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Posted On: 01/16/18 9:39 AM
The New York Mills Eagles season hasn’t lived up to their expectations so far, as they sit with a 2-9 record. However, one reason that they remain optimistic for a strong second half of the season is 6’4” junior F/C, Jonas Baune.
So far in 11 games, Baune has emerged as a go-to player on both ends of the floor for the Eagles, averaging 14.5 PPG, 7 REB, and nearly 4 blocks a game while shooting 52% from the floor.
“My best attributes as a player are my great instincts, good on-ball skills. I can grab a rebound, start a transition, and slash with ease. I also bring a low-post presence with my nimble footwork” says Baune.
In a game against Pillager earlier this season, Baune displayed the aforementioned nimble footwork in the post, and the versatility to step out on the perimeter and handle the ball, on his way to 20 points and 9 rebounds in a 66-57 loss to the Huskies.
Coach Jason Boe offers the following assessment of the budding junior, “Extremely coachable. Handles the ball very well for a big. Helps us out when we see pressure. Has good instincts around the basket. Very consistent scorer around the basket and also can hit the mid-range jumper.”
While the ball-handling skills can be seen in small flashes for Baune, he recognizes that this is something he needs to continuously work on to improve in his game. “Offensively, my dribbling and shot are less developed than other parts of my game. Physically I need more work to dominate more in games. This past off-season I worked on becoming a more versatile player that is flexible to use” he says.
Boe concurs with Baune in terms of improving his strength, saying that he “Needs to work on strength and owning the paint. Needs to fill out more. Strength and physicality are the two things Jonas needs to work on.”
Two things that are not easy to teach are the ability to lead and work ethic. Coach Boe says that these are two intangibles that Baune has a great handle on as a junior, saying that the two things that Jonas brings to the court every single day are “Leadership which he has provided, and constant work at his position. Jonas has delivered on both. Again, he is an extremely coachable and driven young man. He wants to do well, and he understand what he needs to get better at.”
Over the summer, Baune did not play for a larger AAU outfit, but rather with a collection of players from the area. “I played for a local collection of players called the Spartans. As a team, we had an average year finishing around .500. AAU was much more useful to me as a player as I played against defenses that cannot be found in Northern Minnesota.”
Baune says that he has seen the hard work translate to improvements this season, adding “Personally, I have seen much improvement in my game from the year before. I have had a bigger impact on my teams games this year, and routinely defend both centers and forwards.”
To this point in his junior season, Baune has not been contacted by any college programs, but says that “I want a college that can offer a competitive athletics program, where I can further my basketball skills. I also would want a valuable education in a career that I value.”
As the Eagles approach the mid-point of their season, they have their focus on improving each game and flipping a number of these close losses into the other column. If they succeed in doing that, a big reason why will be their junior standout, Jonas Baune.