Jeff Jones, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard from Monsignor Bonner High School in the Philadelphia area, is a name to watch closely in the class of 2007. The four-star guard enjoyed a strong summer and now the fruits of his labors are beginning to show. Jones has a top three and has his sights set on a big junior campaign.
"I'm really ready. The chemistry we have is good and we need that because we are young and inexperienced," Jones said of his current, but young, squad. "We're working hard and getting ready for what we have to do."
With no returning senior starters, the team is looking to Jones to help lead their cause. After winning less than 10 games last year, Jones says the only way to look is up.
"I know I need to be the leader with this team and help keep our focus and what was can go and do to get the wins this year. We are rebuilding and we have some tough teams ahead of us."
Playing in the tough Philadelphia Catholic league, Jones knows the challenges await but he feels like his performance over the summer helped prepare him for the upcoming season.
"We played the top competition from across the country," Jones said of his time with the New Jersey All-Stars. "I played against ACC/Big East level guards all the time. I learned what it will take to play at the next level and what to work on against the better competition."
Making a move from the two guard spot to the point, Jones looked comfortable running the show. This year he said he'll bounce between the two positions.
Coaches from the East Coast have already been in to see him in open gyms this fall. Villanova, Virginia, Georgetown, St. John's and Penn State watched him work and Georgia Tech stopped by the school as well.
Jones said he is holding offers from Georgia Tech, Villanova, St. John's, Georgetown, Vanderbilt and Miami. Georgia Tech, Villanova and Virginia are high on his list.
"Those are probably my top three," Jones said.
Jones has unofficially visited Georgia Tech and Villanova this fall. He liked what he saw from both programs.
"I want to surround myself with a good coach and good players and a good program with good people that I'd hang out with. I want to be able to be cool with them on and off the court and just happy socially. That is one of the biggest points in the recruiting process for me."
So is a good education, he says.
"That really plays a big part in my decision," Jones said. "You have to look at life after basketball. I want something to fall back on because I'm not always going to rely on basketball so finding somewhere with a good education is a key part in it all. I want to prepare myself with the best education."