6-foot-4 180 lbs. junior guard Jeff Jones, originally from Chester, PA, but curently residing in Wilmington, DE, starts at a new school tomorrow. It's been a bit of a confusing trip this summer for him, but when classes start on Thursday at St. Augustine's in Richland, NJ, Jones will be there. Rivals.com spoke with Jones last night about his new school and recruiting interest.
Jones starred at Monsignor Bonner HS in Drexel Hill, PA last year, averaging 19.5 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. This year Jones will move to perenial south Jersey power St. Augustine's and play under highly respected veteran coach Paul Rodio.
"I'm excited about going to St. Augustine's," Jones said. "My dad and I are moving to New Jersey and I'm ready to play for coach Rodio. He is a really cool guy, a cool coach."
Jones really raised his level of play this spring and summer, his first year playing up in the 17 and Under division. After a rocky start at the Boo Williams Invitational in April, Jones went on to display the raw quickness and perimeter shooting prowess that has garnered him a #83 national ranking and a number of high major scholarship offers.
"Georgia Tech, Villanova, Virginia, NC State, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, and St. John's have all offered," Jones stated. "I'm also interested in Miami."
Jones said that Georgia Tech, Villanova, and Virginia are his top 3 schools right now, and that he plans to visit both Georgia Tech and Virginia in the next couple of months to take in some football games.
He took an unofficial visit to NC State last spring, and said it went well.
When asked about his contact with college coaches, Jones gushed about Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt and Villanova's Jay Wright.
"Coach Hewitt is just a down to earth guy," Jones said. "He's really easy to talk to and just seems like a really good person. Coach Wright is the same way. He really likes my game. I like both, not just as coaches, but as people."
The distance factor also doesn't seem to faze Jones.
"I'm not really concerned about whether a school is close to home or not," he said. "As long as I feel comfortable, and there are good teachers, a good environment, and good coaches, distance doesn't matter."
Jones is focused on making a spring decision, though he wouldn't rule out a decision coming much sooner.
"It could happen in the fall if I'm on a visit and things are going really well," he said. "If I really like it and feel comfortable I could see myself making a decision."
"I'm looking for the best college to prepare me to do well after basketball," he explained. "A place that will help me get a good job so that I don't have to rely on basketball."
Jones will not play in any fall AAU events, instead focusing on getting acclimated to his new surroundings at St. Augustine and doing individual workouts.
Jones is a terrific shooter with excellent quickness and an improved game off the dribble. He must continue to get stronger and work on his defensive intensity to realize his potential at the next level, however, his length is ideal for the 2G position.
Rivals.com will keep updates on Jones after his fall visits.