This season, Curtis Jones faces amplified expectations. The junior point guard has long been considered as a high-major prospect, but after changing schools he’s now running the show for powerful Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, a loaded squad that will compete against a national schedule.
Jones has leapt to a strong start, leading Huntington to a 5-0 record. At this weekend’s Prep Phenom Showcase, Jones proved that he’s ready to take the next step as a player. He finished his weekend by leading all scorers with 21 points on Saturday night, as Huntington defeated High Point (N.C.) Christian 72-60.
Quickness and end-to-end speed remain hallmarks of Jones’ game. He likes to push tempo and changes directions well on the move, enabling him to score at the rim. He’s also a solid playmaker who may be more of a combo guard in terms of directing halfcourt offense, yet he clearly possesses the talent to deliver timely passes to open teammates.
His jump shot might be concerning from a mechanical standpoint, given that he shoots with his elbow out to the side rather than under the ball, but he did convert 3-5 on threes in two games this weekend and also knocked down 10-13 combined free throws.
Given all that, he has every reason to be excited about his collegiate possibilities.
”I have Indiana, Missouri, N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Maryland, Virginia, Cincinnati and VCU (as offers),” Jones said. “Lately, I’ve also been hearing from Ohio State, Georgia Tech and Louisville.”
Although he easily could coast given that Huntington will beat many teams without breaking a sweat and that he already holds such prestigious offers, Jones knows there’s more work to be done.
”I’m trying to become more explosive and be more of a leader,” he said. “I’m transitioning to playing point guard full-time.”
Although he’s in no hurry to make a decision, Jones does hold some factors in mind as he begins to engage more seriously with his recruitment.
”I want to play for a great coach,” he said. “I want to go somewhere that they push you and help you get to the next level.”