Since July, Andrew Jones, who was one of the breakout stars of the evaluation periods, has been active and busy with the recruiting process.
Jones, a 6-foot-4 guard out of Irving (Tex.) MacArthur, sliced his list down to a working number and took unofficial visits to nearly all the schools involved in his recruitment.
Over Labor Day weekend, Jones took his first official visit to Arizona, where he visited previously unofficially in August.
“That was a great trip,” Jones told Scout. “I got to really hang out with the staff, hang out with the players and my parents got to get a feel for the campus as well.”
“They want me to come in and take Gabe York’s spot,” he added. “Coach has really been strong about me playing the one position and having the ball in my hands and making plays for myself and for my teammates.”
What stood out most about the trip?
“Just the way the coaches interact with the players,” Jones responded. “It’s real family oriented. They treat their guys like they are their own kids. The players seem real comfortable with coach [Sean] Miller and the rest of the staff, so that really stuck out to me.”
After being around Miller for multiple visits, Jones said he’s starting to get a good feel for Miller and how he operates.
“Coach Miller is just a great guy,” he said. “He told me his plan for me in the long run and the future. He’s a real sincere guy. I believe and I think I can trust their system and his plans for me.”
This past weekend, and just a week following the Arizona official, Jones swung by Austin (Tex.) for an unofficial visit with Shaka Smart and the Texas staff.
“It was a great trip,” Jones said. “It was alumni weekend so a lot was going on. I felt as if I had a little bit more understanding of coach Shaka, the players, style of play and all of that. There were a lot of NBA players down there that weekend. It was a great experience.”
Jones said the trip to Texas allowed him and Smart to get a better feel for each other.
“Recently Shaka has really opened up to me from a personal standpoint,” he said. “When I first started talking to Shaka, he was kind of distant and he talked to me about his plans, but after this weekend he became very comfortable with me, as if I was already there or as if I was already one of his guys. His comfort level and his trust really stood out to me about this weekend.”
There’s a strong possibility that Isaiah Taylor leaves Texas for the NBA Draft following this coming season, so the Longhorns wants to use Jones in a combo guard type role.
“They see me coming in and taking Isaiah Taylor’s spot,” he said. “They plan on him leaving next year. Coach Shaka really wants me to run the one, two. He loves my shooting and playmaking ability. He wants me to be his lead guard.”
To go with his recent campus visits, Jones also met with Louisville’s Rick Pitino this past Friday for an in-home visit.
“That was great,” Jones said. “Coach Pitino is a great dude. He was sincere and laid out the lineup for me and how he sees me playing and being able to come in and contribute early as a freshman.”
Jones, who is also strongly considering Oklahoma State, Baylor, SMU, Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, said he’s planning to visit Louisville.
“I don’t know if the date is set yet, but I plan on taking to Louisville on the 3rd, but I’m not 100-percent on the date yet,” Jones said.
Jones also mentioned that he’s extended his timeline for making a college choice.
“I talked to my dad and we had a good conversation about it,” Jones said. “I will be making a late decision. I’m going to enjoy the process and let everything pan out for me.”
Jones is regarded as the No. 30 overall prospect and the No. 4 shooting guard in the 2016 recruiting class.