounding, his athleticism or how he is able to move and get to the rim and score. I try to model myself after him. Also, Tim Duncan. The Big Fundamental. How can I not mention him.”
How different has it been going from playing one system for the past four years to now playing a completely different system?
“It’s definitely different. It’s taken some getting used to. Playing at Penn was a little bit slower. But, coming here, it’s a little more fast-paced. It’s just a different style of play. You just have to get used to it.”
Having played for Coach (Scott) Pera as a freshman at Penn, how much did that have an effect on you coming to Rice?
“It’s one of the big reasons why I came to Rice. Coach Pera was one of the assistant coaches at Penn. He was one of the greatest coaches. He always kept in contact with us. Every year before our first game, he was the first person to text us good luck on the season. Just communicating with him and him being at Rice, it was the best opportunity for me.”
Has there been a returning player that has helped you out?
“Definitely J.T. (Trauber). I guess it’s that Houston connection. I’ve known J.T. since we were eight (years old). So I really knew him coming in. He’s just been a big help. Also, Bishop (Mency) and Connor (Cashaw). They’ve been a big help because they’ve been here for a long time.”
You’re one of six newcomers on the team, but being a graduate student, you’re one of the oldest guys on the team. How has that dynamic been?
“It’s kind of funny actually. The team calls me the old man in the group. But, I still feel like one of the guys. I know I’m older. They make fun of me for being older. But, to be honest, nothing has changed. We still come to play basketball. We’re still great teammates who help each other out. I hold people accountable and they hold me accountable. So, nothing has really changed.”
What are your goals for the season?
“My goals for the season are to try to help my teammates and help the team in general. I want to play my game and play to the best of my ability. Hopefully, we come out on top.”
What are you listening to before a game?
“I actually have a playlist of songs that get me hyped. The funny thing is the songs go from my childhood until now. So, it’s from the 90’s to up-and-coming rappers.”
What is your favorite movie?
“My favorite movie is Space Jam.”
What is your favorite television show?
“I don’t watch a lot of television, but if I have to say, my favorite TV show right now is either Arrow or Flash.”
What is your favorite food?
“Anything my mom cooks.”
If you could have dinner with three people, past or present, who would it be?
“J-Cole, Martin Luther King and Michael Jackson.”