Jones Previews His IU Official

Bloomington, Ind. - Kevin Jones is headed to Bloomington for his IU official visit on Friday. Jones talked to about that visit, why he decided to come for Hoosier Hysteria, what he likes about IU's program, and when he'll make his decision...

Bloomington, Ind. – Kevin Jones is coming to town.

For the time being, it's just for an official visit. The 6'8", 205-pound senior from Mt. Vernon (N.Y.) H.S. is one of a slew of talented recruits who will be courtside for Friday night's Hoosier Hysteria, the highlight event of Jones' trip to Bloomington.

"The (IU) coaches picked this weekend for me to visit, because they said it would be an experience like I've never seen before," Jones said.

But unlike players like marquee '09 recruits Dexter Strickland, Lance Stephenson, Nolan Dennis and Stephan Van Treese, Jones is an '08 target who is just weeks away from making a decision. While he still has officials to West Virginia (Oct. 19), UMass (Oct. 26) and Pitt (Nov. 2), he said he will be signing a letter of intent next month once the early signing period gets underway.

Jones' decision may be close, there are still plenty of programs in the running for his services. In addition to his four upcoming officials, he's also made an earlier official stop at Ohio State, and local schools such as St. John's, Georgetown, Rutgers and Seton Hall haven't been eliminated.

"My brother and I decided we'd take our officials to places we couldn't get to by car, and we'd take unofficial visits to the local schools," Jones said. "It doesn't mean we have a top school or schools."

The IU coaches are hoping that this weekend's trip will help them emerge as his top school once it's time to sign a letter of intent. Jones said he and his brother, Gerard, have an 8 a.m. flight Friday morning, and they'll be going on a tour of the Bloomington campus with Coach Kelvin Sampson before returning to the athletics facilities in preparation for Hoosier Hysteria.

While the Friday evening event will likely be the highlight of the visit, Jones said the time he spends around Bloomington's campus will be important as well.

"I want to find out a lot about the business program, because I want to major in business in college," Jones said. "I have a pretty good understanding about Indiana as far as basketball, but as far as the school, I want to learn more."

One of the reasons Jones has become familiar with IU is because the Hoosier coaches have been after him for some time. Jones said IU's interest began a year ago when Hoosier assistant Rob Senderoff first made contact, and it's continued ever since.

"Coach Senderoff came up to the school, and he really struck a chord with me," Jones said. "I like his demeanor, he's very nice. We just had a nice rapport from there, and we've been talking ever since."

Sampson has also made an impression. The Hoosier head coach was recently in Mt. Vernon to make an in-home visit, and that trip made an impression as well.

"Coach Sampson is great," Jones said. "He came to my house and I liked what he had to say. He's really funny, but he's also a straight forward guy and I like that. He doesn't beat around the bush. And Coach Mac (Ray McCallum) and Coach Senderoff, I like them a lot."

Jones said he also thinks Indiana's system would be a good fit for him. While he's done much of his damage as a prep player on the interior, he's hoping to be able to step outside at the next level.

"Indiana's system, they run four out and one in, and the four perimeter players are interchangeable from what I've heard," Jones said. "That's good for me, because I'm looking to step my game out more toward the perimeter, and their style is more versatile for me, which is good because that's the way I play. I think their style of play would be really good for me."

No matter how well things go this weekend, Jones said he's committed to taking his final three officials and making a decision afterwards. He's expecting to be impressed by what IU has to offer, but he said he's making a concerted effort to not be too enamored with what he sees on his visits.

"I'm trying to look at everyone the same – not trying to be easily impressed by one school, so I keep my options wide open," Jones said. Top Stories