Matt Jones Journal: Vol 4

Duke commit updates Blue Devil fans on the latest happenings on his path to Durham

What's up Duke fans?

It's been a while since I last updated my player journal, but I'm excited to finally catch everyone up on what's been happening since last time.


It's my last year in the [EYBL] league and I've really enjoyed everything about the experience. We've had a chance to play against some of the best players in the country while also being able to travel quite a bit. Our last time together in the EYBL will come later this month when we compete at the Peach Jam, and we're really looking forward to finishing up strong.

When I look back and remember all that's happened over the last two years, I'd have to say there are a lot of great memories. I think my favorite game experience was when we played Mac Irving because of all the hype surrounding that one. With a lot of great players and with Jabari Parker going against Julius [Randle], it a great atmosphere.

After we compete at the Peach Jam, our team will go down to Orlando for the AAU Showcase event, and I think that's it for us. When I'm heading into Showcase events, I've got a little bit different mindset than some of the other guys who are trying to show out for coaches. Because I know where I'm going, I try to just continue to diversify my game and show the Duke coaches that I'm a much more dynamic player than they originally recruited.

For the longest time I was known as a shooter, but I've been working really hard to become more than that. I've focused on ball handling, and becoming a more explosive player getting to the rim. I'm also getting a lot stronger, and adding muscle to my frame. At the Kevin Durant Academy I measured at 6-foot-5 and 193 pounds. The coaches have told me not to worry too much about that kind of stuff though, but I think they like the idea of bringing in a lot of bigger guards.

In thinking about all I've been able to do this summer with the AAU travel and the KD camp, I feel truly blessed. I'm a guy who likes to see as much of life as I can, and I really like the traveling part of it. Always got to get a window seat on the plane, and the food is great too.

On the court, it's been great to get to know some of the other top players in the class and to see how they work on the court, and getting to know them off the court. It's really amazing to see the opportunities I've been given through basketball.

Team USA:

And, speaking of traveling, I actually leave tomorrow morning (Friday, July 6) to head to Las Vegas for the LeBron James camp. It's kind of like a combine where a lot of the best players from the class come together and workout and play five on five together. It's also pretty cool that, because of where we'll be, we will have a chance to watch Team USA workout and practice as part of their camp.

I was talked to Coach K last week and he informed me that the campers were going to have a chance to come over and watch the team work out and practice a couple of times. I'm really looking forward to that because I'll get to watch my coach working with the best players in the world. It'll be great to see the level at which those guys do the same stuff my coach is going to have me doing.

As a basketball fan, my favorite player is LeBron, so it'll be pretty cool to get a chance to spend some time there.


So far it's just me in the class of 2013 for Duke, but I know we just got a commitment from Rodney Hood, which is great. He's a really good player. The guys at the site asked me who I'd pick to round out our class, and I'd have to say that's a tough one. Right now I'd say I'd add Julius, of course. Then I'd go with Semi Ojeleye who plays for MoKan Elite, and Jabari Parker, and Austin Nichols. I'm not sure what'll end up happening, but I think we're gong to have a really good class and keep things going for Duke.

Since I've committed, I can kind of talk to guys a little bit about coming with me to Duke. With guys that I don't see as much I tell them that it's natural to trust Coach K. He's a Hall of Fame coach who is the best ever to coach in college. He's a person who really adjusts his players and he lets them play in a system that fits their strengths. Why would you not want to be a part of that kind of thing?

Of course with a guy like Julius, I talk a little more because we've known each other all our lives. We've played together our entire careers and I've told him that it's meant for us to do the same in college.


Once the summer circuit is over, I'm going to head home and take some time off. I'm going to do my individual stuff and just hang out and enjoy being a kid in the summer. It won't be long until I start my senior year, and I'm definitely looking forward to that opportunity.

When our high school season starts, I know it's going to be tough early on because I'll be the only senior on the roster. We lost several good players, but I'm excited to take on a new challenge this year. I think being the only senior will give me a chance to really learn how to be a leader, and that'll only make me a better player for when I get to Duke.

As far as my official visit goes, I've talked with the coaches and with my parents about that. I think it'll be during the season - probably when they play North Carolina or another big game. I can't wait to get back and see the Cameron Crazies and my school!.

That's all I've got for this time, Duke Fans. I appreciate you reading my blog and am thankful for the opportunity.

Until next time.

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