“We made it to the state championship game and lost by three points,” said Jones. “The expectation before the season was that we were going win states and that we would be a really good team. It did not happen, but I still think we had a great season. We went 30-3 on the season and we beat some incredible teams. I learned a lot this season and I feel we had a good year.”
The 6-foot-6 210 pound forward competed in the highly regarded IS8 league in New York this fall. He talked about the experience of playing in a league of that caliber.
“I really wanted to have the experience of playing in the New York IS8 league,” said Jones. “I wanted to see what the experience was like. It is a prestigious tournament and I wanted to see what that kind of environment was like. It was a lot of fun.”
Jones was very open throughout his recruitment process. He was considering several schools and looked to be a prospect that would stretch out the process. That all changed when he landed in Miami for his official visit. The small forward feel in love with the city and decided to take his aerial attack to Coral Gables .
“Once I got to Miami I knew that was where I was going to go to college,” said Jones. “I really liked the environment at Miami . I really felt comfortable around the coaching staff and the players. They really made me feel welcomed. I knew those were the kind of people I wanted around me when I went to school.”
The Wheeler High School standout committed to Coach Frank Haith and Miami when they were coming off a 12-20 season. He is now entering a program that finished the season 23-11 and finished 5th in the ACC. Jones gave his thoughts on Miami ’s turn around and what it meant to him.
“I am very proud of what the Hurricanes accomplished,” said Jones. “Before the season, I was expecting a good season, but it is different to actually see it happen. Coach Haith told me they would be a tournament team and he really convinced me that we were going to be a good team. We had an amazing turnaround from last season and I am very proud of how the team performed. Hopefully, we can advance farther next year.”
The Canes season came to an end in a 3 point loss to the University of Texas in the NCAA tournament’s round of 32. Jones gave his thoughts about entering a program on the rise.
“I knew the potential was there for a turn around season,” said Jones. “I knew the type of coaching staff and the type of athletes that we had at Miami and I knew it was only a matter of time. I was convinced of their goal of reaching the NCAA tournament. It is great to know that I am coming into a team like that. I definitely feel like we are a program on the rise.”
The Canes are program that is a couple of pieces away from being able to be a legitimate ACC contender and being able to advance deep into March. The expectation is that Jones and center Reggie Johnson can be those kinds of players. Jones talked about his ability to make an immediate impact at Miami .
“I really believe I can be the difference next year,” said Jones. I really believe that Reggie Johnson and me can be the difference between losing to a team like Texas or beating someone like them. If we just come in and work hard we can help change that result. We definitely want to take this program to new heights.”
Jones who played in the paint a lot throughout his high school career will be spend his time at Miami playing on the wing. He talked about the adjustment of playing on the perimeter and the improvements he was making to play on the win.
“I played both inside and outside in high school,” said Jones “I am definitely going to play on the perimeter in college though. I have been working diligently on my perimeter game and I really believe it is going to be one of my strengths. I feel like it will be much improved by the time I get to Miami . Coach Haith told me he wants me to play the wing.”
Coach Haith considers Jones one of the elite players in the country. He has said that Jones should have been a McDonalds All-American and believes he can make an immediate impact at Miami . Jones certainly has the athleticism to compete in the ACC and he talked about what player Miami was about to receive.
“I have a no non-sense approach to the game,” said Jones. “I just do everything it takes to win. I am not just a one dimensional player. I can rebound, shoot, score, and defend. I just go all out every time I step onto the court.”