Jones Returns to UMD, Still High On Terps

Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) point/two-guard Curtis Jones took in the Maryland-Michigan game Feb. 28

The Terps played host to one of their foremost 2016 recruits Feb. 24 when DeMatha’s (Hyattsville, Md.) Markelle Fultz took in College Park, Md., and four days later another nearby target was in town. Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) point/two-guard Curtis Jones witnessed the Maryland-Michigan game Feb. 28, the first time the Fairfax, Va., native had been inside the Xfinity Center since last season.

“I hadn’t been up to Maryland for a minute, so I really wanted to get back to see the coaches, catch a game and see the players again,” said Jones, who claims offers from Indiana, Maryland, VCU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Indiana, WVU, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Cincinnati and N.C. State. “I love it up there. I’ve been to quite a few games there, but I just haven’t been able to get up this year until now. But it was a great visit, just talking to Coach [Mark] Turgeon and Coach [Dustin] Clark again. We were talking about their season, how my season’s been going, things like that. It was real good.”

Both Turgeon and Clark have attended Huntington Prep games this year, and they speak to Jones often enough on the phone or via social media, but Feb. 28 was the first time in a while the point guard and the Terps’ coaches had a long, face-to-face sit-down.

“I just have a very good relationship with both of them. They’re some of my favorite coaches to talk to,” Jones said. “They weren’t really saying much new to me, because I’ve talked to them so much and know a lot about the program already. But it’s always good to see them and just talk things over.”

Jones went on to say that he thoroughly enjoyed watching the noon bout, a 66-56 Maryland victory on Senior Day. The Huntington product said he’s watched UMD on TV several times this year and has been impressed by the team’s progress.

“I watch a lot of college basketball, especially the schools recruiting me. And it’s fun to watch [Maryland] play,” Jones said. “Melo [Trimble], I know him from back home, and he’s playing real well, and Dez [Wells] is a leader and playing great. I like [the Terps’] style and how they attack, space the floor, move the ball – I think I’d fit in well there.

“And the atmosphere there, it speaks for itself. Like I said, I’ve been there a bunch before, so I already knew the fans were great. That’s to be expected at Maryland. I mainly went [Feb. 28] just to see the coaches again.”

Jones said Turgeon and Co. are still recruiting him as a combo guard who can shift between the “one” and the “two.” Although Jones has said his preference is to run the point, he noted that “it’s not going to effect how I view Maryland. I think I’ll be used the right way there.”

Speaking of point guards, Jones had a chance to interact with his friend from home, Anthony Cowan (St. John’s/Washington, D.C.), Feb. 28. Cowan, of course, committed to the Terps in December, and has been in Jones’ and Fultz’ ear about joining UMD as well.

“Anthony, I talk to him a lot. We’re good friends, and I talked to him at the game. He’s trying to get me to come there,” Jones said. “Before he committed we talked about playing together, so it’s something I’m thinking about. It’s definitely something I’m considering.”

Jones, however, doesn’t want to claim any early leaders quite yet. He said he’s still going over different scenarios in his mind, and wants to take a few more visits first before declaring true standouts.

“But Maryland is definitely one of my tops,” Jones said. “Maryland is going to be there for me.”

As far as other programs are concerned, Jones most recently visited Louisville, UVA, Missouri and Kentucky. He was supposed to go to Indiana but had to reschedule, while he’s looking to check out Pittsburgh as well.

IU was the most recent program to offer, while both Pitt and Louisville are maintaining close contact.

“I’m hoping Louisville offers, but we’ll see about that,” Jones said. “When I was down there I enjoyed it; it was a real good trip.”

Jones is averaging 17 points and four assists for a 29-2 Huntington Prep squad this season. Prep plays its last regular season game March 2 before partaking in a national tournament in New York.

“I think I’ve had a great season, and as a team we’re playing real well together. This was my first year playing point all the way through, and I think I did a pretty good job,” said Jones, who has no timetable for selecting his school. “I was proud the way I led my team and handled the offense, but I still have a lot to work on. Just everything, bigger, stronger, faster and working on my handles, my shot.”

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