Mike Jones made a clear statement this past weekend at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. "Maryland probably can't be beat," Jones repeated over and over during many interviews.
"I like everything about Maryland. I like the style of play. I think my game would fit in well there. I think the ACC is one of the best conferences in the country. I also want to play on a team that has a chance to win a National Championship."
Jones, a 6-5, 190-pound swingman from Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts, is a very bouncy athlete but his game has expanded out to the three-point line. As each week passes, Jones seems more comfortable in squaring his body up beyond the three-point line and taking his shot. "I work on it everyday," Jones said. "I want to be a complete player."
Jones indicated he would make his decision in July after taking a visit to Maryland. Can anyone beat Maryland? "No," Jones said. "I just want to see how my visit goes and then probably make my decision."
Maryland, Charlotte, Boston College, Virginia and Connecticut were the schools Jones said he had the most interest in. But there is a huge gap between Maryland and the other four schools. Why did Maryland take such a big lead? "The way they played in the NCAA tournament was very impressive to me," Jones said. "I just liked the style of play and thought I could do well there."
Jones previously said he would wait until after the summer to make a decision. But he appears anxious to end the process soon, perhaps in the middle of July. "I want to focus on my play," Jones said. "I want to get ready for my high school season and have a great year."
And then it's off to Maryland? "Probably yes," Jones said.