Point guard Verdell Jones of Champaign, Ill., was originally scheduled to visit Kentucky this weekend, but when his Central High team's final regular season game was canceled because of inclement weather Friday night, so was his trip. Where does his recruitment stand now and is he still planning to make a visit to Lexington? Kentucky Sports Report has the latest…
Jones said he still plans to visit UK, but doesn't know when it'll be. He already has an official slated for Tennessee next weekend.
"It doesn't look like I'll be able to get there for a home game. I'll probably go for just a regular weekend," said Jones, a 6-foot-5, 174-pound point guard. "I talked to coach Webster and coach Gillispie about it."
Jones has already been to UK once, for Midnight Madness, and came away with an observation: Kentucky fans don't play around when it comes to the roundball.
"No, they don't at all," he said. "They love basketball. It's a whole different thing down there."
Heading into senior night Saturday, Jones was averaging 19 points, nine assists and five rebounds per game. Despite playing with two broken fingers earlier this season, he managed to score 28 points in a loss to LaFlore (Ala.) and fellow Kentucky target DeMarcus Cousins. A pure point guard who can also score, he's down to Minnesota – where he's already taken his official – Tennessee and Kentucky.
Gillispie, who was recruiting him while at Texas A&M, seems to have made his a priority at the ‘1' spot.
"He said he can help develop my strength and my defense," Jones said. "I'm a thin guy and coach Gillispie feels like he can develop me into a great player [like he did with] Acie Law."
Despite having to cancel his trip, Jones did watch the five-point win over Arkansas on TV.
"I thought they played pretty good. They showed a lot of heart, and they're on a roll right now," he said.
In addition to his pre-existing relationship with Gillispie, Jones has also known UK assistant Tracy Webster for a while. Webster recruited him while working at Illinois.
"They're really cool guys. I have a really close relationship with them," he said.
Jones' top priority in choosing a school is making sure he'll have a chance to play in the NCAA tournament every year.
"Kentucky has great tradition, Tennessee is on the rise and Minnesota has a great recruiting class coming in. I think with their recruiting class, they'll be really good, too. So I think all of my schools will have a chance to go to the tournament every year," he said.
He's also like to find somewhere he feels comfortable socially, as well as a program that can help him toward his NBA aspirations. It remains to be seen where that will happen, but we'll keep you posted all along the way.
Verdell Jones updates his recruitment
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