Predictably, Curtis Jones’ stock has risen considerably this July, as the 6-foot-4, 170-pound guard showed off his ball-handling skills as well as a bulked up frame at the Adidas Invitational in Chicago. Jones, a class of 2016 recruit who will be transferring from Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), reached double-digit offers when Cincinnati pulled through after watching him perform, while schools such as Ohio State, Miami, Villanova, Louisville and Indiana are monitoring him closely as well.
“We played six games out in Chicago, and I feel as if I played very well. I feel like I scored the ball, rebounded it well and did a good job finding my teammates,” said Jones, who now holds verbals from the likes of Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, NC State, VCU, WVU, Cincinnati and more. “I played the ‘one’ a lot, and I’m making progress with that transition.”
Evidently Jones envisions himself as a point guard at the next level. He began his high school career as a shooting guard/combo, but Jones is in the process of making a Melo-Trimble like switch the last two years of his high school career.
“A lot of schools are saying they’re [recruiting me as a] ‘one’ now, or they’re on the fence. Some are still saying combo or two-guard, but a lot are saying the ‘one’ now too,” Jones said. “Like Ohio State, they saw me at the Adidas event and they said point guard, because they like how I made plays, could score and could pass the ball.
“And I see myself playing the ‘one.’ I still can score and drive, but I see myself handling the ball and finding my teammates too.”
Jones isn’t sure exactly what role Maryland wants him in, but he’s pretty sure he’d fit in well with the Terps either way. The Virginia native listed UMD headman Mark Turgeon first when rattling off coaches who saw him play in Chicago. Jones said he has a “very good relationship” with both Turgeon and his recruiter, Dustin Clark, and remains in close contact with the Terps’ staff.
“Coach Turgeon was up there in Chicago, and it was good to see him. I know he likes my game, my motor and how I’m a leader,” Jones said. “He likes how I can score and just my all-around ability.”
Jones was last in College Park, Md., about three weeks ago in order to play a little pickup ball with some current Terps. He ran into Clark and exchanged handshakes with him as well.
“Me and Coach Clark are pretty tight; I have a really good relationship with him,” Jones said. “But I wasn’t up there [in early July] for a visit or anything – just to meet some of the [players] and play with them a little. I talked to a lot of them and got a good feel for the team. They’re really cool, and I feel like I fit in well with them.
“I was mainly talking to Melo [Trimble], and we kind of connected. He was telling me about why he went to Maryland and how he thinks [the Terps] can do big things in the future.”
The former Paul VI guard went on to say that Maryland remains one of his foremost suitors. Although he acknowledged it’s still very early in the recruiting process for him, he said UMD is in a good spot right now.
“I feel the same way I always have about [UMD]. Maryland is high for me,” Jones said. “I like it a lot and I’m comfortable there. I like the coaches, the players and I think it’s a good system under Coach Turgeon.”
Jones didn’t want to list any other programs that have caught his eye early, saying his main focus right now is improving his game. He said before he starts worrying about college ball, he wants to become a truly dominant high school player who can control the tempo.
“But in a little while I’ll start looking at schools again,” Jones said. “I know I’m getting out to Louisville in August, and I’m trying to get to Indiana too.”
He’ll also be checking out some high schools as well. Jones said he has a few destinations in mind but didn’t want to reveal those quite yet.
“I kind of have an idea where I’ll [be playing] next year, but I don’t want to say yet,” Jones said. “You’ll know pretty soon.”
Jones' Relationship With UMD Remains Strong
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