Jones looking at all options

Forward Elston Jones is continuing to play on the AAU circuit with the Compton Magic and is seeing plenty of schools involved. Read on to see where Arizona stands, what he wants in a school, and more.

Elston Jones is quickly becoming one of the most sought after high school players from the state of Arizona and he is only a sophomore. Not only that, but the 6-foot-9, 235-pound big man from Goodyear Millennium is sure to draw attention from prominent programs from around the country in due time.

For now, it's early in the recruiting process for Jones and his father, Elston Jones Sr., is helping his son take his time through the process. Jones communicates with Arizona assistant James Whitford often and they have been able to build a pretty strong bond with each other.

"We have a good relationship," Jones Sr., said. "We saw Coach Whitford watching Elston play in Las Vegas. Right now, as it is, we have a good relationship. We aren't committed to anybody, but at the same time, building something at the beginning is very important to us and we have done that so far with Coach Whitford and the UA staff."

It's still early for Jones in this process, so the interest him will only expand as time progresses but, for now, the other programs showing interest reside out west.

"ASU," Jones Sr., said. "Herb is definitely looking. You got Colorado and Saint Mary's has interest also."

There are bound to be numerous schools that eventually show strong interest in Jones, but his father isn't expecting or waiting for any specific program to offer.

"My feeling is that even if they did offer, we wouldn't accept it," Jones Sr., said. "My belief as a coach and player in the past is that it's too early. You don't know what you want. He is just a sophomore. You have to let yourself develop and, as you develop, your game will tell you where you want to go."

Many elite-level prospects like to commit early to a program in order to get the recruiting process out of the way. Don't expect that from Jones, however, as there is little-to-no chance he decides any time soon.

"As it comes, we will look at the situation, assess it and we will move on," Jones Sr., said. "We are not going to be in the area to make a decision. It doesn't make any sense."

Being an in-state prospect bodes well for UA's chances with Jones. The nearby location is appealing to his family.

"Absolutely," Jones Sr., said. "You're right there in Tucson. It's a big factor. Let's put it this way. UA will be at the top of the list."

For a prospect with the potential of Jones, he's going to get attention from major programs. Arizona's prestige will work in its favor as Jones and his father were taken back by the Wildcats' tradition when they witnessed it first-hand. Their experience in Tucson is one of the primary reasons Arizona is currently a favorite in this recruitment.

"It plays a lot," Jones Sr., said. "It's important that we had the chance to go down to see them play UCLA. We saw the older guys from the past come back. Lute Olson coached there. There is a lot of history. Tucson is a nice place to develop; it's not too big and it's not too small."

Education is a priority for Jones' father. He wants to make sure his son goes to a university that will provide him with a quality degree.

"We are looking at graduation rate," Jones Sr., said. "The kids that are going there – are they actually going there and getting education and getting a degree? That's important.

"Right now, he is doing really well – he's at a 3.0 and he's doing really well with his school work and we want to make sure we push on that and that he understands that at any second you can become injured and that game is over. You have to be able to move on and the school you are going to attend, are they going to honor their commitment."

Jones has a busy schedule for the summer. With multiple AAU events and a big camp on his slate, he will be constantly working on his game.

"We're going to finish out with the Compton Magic here," Jones Sr., said. "We're going to Indianapolis. That will be in July. In June, we will play with the high school team.

"He has been invited to the Pangos All-American Camp – that will happen on the first of June and then we'll end in Vegas at the Adidas 64 with the Compton Magic."

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