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.
Derrick Jones Goes Off for 31 in Mary Kline Game, Planning UConn, Louisville, Syracuse Visits
WEST ORANGE, N.J. — If Derrick Jones‘ recruiting stock had dipped in recent months, it appears to be back on the upswing right now.
The 6-foot-7, 190-pound junior wing from Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) went off for a game-high 31 points, including going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc, as Team Bravery beat Team Inspiration, 137-105, at the Mary Kline Classic at West Orange High School.
Jones also finished as the runner-up to guard Unique McLean in the Dunk Contest.
While there are no questions about Jones’ athletic ability, there are some about his shooting stroke. Still, he has now gone 7-for-10 from deep in two all-star games played Friday in Philadelphia and Saturday night here.
“He has been putting in the work every day,” Derrick Jones Sr. told SNY.tv. “He is elevating his game and showing that he’s more than just a dunk machine.’
As far as his recruitment, We R 1 coach Terrell Myers said Jones is “wide open,” but that he does plan to visit UConn, Louisville and Syracuse in the coming weeks.
Derrick Jones Sr. said that his son would visit UConn “within the next week or so. We are just trying to work out what day works for us all.”
The visit has been postponed several times.
“We’ve been trying to visit and trying to get him up there,” Myers said. “The second time Kevin Ollie had something going on with his mom and the first time Derrick missed his flight so we couldn’t get him up there. But that’s definitely a place he’s going to go visit.”
UConn has yet to offer
“Coach Ollie wants to see him in person,” Myers said.
Ollie has been linked to several NBA jobs, but Myers said he doesn’t believe that will hurt UConn’s recruiting efforts.
“Why would it?” he asked. “He just came from the NBA, it’s exciting. But I know him and I know he’s very happy where he is. But who knows? IF the right number comes, anybody could make that decision.. But kids want to play there again. UConn is sexy again.”
Louisville did offer Jones about three weeks ago and Myers called them a “good fit.”
“In the near future we would like to go and see Louisville,” Myers said. “It’s a place that he wants to go see, outside the norm.”
Louisville assistant Kenny Johnson has been recruiting Jones.
“They like him,” Myers said. “They just think he fits their style, looking for an athletic guy that can make plays. A good-character kid, a great kid.”
Myers said Jones will “definitely go see Syracuse” as well.
The Mary Kline game was chock full of Syracuse connections. Moustapha Diagne, a 2015 power forward from Pope John XXIII, committed to the Orange Saturday night, and 2015 commit Frank Howard and 2014 signee Chris McCullough also played.
Indiana is also involved for Jones, and he may visit there later this summer.
“He’s open, he’s just trying to figure out the best fit,” Myers said. “He’s a kid that’s growing, he’s still trying to figure out who he is so he’s gotta make sure that school fits who he is.
“He’s wide open. When I say that, I mean he’s wide open.”
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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 and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, 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.