Senior forward Brianna Jones is in her second season on the women’s basketball team. She transferred from Danville Area Community College in Daville, Illinois, where she was a two-time all-conference player. She’s also a winner—an attitude head coach Maren Walseth is trying to instill in the Bison. Jones’ record at DACC was 46-18.
Jones splashed on the scene at NDSU in her first game. She hauled in a career-high 19 rebounds in a loss against New Mexico State. Jones reached double figures in seven games last year. Her first career double- double came against Delaware during the San Diego State Thanksgiving Classic. She would end the season with a team-best 7.7 rebounds per game and ranked sixth in the Summit League.
Jones is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana and is known for patrolling the paint on defense. Offensively, Jones prefers her left hand and quick spinning post moves to maneuver her way to the bucket. Jones is one of the three seniors on the women’s roster.
In Her Own Words
When Brianna knew NDSU was where she wanted to be.
“I came here on a visit in March 2015. I did play pick up with the girls and they formally offered me when I was on my visit. I went home three or four days after the visit. Pretty much right after the visit, I knew this is where I wanted to go. A few days later, I called up Maren (Walseth) and told her this is where I wanted to be.”
The differences between JUCO and Division I basketball.
“I think the biggest differences of coming from a JUCO to a Division I school is just the pace of the game, and just the strength of the players. A lot of girls, they’ve been lifting weights since day one, so having to catch up in the weight room so you can compete with these girls, but I think it’s a transition that you can definitely do if you put your mind to it. It’s not an easy transition but this is where I’ve always wanted to be.”
The biggest learning curve?
“I would say trying to get to know my teammates. Learning everyone’s roles that they play and with a new set of coaches, what the roles they want for you. You can think they want you to do one thing, but they want you to do something else, or add onto your game so just getting to know myself again as a player at this level versus at a junior college level. Just putting in more work.”
Playing the post position on a team that likes to run up and down the court.
“I wouldn’t really say it’s hard, it just takes work. It takes hard work, but it’s not hard. This is what I love to do so anything she (Maren Walseth) asks me to do I’m going to be willing to do it. Everything she does ask us to do and wants everybody to do is to only make us better. There are no negatives.”
Finding her voice within the team.
“I definitely feel a lot more comfortable this year, and I think that I have a lot of people that are looking to me and coach always says, ‘say what you have to say, people will listen, people will follow,’ so I’m definitely not as hesitant as I was last year. I have amazing teammates. No matter who is the one speaking, we all respect one another. Respect what they have to say about the game, practice, so it just makes it easier for me.”