Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
In his first interview since committing to St. John’s over the weekend, Christian Jones said he’s excited about joining the Johnnies and believes they can get back to the NCAA Tournament.
Jones chose St. John’s over Auburn and Oklahoma State and will suit up for the 2012-13 season.
Asked why he committed, the 6-foot-7, 220-pound Jones out of Arlington, Texas, told SNY.tv, “Their coaching staff is unbelievable. They’re fun, they’re energetic, they get you going. And they’re just overall good. When they’re all together, we all had fun. And then their style of play, they’re fast, they’re uptempo. That’s how I came from. With IMG [Academies], that’s how we was, real fast, they don’t slow the ball down.”
Jones said he considers himself a natural four-man who is transitioning into a three.
“I’ve been coming up as a four-man so I’ve been playing the four most of my life, face-up four,” Jones said. “And then I’ve transitioned to a three as time went on when I went to IMG. I can do both, whatever situation I’m in, whatever coach [Steve Lavin] wants me to do, I’ll do it.”
He added: “He knows I can play outside and that I’m strong enough to post somebody up.”
Jones is familiar with several current Johnnies. He knows guard Phil Greene from IMG, and D’Angelo Harrison and incoming point guard Jamal Branch are both fellow Texans.
“I know Jamal Branch because he played on my AAU team and we were about to go to the same high school, so we have a real good connection,” Jones said. “I know Phil Greene a little bit through IMG, seen him a few times. And I played D’Angelo in high school.”
Jones joins a 2012 class that includes fellow bigs JaKarr Sampson, Orlando Sanchez and Chris Obekpa and guards Branch, Felix Balamou and Marco Bourgault. Harvard transfer Max Hooper will sit out the season.
“With the players that he’s bringing, I think we’re going to make it pretty far,” Jones said. “We’re going to strive to be pretty good.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.