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.
Sophomore Star Derrick Jones Likes Syracuse, Kentucky
Derrick Jones is only a sophomore at Radnor (Pa.) Archbishop Carroll High School, but he may already have a good idea about his dream schools.
“He’s leaning toward Syracuse and he would love to go to Kentucky,” his father, Derrick Jones Sr., told SNY.tv.
“He loves Kentucky and he loves Syracuse. We’ve been talking about Syracuse the most.”
Syracuse has offered, while Kentucky has not.
“They don’t call until they know what they want,” Jones Sr. said of Kentucky.
The 6-foot-7, 180-pound small forward is ranked No. 37 in the Class of 2015 by Rivals. He was one of the stars at the recent Pittsburgh Jam Fest while playing with the We R 1 AAU program, and his father said the younger Jones holds offers from Villanova, Temple, Arkansas, Xavier, Cincinnati, Penn State, Ohio State, Rutgers and others.
“I’m pretty sure within the next month or two we’re going to get a lot more,” the father said.
Jones has already visited Temple and Villanova and plans to visit Syracuse, Iowa State and UCLA this summer.
“We’re goint to see Syracuse this summer,” Jones Sr. said.
He added that he thinks his son could fit well into Syracuse’s offense and zone defense.
“I think how they play, the size of their wing plyers, how they’re open to the different changes in the game,” he said.
“Syracuse has a little bit of everything, combo guards, combo forwards.”
Jones plays a stretch four at Archbishop Carroll, but Jones Sr. said his son has a vast array of talents.
“Derrick can be as good as he wants to be,” said Terrell Myers, his AAU coach. “His athleticism and motor give him a huge edge versus his competition. This summer we will continue to spent time in the gym developing his body and skill set. Once that transition happens he could possibly be the best player in America.”
Jones Sr. said it was possible his son could make a college commitment next season as a junior if he feels comfortable with his choice.
“Junior year he may commit,” Jones Sr. said. “I told him to take his time, go see the schools. Take your time to make your decision where you go. I don’t want him to make the wrong decision.”
Jones comes from an athletic family. Johnson Sr. said he is a former boxer, Derrick’s grandfather played football and Derrick’s uncle, Ron Jones, had a pro basketball career cut short by injury.
Jones Sr. said he himself got sidetracked by the streets in Chester, Pa., but has since moved the family to Chicester, Pa., which he feels is a better environment for his son.
“I ended up getting my stuff together a little bit,” Jones Sr. said.
“Chichester is a little bit more settled where he can be himself and not have to be a part of that Chester hype. The basketball scene is great and I love Chester.
“At the end of the day I didn’t think that Derrick fit. Derrick would be a whole different kid if I left him in Chester.”
He added: “Derrick hasn’t had the easiest life. I put him in a position to be successful. He’s an all-around great player, a great kid. He works every day, on and off the court.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.