HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- The local DMV 2016 class is loaded with backcourt talent, and one of the headliners who is quickly building a national reputation is Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) combo Curtis Jones. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound four-star already holds offers from N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Virginia, VCU, West Virginia, Richmond and Tulane and is drawing interest from the likes of Maryland, Georgetown, Oregon State and even Kansas.
On Dec. 13 at the Holiday Hoops Festival, hosted by DeMatha, Jones showed why he already has a number of early suitors. Playing against a rugged Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) squad that features several high-major players, Jones, after a quiet first half, scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. He showed plenty of fluidity, athleticism and court awareness, while displaying an evident knack for finding holes in the defense.
"I feel like I played pretty well, but my teammates helped me out," said a humble Jones after his teams victory against Montrose. "My teammates set me up and helped me make plays.
"But as a team we just came out and played hard, played physical. We made some adjustments in the second half and finished strong. We shut [Montrose] down a little bit defensively in the second half."
Right now, Jones mainly plays off the ball, though he does handle the point on occasion. He said he sees himself as a combo guard who could develop into a 1 at the next level.
"I'm working on my point guard abilities now," Jones said. "I've gotten a lot stronger since I've been here, and my scoring and defense has gotten a lot better. As far as what I need to work on, just my all-around game, ball-handling, shooting – everything can get better."
Evidently he's done enough to appease many college coaches, including two staffs in particular have taken a keen interest in his game. Jones said Maryland and Georgetown have been in contact the most and could be offering in short order.
"Since being [from the area], I've seen the coaches from those two schools a little more, so they kind of stand out," Jones said. "They've been in our gym a bunch, they've come to our games and I've been around them the most. I like Maryland and Georgetown."
Jones' Terps recruiter is Bino Ranson, who he's spoken to several times over the phone. He also said he's seen Ranson and head coach Mark Turgeon around Paul VI fairly frequently.
"[Maryland], I've been talking to them. Coach Bino said he likes my game and to keep working, be humble and get my team ready to win," Jones said. "It's not too much more than that right now."
The sophomore guard has been in College Park several times during his budding career. Most recently, he attended the Maryland-Oregon State game, and before that he was at the Midnight Madness event.
"I like the environment there, and it's really nice to watch Maryland play," Jones said. "It was a great atmosphere for the Midnight Madness, and [at the OSU game] I got to meet the President, and that was cool."
Besides Maryland, Jones has also visited Georgetown several times, in addition to most of the programs that have offered him, including Virginia, Virginia Tech, N.C. State, VCU and West Virginia. But although he had plenty of complements for Maryland and Georgetown, Jones backed off the word "favorite."
"It's still early for me," Jones said. "No standouts."
Jones does plan to take several more visits in the coming months, though it will be difficult with his season on-going. Even so, he wants to return to Maryland and Georgetown since both are local.
"I'll stay in touch with all the coaches, but in the middle of the season I won't be able to get out to many places. I'll be able to get to Maryland and Georgetown because they're close," Jones said. "I really like [UMD and Georgetown]."
Sophomore Jones a Rising Star at Paul VI
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