MARTIN, TN – Second-year head coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin Ryan Rider completed his roster for the 2022-23 men’s basketball season as Austin Nisbet and Alston Jones joined the fold. Nisbett will serve as the Skyhawks’ director of basketball operations while Jones will take on the role of graduate assistant.
“I’ve known Austin and Alston for a long time – they’re impressive young men who are welcome additions to our program,” Ridder said. “Austin has experience at the Division I level and brings a lot of video and analytics knowledge and expertise. Alston is a winner – he played for me in college and was also a part of of a Division I championship team. They are perfect matches for the last two members of our team.”
A native of Ormond Beach, Fla., Nisbett comes to UT Martin after spending the past four seasons with two NCAA Division I basketball programs. He was a graduate assistant for the men’s team at Columbia University last year and an assistant video coordinator for the women’s team at Duke University from 2018-21.
During the 2021-22 season, Nisbett worked under head coach Jim Engles at Columbia, an Ivy League institution located in New York, NY. Nisbett assisted coaches and full-time support staff with administrative duties, team travel, practice preparation, field operations and player development. He also acted as video coordinator, breaking down films and developing personnel statistics databases to assist Lion coaching staff in scouting, roster management and building development plans.
At Duke, Nisbett was part of a flagship Atlantic Coast Conference program under head coaches Joanne P. McCallie (2018-20) and Kara Lawson (2020-21). He coded team and player footage for video breakdown and statistical analysis while assisting Blue Devil’s coaching staff with producing scouting reports. He also assisted coaches with player development and acted as a scout team player.
Outside of the college realm, Nisbett was a Video Assistant for the U.S. Women’s National 3×3 Team in Spring 2021. In this role, he assisted Lawson and the coaching staff with the team’s video operations during their camp sessions. spring training.
Nisbett graduated from Duke in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He is pursuing a master’s degree in sports management after completing his first year of the graduate program at Columbia.
Jones joins the Skyhawks after an accomplished college playing career on the hardwood. He saw playing time in 113 games from 2015 to 2019, earning all-conference accolades in three different seasons. Overall, the point guard tallied 1,188 points and 475 assists in his career as his teams racked up 82 wins, a .631 winning percentage and a trio of conference championships.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Jones began his playing career at Daytona State College under Ridder. He helped lead the Falcons to a combined 50-14 record and a pair of Mid-Florida Conference titles. As a freshman, he was a second-team performer in all conferences after shooting a career-best 50.8 percent from the floor. The following season, he was an All-Mid-Florida Conference first-team selection, averaging 14.1 points and 5.5 assists per game. He had a career-high 35 points (on 15-of-26 shooting) at Palm Beach State College on November 22, 2016, and dished out 15 assists against Trinity Valley three days later.
Jones then moved to the Division I level, where he was part of NC Central’s run to the NCAA Tournament in 2017-18. He hit a career-high 84% of his free-throw attempts while playing 23 games under head coach Levelle Moton, guiding the Eagles to four spectacular wins in five days at the Mid-Atlantic Tournament. Eastern Athletic Conference.
Jones ended his college career under head coach Steve Ridder (Ryan’s father) at Embry-Riddle. He earned Sunshine State Conference All-Newcomer honors with an average of 13.7 points and a team-high 4.3 assists per outing. He scored at least 20 points seven times and had 13 assists against Rollins on Jan. 30, 2019 — the third-best single-game performance in school history.
After his playing days, Jones spent two years working in the corporate field before pursuing his master’s degree at UT Martin. He graduated from Embry-Riddle with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2020 and has a son, Kruz.