Class of 2016 point guard Curtis Jones transferred from Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) to Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) after his sophomore season, and so far the transition has gone well, to say the least. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound four-star recruit said his new team is currently undefeated and ranked third in the country in some high school polls.
On top of that, Jones has made a smooth transition from shooting guard to the point, averaging 17 points and four assists per game, while nailing over 50 percent of his three-pointers.
“Oh yeah, I love it here at Huntington,” said Jones, who holds offers from the likes of Maryland, VCU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Indiana, WVU, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Cincinnati, N.C. State and others. “I’ve been playing pretty well and my team is really, really good. It’s a good environment to play in with everyone going hard and pushing each other. It’s great competition and it’s helping me improve.
“I’m playing the point right now and doing a good job so far. I think, just the process of becoming a better leader, I’m doing a lot better with that. And I think I’m doing well shooting too.
“But there’s always room to do more, and I feel like there’s still a lot I can improve on. I need to work on ball-handling, perfecting my vision even more, staying low, getting bigger, getting stronger, and getting more explosive.”
Jones said his most recent offers were from Indiana, Mizzou, Oklahoma State and Cincinnati, while he’s hearing from Georgia Tech, Louisville, Purdue, Ohio State and Iowa. He mentioned that Maryland, West Virginia and VCU are making a hard push among his current offerees, while Louisville, OSU, Iowa and Purdue are in his ear among the potential suitors.
“I don’t have any standouts yet, but, like a few schools have been on me a good bit,” Jones said. “Maryland, they’re been in there forever. And then West Virginia, VCU and some others have been in for awhile now too.”
The first school out of Jones’ mouth, Maryland, has made it known how much it covets the local product. The Highland Springs, Va., native has held a Terps offer for more than a year and has a longstanding relationship with recruiter Dustin Clark.
“I love Maryland. That’s a school that was right in my backyard when I was at Paul VI, and I’ve been there a bunch of times,” Jones said. “It’s a great atmosphere there, a great environment to play basketball in. Coach Clark has been talking to me for a long time now, and Coach [Mark] Turgeon is talking to me a lot more too. I just love the school in general.”
Jones said both Clark and Turgeon have seen him play multiple times this year. They first trekked to Huntington during the preseason when they were allowed to visit the gym, and have since returned twice for regular season games.
“They’re trying to get me to come up, and they’re saying how they really want me there,” Jones said. “They want me to come in and play the ‘one’ or ‘two’ as a combo guard, someone who can score and run the offense. They said I’m their No. 1 guy in the 2016 class, so that means a lot. I think Coach Turgeon is a great coach and uses his guys well.”
Even though Jones hasn’t been able to visit College Park, Md., this season, he’s seen the Terps plenty on TV. He said he’s paid close attention to the likes of freshman point guard Melo Trimble and freshman guard Dion Wiley, both of whom he knew when they were in high school, along with the rest of the squad.
“Maryland is, what, ranked 11th right now? I think that’s excellent,” Jones said. “It’s really fun to watch them play, and see them do good. Having been to a lot of games last year, and seeing how that team was, this year is a big step up for them. It’s great for the program how they’re playing.
“I’m probably not going to get to see them [in person] this year, but I’ll definitely get up when I get back home. I’ll go up and see the coaches and players again.”
One question surrounding Maryland’s pursuit of Jones is how he’d potentially mesh with Trimble. Jones envisions himself as a point guard at the next level, while Maryland will likely ask him to assume a combo or two-guard role.
“I think Melo being there at point guard doesn’t change anything for me,” Jones said. “I see how they play multiple guards, and multiple point guards, on the floor at the same time. I feel like I can fit in well there whether I’m at point or the ‘two.’ I feel like my game would fit well there.”
Well, Jones’ game would probably fit well at a lot of places, which is why he’s keeping an open mind. He’s already taken multiple visits since arriving in Huntington, and has numerous others on tap this winter.
“This year I’ve been to VCU, Kentucky and UVA, West Virginia and Ohio State. They were all great visits. Some of those schools it was my first time going there, and I got to meet all the coaching staffs and players,” Jones said. “At VCU, I watched them play this year, and I loved it. I love Coach Shaka [Smart]. I went to a Kentucky game too when they played Boston College, and that was a great environment. I’ve talked to the coaches at Kentucky a couple times, but they’re not really recruiting me hard yet.
“Then at the end of [January], I might go to Louisville for a game. And Iowa, I’ll definitely try to get there too for a game. And then Indiana, I want to get there soon too, though that’ll probably be after the season. I like what I’m hearing from [Indiana].”
It’s still too early to talk about decision dates, especially considering Jones doesn’t have any states standouts. But the point guard said he’s thinking about signing during the early period next summer.
“I don’t really have any firm plans yet. I have to take some more visits first. Maybe I’ll sign earlier in the summer, but I can’t really say yet,” Jones said. “I have to weigh all my options and see how things go.”
Jones Remains High On Terps
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