Matt Jones talks McDonald's Experience

CHICAGO – As one of two future Blue Devils in the McDonald's All-American Game, Matt Jones is enjoying the experience and being a part of a talented class of 2013.

Matt Jones came off the bench to help the West earn the victory and contributed four points, a rebound, assist and steal in 13 minutes of action during the game and was all smiles during McDonald's Media Day when asked about the experience.

"It's been great. Its fun playing with this great group of guys and just to be able to experience a great atmosphere and McDonald's has a great event," Jones said. "It's such a prestigious event with so many great players that have played in it so it's definitely been fun."

A big part of the McDonald's All-American experience is the practices leading up the games. This year's practices proved to be more spirited and physical compared to recent years.

"Intense," Jones said when describing the practices. "Practice you definitely have to bring your ‘A' game every time or you run the risk of being embarrassed. It's a great group of players so you definitely have to stay (on top of your game)."

Practices are important in part because of the presence of NBA scouts, many of whom are seeing the McDonald's All-Americans for the first time.

"I'm trying to show the scouts that I'm quicker than they think and more athletic than they think and proving to myself that I can play with this group of guys," Jones said. "It's always an uphill battle but I plan on making strides."

Jones has also had a chance to hang out with his future Duke teammate and fellow West member Jabari Parker.

"It's been great playing with Jabari. Jabari is a great player and a great person off the court and its fun knowing that I'll get a chance to play with him," Jones said. "Hopefully it'll be four years but I know that's not really reasonable so just spending time with him now is fun."

Besides preparing for the McDonald's game, Jones has been keeping tabs on Duke's Elite 8 run.

"When they lost it felt like I was on the team. I definitely felt their pain but at the same time I was definitely proud of them and proud to say that I'm going to Duke," Jones said. "I talked to Coach Capel and Coach James and Sheed (Sulaimon) and we all just came to the consensus that it was a great season."

Duke's backcourt will lose Seth Curry but also returns a few experienced pieces. Still, Jones is set on competing for playing time and helping next season. Jones told TDD that he expects to move to campus sometime in the middle of June.

"I'm just trying to go down there and compete," Jones said. "It's going to be hard, I know, but at the same time I know that I can do it and I know that I have enough talent to contribute to the team."

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