Charlotte 6-foot-10 center Phil Jones has had an up-and-down season. He greatly improved his conditioning in the offseason and started the year much more confident and efficient on the court as the 49ers got off to a strong start.
In recent games, however, Jones has struggled and appeared to lose much of the confidence in his game he had developed early in the season.
On Wednesday night, he appeared more like the Jones of the early-season as his three jumpers from the foul-line area sparked Charlotte's 13-4 second-half run that have the 49ers a lead they never relinquished in a 74-64 upset of No. 15 Temple.
They key to Jones' turnaround may have come during a heart-to-heart talk this week with Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz.
"I've had a few off the court issues, like some family stuff back home and that was kind of on my mind and sort of the reason I was in a slump," said Jones, who finished the game with eight points, four rebounds and three blocks. "I spoke to coach and he told me there are some things you can't prevent with me being here and stuff happening back home and to focus that energy. That's what I did."
As for his offensive surge in the second-half run, Jones credits point guard DiJuan Harris. "DiJuan said, 'Just keep shooting.' So that's what I did," he said.
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