HANNIBAL, MO. (WGEM) -- It may not be considered a term of endearment but Hannibal boys basketball coach Marty Hull jokingly referred to his star point guard Dez Jones as a "skinny little runt last year."
Things have changed in a hurry for the 5-foot 9-inch junior.
"He's put on 15 pounds from last year and I think that's helped him finish better around the basket, which I don't think he was really capable of last year as a sophomore," Hull said.
"I think that extra weight he's put on has helped him a ton."
Jones is far from a runt.
More like a gym rat.
He spends his time honing his craft and it's rare to see him outside the gym, whether it's watching or playing a game, or practicing.
"I'm in the gym at least four hours a day, every day," Jones said.
"It's helping me a lot, just working on things I need to do."
This season has been nothing short of spectacular. Jones surpassed the 1,000 career point mark and two weeks ago set the single-game program record for scoring with 47 points against Marshall.
"Just doing what I need to do," Jones said. "My teammates help me get better. They help me out and it's a good thing they can do for me."
Jones is not letting anything or anyone slow him down, especially when it comes to how tall he is.
Jones says he plays with heart, not height.
"He plays easily like a six-footer. He can go either way. He can go left, he can go right, he can go behind his back, (and) he can go in between his legs. He can do anything as far as offensive skills with the ball," Hull added.
"I think he'll easily be one of the best well-rounded players ever (to come) through here."