When Josh and I first started Category 6, prior to merging with SB Nation to form The State of the U, we had many goals both realistic and seemingly impossible. We wanted especially to help the basketball program. We saw it as an under appreciated team that properly supported would one day burgeon into something special. We also hoped along the way to meet the kind of people with the vision and perseverance to make such impossible dreams come true.We have not been disappointed.
This coaching staff, the roster as a whole, this senior class, and their families all embody these qualities.
Trey McKinney Jones in particular, epitomizes everything you could want in a student athlete, and is an underrated part of Miami's success and the dream season that is currently in progress.
When Trey first came to UM, transferring after two years at University of Missouri-Kansas City, there was not a ton of fanfare. He was most famous for the unbelievable dunk below:
But beyond the sick athleticism (the play above made SportsCenter top 10 for the day at #1), the 'Canes were also getting a complete player and more importantly a complete person. Just ask Head Coach Jim Larranaga,
"Trey McKinney Jones really gambled by leaving UMKC and coming to the ACC and playing at the highest level of college basketball and yet has moved into our starting lineup and done a fantastic job. He can really shoot the ball, and has very, very high character. He's working on his Master's Degree as well."
Indeed, Trey has been a force on the court as well as a model citizen off of it. Known for his shooting accuracy, hard-nosed defense, and all-around floor game, TMJ has been both explosive and consistent in his two years in Coral Gables. His ability to do almost anything on the hardwood has even earned him the nickname, "The Swiss Army Knife."
Against Michigan State 11/28 in a pivotal out of conference match-up, McKinney-Jones had perhaps his finest moment as a 'Cane, scoring 18 points and knocking down 5 trifectas to lead UM to a 67-59 victory. On 1/2 Trey would again show his sharpshooting going 4-5 from deep against LaSalle in a 76-59 win. His all-around game (10 points 4 rebounds & 3 assists) helped key the 90-63 destruction of then #1 Duke on 1/23. Despite his unselfish nature, Trey has scored in double figures in 15 of 28 games this season. But beyond the numbers, the defense, the versatility, and his consummate nature as a teammate, the thing TMJ brings to the table perhaps more then anything else is his ability to make key plays in the clutch. In key situations McKinney Jones has been deadly accurate and cold blooded. All in all he is a perfect compliment to his teammates and key factor to the 'Canes success these past two years.
In his personal life, Trey has been nothing short of a great person.
-Trey's parents: Mom Luann, Dad Dwight, Stepfather Ed.
"Off the court we are proud of many things about Trey. We admire his diligence in pursuing his education. We feel that with his degrees he will be successful with or without basketball. He's very loving and loyal to family and friends. He can relate to all kinds of people and genuinely enjoys their differences. We are grateful that he has a strong faith and know that he is thankful for the opportunities he's been blessed with. Trey has three younger siblings. Two sisters (Laine - 11, and Mariel - and one brother Dwight Jr. - 13). He's an awesome big brother! His sisters are two of his biggest fans and they drop everything to watch his games. They miss him very much when he's in Miami but he makes sure to have quality time with them when he is home. There is a lot of laughing in the house when Trey is home! His sisters will never forget their trip to Miami, by themselves, to visit Trey this last December. "
On his experience at UM,
"It means the world to me and is something that is going to stick with me for the rest of my life. I am going to come back and support every sport, but especially the basketball team. My experience as a whole, I could not ask for a better one. It has been perfect."
It's been special for UM fans as well, and we have a feeling the final chapter has not yet been written.
To keep tabs on Trey be sure to check out his website:
& follow him on twitter:
Interesting factoids on Trey, his aunt Esther won Olympic gold as part of the 4X100 relay team in 1992 for the US and his uncle Mark Jones played basketball professionally in the NBA and overseas.
Trey has a B.A. in Marketing and is working on a M.A. in Liberal Studies.
Finally, some more highlights of the silky smooth Trey McKinney Jones against "Sparty" (courtesy Ed Schmitt):
Be sure to also keep an eye out for more Senior tributes from The State of the U as we count down to Senior day.