For more than a year, the Maryland Terrapins ardently pursued Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) class of 2016 combo guard Curtis Jones, a 6-foot-4, 175-pound four-star from the D.C. area. Terps' assistant Dustin Clark first identified Jones as a potential target during his sophomore year at Paul VI (Arlington, Va.), and shortly thereafter head coach Mark Turgeon extended an offer.
In the 12-plus months since then, Jones had all but dubbed the hometown school the “team to beat,” lauding the program’s rise under Turgeon, the offensive system, the atmosphere inside Xfinity Center, the campus, and his relationship with the Terps’ players and other recruits. He visited College Park, Md., more times than he could remember for games, team workouts, Maryland Madness events and the like.
But after two live evaluation sessions this April, it seems as if Jones and the Terps are no longer seeing eye to eye.
“Honestly, I have talked to Maryland in awhile now; it’s been a few weeks,” said Jones, who suits up for the Boo Williams AAU squad. “I still like the coaches, I still think Maryland is a great school, and I like what they’re doing there, but I don’t really know what’s up. I used to talk to Coach Clark all the time, but he hasn’t really been in contact with me.”
That may be because Turgeon and Co. have identified a couple other guards they covet more than Jones. Point guard Tony Carr (Roman Catholic/Philadelphia, Pa.) is a prime target, along with combos like Kevin Hueter (Shenendehowa HS/Clifton Park, N.Y.), Brandon Robinson (Douglas County HS/Douglasville, Ga.) and Markelle Fultz (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.), the latter likely bound for Kentucky, Louisville or Arizona.
“I mean, if Maryland got back in touch with me I’d definitely consider them,” Jones said. “I’ve been there a bunch, I know the campus well, I know all the coaches, and they have some great [recruits] coming in. It’s the hometown school. But as of right now I don’t really have any plans to visit or anything. I’m going to go where I’m wanted.”
Some of the schools that have made Jones feel wanted of late include Georgetown, Indiana and Florida (no offer yet). Others that have maintained contact are Missouri, Wake Forest, Xavier, NC State and Florida State, in addition to three programs that haven’t anted up yet: Ohio State, Texas and UNC.
“I’m not ready to get into favorites yet, but the schools recruiting me the hardest are the ones I’ll look at. Like I said, I’m going to go where it’s the best fit and where I’m wanted,” Jones said. “So, like, Georgetown, Indiana, Florida if they offer, and maybe some others. In August I’ll cut down my list and start to schedule officials. I’ll sit down and talk to my parents about all that once AAU ball is over.”
Jones was most recently at Georgetown for a second look at the Hoyas. He said he’s planning a third trip in July, followed by forays through Bloomington, Ind., and Gainesville, Fla.
“Georgetown was great. I had a great talk with the Coach [John] Thompson and the other staff members; I really liked walking around the campus and things like that. I was there once before for Midnight Madness, but this was my first time seeing the campus and really talking to all the coaches,” Jones said. “[The Hoyas are] high on me and I’m high on them, so I guess you could say they’re right up there. It’s a school I’m really considering right now.
“Indiana is another one I’m seriously considering. I like how they play, I like their coach, and they definitely want me there. And Florida hasn’t offered, but I talk to them like every day now. They like the way I play and think I’d fit into their system. I talked to their head coach a couple times and we’ve had some small talk about me visiting. He’s seen video of me, and the assistants have watched me live; they all like my game. I’m not really sure what I have to do [to get an offer from Florida], but I know they like me a lot.”
In addition to his three upcoming visits, Jones has two more AAU events this July, one in Chicago and the other in Louisville, Kent. He said he’s hoping his Boo Williams squad will perform better than it did during the April sessions in Hampton, Va., and Louisville.
“We struggled as a team, so we definitely want to show out in Chicago and Louisville coming up,” said Jones, who wants to sign during the early period. “Personally I think I played alright, just becoming more of a leader, scoring the ball better, and playing better defensively. But I’m still working on my all-around game and just getting bigger and stronger.”
Is Jones Still An Option For UMD?
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