Whenever I watch class of 2014 star point guard Tyus Jones play I think of one word: smooth. Everything he does is smooth. His shot, his handle, his passing, everything. However, that’s clearly not the extent of his talents. The 6’2, 175-pound floor general out of Apple Valley, Minnesota has skills and smarts well beyond his years which led to him winning the 2012 Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year award as just a sophomore.
Jones, who averaged 28.1 points, 8.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game last season, shot 55.6% from the field in addition to 44% from three-point land. He also owns the record for most made free throws in a single season at Apple Valley High School (151) and ranks second among the all-time single season assists leader board with 240 in his freshman year.
Jones has led his Howard Pulley Panthers (Minnesota) AAU squad to a Peach Jam berth too in the Nike EYBL post-season. His 18 points per game ranks among the top five averages in the 40-team league and his 5.7 assists a contest is the best average in the league. Jones average 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game too and shoots above 50% from the field including 77% from the free throw line. The recently turned 16-year-old has had an impressive resume with USA Basketball as well by winning the gold medal at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championships and leading the entire field with 5.6 assists per game. He also just returned two days ago from a two and a half week long trip to Lithuania where he helped the USA squad claim the U17 World Championship gold medal.
As you’d expect, Jones has a long list of scholarship offers from some of the top programs in the country including Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Iowa, Iowa State, Indiana, Marquette, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Providence. He also told Duke Report last night that Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and UCLA have been showing interest recently. Jones has already taken trips to Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State and plans on visiting Baylor and Duke some time. He said that there are no other schools he wants to visit at this time.
One thing that is worth mentioning that he has told us multiple times is the fact that he’s interested in playing with class of 2014 star shooting guard Theo Pinson and class of 2014 stud center Jahlil Okafor in college, more so Okafor. He has continuously been having conversations with Okafor about teamming up at the next level and the schools they have discussed include Arizona, Duke, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State. Jones has no timetable for putting a list together but did say he’ll start to focus more on his recruitment after the AAU season ends.
Ever since the first time I saw Jones play, I’ve been in love with his game. I’ve already told you how smooth his game is, but you don’t fully understand it until you see it in person. Jones is a guy with an impressive shooting stroke who can score from all three levels. He does a beautiful job of penetrating and constantly getting into the lane and he’s very quick with the ball. Jones is a good ball-handler too who is a good finisher through contact around the rim. He displays with a high basketball-IQ every time he steps on the court and is a good passer. He does an outstanding job of directing the offense as well and he’s simply able to put the ball wherever he wants it on the court. Jones has tremendous court vision and is good on the defensive end too.