One of the standouts this past open viewing session for the EYBL, 2018 four-star Tevian Jones has plus size, length and athleticism, can shoot from three, attack the basket and rebound. After his performance over the weekend, it was no wonder that California head coach Wyking Jones got in touch. Even before the weekend, Tevian Jones was at the top of the Bears' board for wings, and on Monday, they made him an offer.
"We talked [Monday] night, and we talked a little bit about what we'd talked about before after the last [AAU] session," Tevian Jones said. "We broke down a couple things, and then he said that he wanted to offer me a scholarship. He broke down their style of play, because what the former coach was looking for, now that he's taken over and it's his program, he has something different planned for that program, and [we talked about] how I'd fit in with that."
The Bears want to play at a high pace, forcing turnovers with pressure and getting easy transition baskets. That's what Wyking Jones learned from Rick Pitino, and that's what his assistant, Chris Walker, learned, as well, coaching for Pepperdine when the Waves were known as Pressure-dine. Walker also, in preparation for his stint as interim head coach at Texas Tech, went up to Louisville to see how Jones and Pitino got their team to play fast, and to play with pressure.
"The thing is, you want to create easy baskets," Walker told BearTerritory, speaking on Cal's future playing style. "There's nothing wrong with having a bunch of talent, but every coach in this country is good. Every coach watches film. So, it's going to be hard to score in a half-court against team after team, night after night. What you need to do is, you need to get easy baskets, create turnovers, and that helps in that department. That makes things a little bit easier, because if you can get to 75 points a game, you're going to win a lot of games. But, you're not going to get to 75 points coming down in half court. It's not the NBA, where you have elite scorers at every position."
That scheme sounded right up Tevian Jones's alley.
"I pride myself on how versatile I am, how I can play more than one position, how I can guard more than one position, how well I guard, how I can shoot the ball, how I can take them off the dribble and score easily, and get up and down in transition, rebounding, and have my head out there, making plays for my other teammates," he said. "I want to get better with my overall game, but some of my focuses have been more on defense, and help defense, getting in the passing lanes and stuff like that."
Tevian Jones, ranked No. 92 in the nation in Scout's overall 2018 rankings, certainly can provide that type of two-way, athletic piece that can create opportunities. Right now, he swings between the two and the three, but he projects as a three at the next level.
"He was talking more about a fast-paced [style of play], and watching me, he saw that that's how I play -- fast-paced, up and down the floor, getting any transition buckets that I can -- and that's how he wants to play," Tevian Jones said. "[Wyking Jones] likes how versatile I am, how I can play more than one position, how I can get up and down the floor, how I'm always hustling, how I'm always giving 100 percent effort on the offensive end and on the defensive end."
A member of the California Supreme AAU 17U EYBL team, Tevian Jones has come out to California before, but never to Berkeley. Cal is a place he wants to visit before he makes his decision.
"I want to see any school before I actually commit though, and not just with Cal. There will be a bunch of schools," he said. "I do have plans [to visit Cal]. I'm going to talk to my mom and see if we can get out there for a visit."
The Bears are the latest in a string of offers for the 6-foot-6, 190-pounder, who says that Gonzaga has started to recruit him hard, after offering. He's also got UC Santa Barbara, Grand Canyon University, San Diego State and USC.
Academically, Tevian Jones has a 3.0 unweighted grade point average, and has just taken the ACT.