USA 16u: Tre Jones making own name

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Many of the nation's top underclassmen are in Colorado this weekend for the USA Basketball 16u trials. Tre Jones showed on Thursday that he's not just Tyus' little brother, while there were several other standouts.

Tre following in Tyus’ footsteps

As a freshman out of Apple Valley (Minn.), everyone knew about Tyus Jones, who was one of the best prospects in the 2014 class from beginning to end.

Tyus lived up to the hype every step of the way, going on to become a McDonald’s All-American and national champion as a freshman at Duke.

Coming out of Apple Valley in the 2018 class is Tyus’ little brother in 6-foot-2, 160-pound Tre Jones.

It wouldn’t be fair to put the lofty expectations of Tyus on Tre’s back, but the younger Jones is no doubt a good prospect in his own right, one who is already garnering high major attention and for good reason.

At the USA Basketball 16u Training Camp on Thursday in Colo Springs (Colo.), Jones showed his advanced feel for the game for a young point guard.

He has pretty good size for position and, big surprise, a high basketball IQ, an unselfish style of play and the knowledge that your job as a point guard is to make the four guys around you better while running the offense.

“I’m a pretty good facilitator; I try to get my team involved,” Tre said. “On defense I like to help my team by communicating on the defensive end and also getting deflections and rebounds. I want to get the ball as early as possible so we can push and get an easy bucket.”

The pressure of following in Tyus’ footsteps will naturally come and Tre knows it, but he’s prepared to handle it.

“There’s a little bit (of pressure) because everyone compares me to him,” Tre said. “I just have to ignore that stuff. I’m not going to do everything that he does and maybe I’ll do some things that he didn’t do. I just have to ignore when people compare us.”

Tre currently holds an offer from Texas Tech, while Marquette and Minnesota are also showing interest

2017 Standouts

Jarred Vanderbilt is in line to be an outstanding college player. At about 6-foot-8 with long arms and a big time frame, he is a face up four with a terrific approach to the game. He’s most comfortable from the high post, where his vision is perfect for finding cutters, but he can also take defenders off the dribble, score around the basket, rebound, defend and block shots. Vanderbilt holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M.

Wendell Carter is a powerful center who really arrived on the scene based on a successful USA Developmental Camp performance in the fall and has made major strides since then. He’s got good size at 6-foot-10, a very good frame, impressive footwork, the ability to score inside and out, can finish with both hands, rebounds and takes defense seriously. Duke, Florida State, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, Auburn and Mississippi State have offered.

This kid is a big time producer and certainly one of the most productive players in the 2017 class. Markus Howard has a high level pull-up jumper, which he can bury from midrange and three. He can also score with his floater or get to the basket. Not just a scorer, Howard also possesses nice vision and is a very capable passer. Arizona State, Indiana, Memphis, Northern Arizona, Texas Tech and UNLV have all offered.

Jaylen Hands has one of the best combinations of production and upside in the 2017 class. He has good size at 6-foot-2, above average athleticism for the position, elite body control and a frame that hasn’t even started to fill out. Add that to the fact that Hands can really pass and is an above average shooter who can create his own shot and you’re looking at an elite point guard prospect. He’s expected to choose between Arizona and UCLA.

2018 Standout

JaVonte Smart is one of the top prospects in the 2018 class. He has elite size for the point guard position at 6-foot-4, a very good frame with long arms, and really passes the ball well for a freshman. He’s an above average athlete and his jumper will need to keep improving yet he is very capable of hitting shots. He can use his size and handle to get to the basket and even though is a one, can play off the ball as well. Baylor, Wake Forest and UMass have offered.

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