Louisville a 'perfect place' for PG Jones

The University of Louisville basketball team picked up a commitment from one of the top junior college players in the country on Monday. Chris Jones talks to Cardinal Authority about why he picked the Cardinals.

The University of Louisville basketball program found its replacement for senior point guard Peyton Siva on Monday when junior college guard Chris Jones committed to the Cardinals.

The 5-foot-10 Jones had a bunch of options but told Cardinal Authority that he picked the Cardinals because it seemed like the "perfect place."

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Jones signed with Tennessee out of high school but opted to spend two years at Northwest Florida State College after the coaching changed with the Volunteers.

Now, he's headed to Louisville. He'll sign in November, enroll next fall and has two years of eligibility remaining.

"I really liked everything about Louisville," said Jones, who made his official visit over the weekend. "I think it was the perfect place for me. When I woke up (Monday) morning, I just knew it. So I called coach (Pitino)."

The 5-foot-10 Jones said when he went to sleep he felt like U of L was the place for him and was "excited" when he called Pitino during breakfast.

"I was excited and he was shocked," Jones said. "I think he knew it was coming, but I think he was really excited for me."

Jones picked the Cardinals over Oklahoma State, Baylor, Kansas, Florida State and others and said it was "for a lot of reasons."

"I just liked everything about it when I was there," Jones said. "The coaches, the players, the fans and the school. It's perfect for me."

But perhaps the thing that impressed him the most was Pitino, including his ability to connect with the players during instruction.

"Just watching the players and how he coaches and how he had all the players in check," Jones said. "When he talks, everybody listens and all eyes are on him. And he's not just coaching, he's making players and getting them to the next level.

"I wanted to let someone showcase my talents and get me on that big stage. It's a big honor for me to for a Hall of Fame coach."

Fox SportsNEXT national analyst Evan Daniels noted Jones was a member of the top 75 in the Class of 2011 when he came out of Memphis Melrose.

"Louisville's primary goal in the 2013 recruiting class was to find a point guard to take over for Peyton Siva," Daniels said. "Well, they got their guy in Jones, as they'll hand him the ball and he'll be an immediate contributor.

In high school he was known for his ability to score, but after talking to a handful of college coaches that went in last week, he will not only excel in that area in college, but also by creating for others. Three different schools said he was as college ready of a guard as you'll find."

Northwest Florida coach Steve Forbes, a former assistant at Tennessee, said Jones was a "winner" and a "very fierce competitor."

"I am going to do whatever it takes to win," Jones said. " I was the point guard and my coaches have always told me to help my team win.

"Being able to go right in and play, well that played a big role. I want to go in, improve and keep helping them win. I just want to keep the fans on their feet. If they're ranked No. 1 or No. 2 this year, I want to be there next year."

In his first year at Northwest Florida, Jones averaged 18 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game and led his team to a national runner-up finish.


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