2007 Intro: Jeff Jones

While everyone in the Philly area talks about Antoine "Scoop" Jardine and for good reason, there are a few more impressive sophomores from the area - including Monsignor Bonner (Pa.) guard Jeff Jones

Jeff Jones has no problems that fellow Philadelphia guard Antoine "Scoop" Jardine has soaked up most of the headlines thus far, but the Monsignor Bonner (Pa.) sophomore is hoping to change that in the near future.

As a freshman, the 6-3, 180-pound Jones played for a Monsignor Bonner team that struggled and won seven games. He averaged 15 points per game, but he didn't really get his name out nationally until he put up 23 points while teaming with Jardine in the Philly backcourt at the Eddie Griffin Challenge.

Now Jones, who is a versatile scorer, is averaging 18 points, 4 boards and 3 assists per game for a Bonner club that is 10-7 and challenging teams like Cardinal O'Hara to make the playoffs.

``He's a natural scorer," Bonner assistant Woody Burke said. "At any level. He can score in multiple ways and also makes his teammates better. One thing that he can do is play at both speeds – in the half-court and also in the full-court. He loves to push it, but he can also pull up with the best of them."

Jones grew up in Chester (Pa.), but his family moved across the state lines to Delaware. Now Jones' mother makes the 15-or-so minute drive to Chester each day, where he catches a bus that takes him to Bonner.

``We wanted to make a change," Jones said. "The neighborhood in Chester was getting bad and it's a much safer environment in Delaware."

The mild-mannered Jones, despite being just 15 years old, has a new role this season.

``I'm trying to be more of a leader this year," he said. "Last year we had seniors and I was the new guy. I was just learning from them, but now they all left and this year I have to step up and be a leader. It's been a change, but I've been more vocal."

It's on the early side, but Jones is also trying to get a head start on the recruiting end of things. Despite not getting much exposure last year playing with the Wilmington Wildcats, Jones has started to make a name for himself.

Jones, who played in one tournament at the end of the summer with Duane Coverdale's Delaware Sharpshooters, said he's getting mail from the likes of Villanova, St. Joseph's, Rutgers, Syracuse, Maryland and Penn State. Burke said that Temple and LaSalle are also interested.

``It's early, but when I start looking seriously at colleges, I want to go somewhere that I can play," Jones said. "I'm not really worried about staying close to home. That's not really a factor."


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