Calipari visits nation's top junior

Five-star Apple Valley (Minn.) point guard Tyus Jones, the No. 1 junior in the country, played in front of Kentucky coach John Calipari this past weekend. He shares his thoughts on that visit and his recruitment in this KyScout feature.

Only a few days into his junior season, five-star Minnesota point guard Tyus Jones has mostly seen familiar local faces in the stands for Apple Valley's games.

There was one notable exception this past weekend: Kentucky coach John Calipari.

The Wildcat boss got his second close look at the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2014 in the span of four days as Jones produced what he described as a "solid" night with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

"It was nice to see coach Calipari there again," Jones said. "I got to talk to him on the phone afterward. We had a good discussion."

Asked what Calipari had to pass along, Jones said: "He told me he really liked my game, how I have an all-around game as a point guard who can distribute to my teammates and score the ball a lot. He said he was looking forward to getting to know me better."

That's a process which has been growing since the summer, Jones added. "I feel like I'm starting to get to know them quite well, not just coach Calipari, but the whole staff. That's important to me when it comes time to pick a school."

The roles could be reversed in the near future when Jones plans to visit Calipari in Lexington.

"We're talking about going down there, me and my family, for an unofficial visit sometime this winter for one of their games," Jones said. "We don't know which one yet. We're still trying to pick a day that would work best."

Jones has never been to Lexington. He recently narrowed his list to eight schools: UK, Baylor, Minnesota, Kansas, Ohio State, Michigan State, Duke and North Carolina. He has been on every campus with the exception of UK and Kansas.

"Those are two I'm hoping to see soon," he added.

Asked what has drawn his attention to the Kentucky program, Jones said the school's winning tradition and Calipari's reputation for developing players were the main factors.

"You definitely have to look at his list of former point guards," Jones said. "There's nothing like it. From John Wall to Derrick Rose and Brandon Knight and Tyreke Evans... it's amazing how many great point guards have played for him lately. I think all point guards are impressed by that."

He said the education factor will also be a big key in his ultimate decision. Jones' family puts a high emphasis on academics, and while he's not sure what degree he'd like to pursue, he's considering a future in a sports-related field or broadcasting when his basketball days are complete.

Unlike many prospects who are making decisions earlier and earlier in the process -- including recent UK commitment Karl Towns, who also moved up from the Class of 2015 to 2104 -- the 6-foot-1 Jones does not have a clear timetable for his decision.

"I'm not in a rush or anything," he said. "I haven't set up a timetable, but if I had to guess, it would probably be sometime at the end of summer or early in the fall of my senior year. So there's a lot of time left for me, a lot I still need to learn about all the schools on my list."

AllWildcats Top Stories