Tyus Jones had a difficult weekend. While he and the Wolves were splitting a two-game road trip, Jones was following both his little brother in the boys’ basketball state tournament and watching his former team, Duke, in the NCAA tournament.
“It wasn’t as good a weekend as I’d have hoped,” he said. “But it happens.”
First his brother, Tre, helped Apple Valley advance to the Class 4A title game, only to lose in the closing seconds to Cretin-Derham Hall. Sunday he watched Duke lose in overtime to Kansas.
“I felt the pain more for my brother,” he said before the Wolves’ game with Memphis on Monday at Target Center. “Seeing him down. It hurts a little more. I hate to see Duke go down as well. But I know they’ll be in the same spot next year.”
Tre Jones is going to Duke, as his older brother did. Tyus Jones led the school to the 2015 NCAA title, earning most outstanding player honors in the process.
After the Wolves beat the Knicks in New York on Friday, Tyus watched the first half of the Apple Valley-C-DH game on the bus on the way to the airport. After that he relied on texts from friends and family to keep up.
“The last one was the worst, by far,” he said. “We took the lead with 5 seconds left. … And the next text was we lost. That was not the text I was hoping to get.”
What did he tell his younger brother? “Just to use it as motivation,” Jones said. “I told him, ‘Hey, you were in the state tournament four times. A lot of guys don’t get to go.’ I only went once. He won two of ’em. I know, for him, it will sting. But I told him it’s time to get ready for the next level.”
Sunday wasn’t much easier, with Duke losing. Jones had bets with Wolves teammates Andrew Wiggins and Cole Aldrich — both of whom went to Kansas — and both made sure to give Jones a hard time.
“That’s OK,” Jones said. “They’d have been hearing from me if it was the other way around.”
Meanwhile, Wiggins was ready for a prediction: “Kansas has some talent,” he said. “I feel we’re going to win it all this year.”
All in the family
Meanwhile, it was a Teague family reunion Monday. Wolves guard Jeff Teague’s younger brother Marquis just signed a 10-day deal with Memphis after playing for their G League team. With both brothers in uniform, their parents came to town for the game.
“He’s been through some ups and downs, and to have the opportunity to get up here and show what he can do, I’m happy for him,” Jeff Teague said.
Marquis, who played at Kentucky, was a late first-round pick of the Bulls in 2012, when Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau was there. He has played in 88 NBA games, most recently for Brooklyn in 2013-14.
“He’s my biggest role model,” said Marquis Teague of his brother. “I was always watching him, growing up, more than anybody. Competed with him in the back yard, all those things. He played a huge role.”
• Derrick Rose missed his third game with an ankle sprain, but Thibodeau said the swelling had subsided and that Rose was close to returning.