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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Transfers Jones, House waste no time in making Reed their own

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Photo by Tanner Garza

Danuel House is returning for his senior season in 2015-16. 

Midway through the SEC slate, the Aggie offense lives and dies on a pair of juniors, both of whom wore different colors last season.
And it’s working just fine.
A six-game win streak — snapped Wednesday by Ole Miss — vaulted A&M into a tie for second in the SEC. In those wins, transfers Danuel House and Jalen Jones combined to average 33 points. In the loss, they mustered 14.
The juniors each played two seasons elsewhere — House at Houston, Jones at SMU — before head coach Billy Kennedy scooped them up.
“Well when we found out that they were leaving, we got after them right away,” Kennedy said.
Anxiety loomed within the program once the Aggies saw their leading scorer last season, Jamal Jones, depart the team after being eliminated by Illinois State from the CBI to finish 18-16. When House, a guard, and Jalen Jones, a forward, came into the picture, excitement began to spread.
“I was really excited to get Danuel in here because I know him a little from high school and I played with him,” junior guard Alex Caruso said. “I had some familiarity with him, so I was really excited to get him in here because he’s a big time athlete and scorer.”
Jones shined in his first couple years with SMU, and in his sophomore year, he was tied for first in scoring (14 points per game) and grabbed the most rebounds (7.7 per game) for the Mustangs. Jones said he and the new coaching staff weren’t on the same page, so he decided to leave and start anew.
“I wanted to stay close to home,” Jones said. “My dad was going overseas to Iraq for the war and I wanted to stay close to my mom and my sister. For me, coming to A&M, I kind of wanted to stay in the Texas area and coach Kennedy and his staff showed me a lot of love when I was transferring. I came out or a visit and the players were really cool and they took me in as their own brother.”
Coming out of high school, House was rated a 5-star by Rivals.com. He proved the rating immediately, becoming the first Houston Cougar to hoist Conference Freshman of the Year honors with averages of 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. But, like Jones, a coaching change sent House from Houston.
Switching schools is no easy task for a collegiate athlete. Neither player was sure to play at all this season. House wasn’t cleared by the NCAA to play until the fourth game of the season. Jones became eligible before the season’s start but he’ll have to sit out the first four games of the 2015-16 season because he took part in two closed scrimmages at SMU before transferring in January.
When House learned he was cleared to play by the NCAA, his team suffered a heartbreaking, 55-53 defeat to Dayton in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tipoff. In his first game, House was the leading scorer with 18 in a 64-51 consolation championship victory over New Mexico.
Although he was good to play at the get-go, injury forced Jones to watch from the sideline in street clothes as A&M dropped SEC games against Alabama and No. 1 Kentucky, which the Aggies took to double overtime on 25 points from House.
Since Jones came back, the Aggies hadn’t lost a game until traveling to Ole Miss Wednesday, a stretch that saw House garner SEC Player of the Week honors. With nine SEC games remaining, the pair share the team lead with 13.8 points per game.
“We were lucky that we got both of them in the summer,” Caruso said. “They didn’t have to start late, so we got to talk to them a bit and kind of get them going with the program and how everything works.”
After assessing his time at A&M, House said he’s assured that he made the right choice. Jones shares the sentiment.
“I think I made a great decision,” Jones said. “I love the community around here. I love the players. I love the coaching staff. The academic support here is excellent. I just feel like I made a great decision.”
House and Jones have helped spur the student body’s interest, as Saturday’s win against Vanderbilt marked the largest student attendance in Reed Arena since 2011. Still, A&M’s success has yet to find a national audience. The 15-6 team remains unranked, though many now project A&M to be selected for the NCAA Tournament. Fortunately for the Aggies, they still have nine games for their star duo to draw attention.
“By the end of the season, I want a lot of people to recognize this team as a good team because a lot of people consider us as an average team,” House said. “I don’t think we’re average. A lot of our players put in a lot of hard work and dedication to the game of basketball. For the team, period, I want to get to the NCAA Tournament.”

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  • Danuel House is returning for his senior season in 2015-16. 

    Photo by Tanner Garza

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