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.
Curtis Jones: Maryland Will Definitely Be In My Top Five
By CHIP MILLER
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For Huntington Prep (WV) guard Curtis Jones, there is no doubt in his mind that when the time comes to cut his list to an expected five schools, Maryland is the one school that will “definitely” make the cut.
“Yes,” the 6-foot-3 2016 point guard told SNY.tv in an exclusive at the Nike EYBL circuit. “They’ve recruited me for so long, I know them so well, so they are definitely top five.”
Many experts believe Maryland is the current team to beat when it comes to Jones’ recruitment, but asked if they were the favorite, Jones stated, “I wouldn’t say favorite.”
“They are probably one of the schools that recruited me the most,” Jones continued. “I know almost everything about them. I’m really good with the coaching staff. They recruited Anthony Cowan. When it comes to that school, I just feel comfortable, I know them a lot.”
Maryland may appear to be the strong favorite, but they’re not the only school pressing the recruiting envelope with the 2016 four-star.
“I’m hearing a lot from Indiana, Missouri, Texas, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, NC State, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina and a couple of other schools,” Jones said. “NC State, Missouri, Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, VCU, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and a couple others have offered.”
Texas and Georgetown are the two newest names on Jones’ radar. Georgetown received an unofficial visit from Jones.
“It was fun,” Jones said. “I went to their midnight madness and that was a lot of fun.”
Jones has also taken unofficials to Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville and Missouri where a familiar face now coaches.
“[Rob Fulford] is a good guy,” Jones said about the new Missouri assistant coach. “He can get riled up but he’s a great guy, I like him a lot.”
“Me, Miles [Bridges] and Thomas [Bryant] took a visit earlier in the summer,” Jones continued. “We really enjoyed it. He toured us around and showed us the place. That’s a great place and he’s a great guy.”
Asked what the experience was like at Louisville, Jones had nothing but smiles.
“That was a great experience'” Jones said with a smile on his face. “Just being there, seeing The Yum! Center. I went to the North Carolina game where they came back and won and the place was just going crazy.”
Since being able to personally talk with coaches, Jones said he has heard from multiple head coaches.
“I’ve talked to Shaka [Smart],” Jones said. “Maryland’s Coach [Mark] Turgeon a lot, Danny Manning from Wake [Forest] and I’ve talked to Tom Crean from Indiana.”
Asked what it was like talking to Texas’ Smart, Jones drew from his time living around a former Smart coached school.
“When he [Smart] was at VCU, I lived like 10-15 minutes away,” Jones stated. “I could go over there a lot. Then I got on the phone with him once he got the Texas job.”
“I congratulated him and asked him how the move was and things like that,” Jones continued. “I really like him as a person.”
Despite all of the attention, Jones said five schools show up on his phone more often than others.
“I would say Georgetown, Maryland, Missouri, Wake Forest and Indiana,” Jones explained.
When it comes time to decide, Jones would like to end his recruitment early.
“I’ll probably start to narrow everything down towards the end of summer and get the five schools I want to [officially] visit,” Jones said. “I hope to go early before the season, but it depends.”
Still, Jones says he’s busy focusing on his game and his personal goals.
“Really want to get bigger,” Jones stated. “Put on at least ten to fifteen pounds of weight going into next season. Get healthy. My knee, make sure I go to therapy and stuff like that to stay on that and just work on my game.”
NOTE: Jones had an MRI on April 26. Results were tendinitis and growth pain.
Follow Chip Miller on TwitterFollow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd Like ZagsBlog on Facebook
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.