Haley Jones wants to involve as many people as possible in everything she does, whether it's with nifty passes in stride for layups on the court or dishing out dancing lessons off the floor.
It's something the 6-1 junior guard has been raised to do since she grew up in Santa Cruz, Calif.
"My mom always talked about being someone who includes others," Jones said. "You would never want to be on the outskirts of a group or be the one excluded, so I try not to ever be that type of person."
Jones, who will lead the Cardinal against Connecticut in Friday's Final Four, is a facilitator with elite size and court vision. Stanford's Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer even compared her star to a certain Los Angeles Lakers legendary point guard.
"Watching her play as a young girl, she never was really stereotyped as a post player," VanDerveer said. "She really has a good handle. She has her head up. She's kind of the Magic Johnson of women's basketball."
In last year's Final Four, Jones was named the most outstanding player after scoring 24 points against South Carolina in the semifinals and 17 points against Arizona in the title game. But she combined for three assists and seven turnovers in those games.
She had the ability to get others involved, but Jones needed to develop her decision-making and her role was to be aggressive looking for her own shot, especially with All-America senior point guard Kiana Williams running the show.
Williams' departure to the WNBA this season made the Cardinal move Jones into the floor leader. That position might seem more natural now, but it was a work in progress early.
Jones had a triple-double against Portland in mid-November, but she also had back-to-back games with five turnovers in the first month of the season, including in a loss to Texas.
Taking care of the ball would get worse before it got better. Jones had seven turnovers twice in Pac-12 play. But her assist-to-turnover ratio (28 to 22) has improved in the past seven games. She had 18 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in the Elite Eight vs. Texas, including one turnover in the second half.
"I think my decision-making has improved a lot and shot selection," Jones said. "I know we're still working on turnovers, but we're getting there."
One of her biggest assists of all might have been teaching VanDerveer and her teammates the electric slide dance to perform on the court after the Elite Eight win.
"Tara was a great learner the other day, so we kind of got to switch roles," Jones said with a smile. "I've had more of a leadership role on the team this year."