Verdell Jones Enjoyed Minnesota Visit

Verdell Jones, a 6-foot-4 point guard from Champaign (IL) Central, visited Minnesota earlier this month. Jones is the No. 2 uncommitted point guard, according to GoldenSports.Net caught with Jones' father, Verdell Sr., to find out the latest on his son's recruitment.

Verdell Jones shined as a member of the Ft. Sooy No Limit AAU team that is coached by his father, Verdell Sr. His Champaign Central team started practice last week and will play in the Tournament of Champions Classic in Peoria next weekend.

Verdell Sr. said that his son is not going to sign during the early signing period.

"He is probably going to wait," Verdell Sr. said. "We just want to be sure when he makes his decision. He's got a few more visits that he wants to take. We are trying to decide exactly where those places are going to be. We are going to do (set up visits) that in the next week or so because things have got started with their season. We are going to sit down and discuss that this weekend or the first part of next week, of where we want to look at to take visits. We were going to go to Oklahoma, but that had practice last week, so we did not make that trip."

Jones said that his son is getting plenty of high major looks.

"He is looking at Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico State, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Illinois, Oregon, Texas and Tennessee. Three of those schools have offered. We are just trying to take our time during the course of the season since he was really not able to get out this summer, to give them an opportunity to see him play."

Jones said that he and his son are aware that some schools may have to look at other point guards with him deciding to sign in April.

"That is the nature of the beast. One thing about it, we have gone in with our eyes wide open and we understand that," Verdell Sr. said. "That is the risk you have to take to get the right fit. Not the perfect fit, but the right fit. If that happens, we certainly respect, appreciate and understand that they have a job to do, but I also think too, we as parents, we've got a job to do to make sure that we make a cerebral decision and gather the most information that we can and make a decision that we ultimately feel is going to work in the best interest for all parties involved. A lot of times that takes deliberation. I know that he who hesitates is lost, they say, but I think at the end of the day, I think that Verdell and the program that he goes to, will be pleased that we have taken the measures we've taken, to make sure that the decision is a good decision."

Jones said that he knows that teams are willing to wait for his son to make his college choice.

"I think that the thing is that we have never tried to hide anything. We have tried to be up front from the jump. At the end of the day, you want to know for the best of your knowledge that everything that you did, you did the right way. We are not hedging anything. We are not utilizing certain programs to get other programs to offer. We understand at the end of the day, there is only one school that he could go to, so we are trying to make sure that this is a decision that works for everyone involved. We understand with that in mind, when you take that particular approach, there may be situations that you lose in the course of that, but I think that we have come to a place where we are OK with that and if he is not and that is put on the table and that is the place that he really wants to play, he'll make the decision," Verdell Sr. said. "Big-time college basketball is a pressurized situation now anyway. My thing is, we are going to give you a pressure-free situation to make a decision, because we know that once you make a decision that is when the pressure is on.'

"We have always tried to keep that in front of him that, hey, you are going to an arena where it is about performance. You are expected to be a great kid, because that is how we raised you, but at the end of the day you have to produce and perform. That is the name of the game in collegiate basketball from that point on. We are just trying to help him make a decision with the least amount of pressure as possible, because once he does make that decision that is when the expectations will come and rightfully so. But we are just trying to help him to take a deep breath during this period of time in his life and really be able to analyze things. It is also going to help teach him about life decisions. This is a life decision. A lot of times, you want to minimize this as just a basketball issue. This is a life decision, so we want him to make the decision without trepidation where he is really able to analyze the situation and be able to make a decision that he feels is in his best interest and after he makes his decision, be responsible enough to say, ‘Whatever happens, I'll live with it, because it was a decision that I made.'

"I think that when we can do that, at the end of the day, you can say, 'Hey look, I lived the life on my terms. I did it on my terms.' Those are the type of things that we are trying to make him understand as a young man."

Jones said that he and his family enjoyed thir trip to Minnesota.

"Loved it. We loved it. My wife and my other son also came. (The reason for the positive visit) It was coach Smith. Just having a chance to really spend some time with him. Just realizing the type of human being that he is," Verdell Sr. said. "He may be a great coach, but I have come to realize that he is a better human being. Just as a person. It is certainly an individual that you see that you would feel comfortable with, if that was the situation that Verdell would choose to go to Minnesota, you would feel very comfortable with a coach like that. Because at the end of the day, we want someone who is going to continue or be an adjunct to what we have tried to start during the course of Verdell's years with us and someone who can be an extension of us. There are a lot of things that me and my wife really like. We liked the university. Nice, big campus. Beautiful city. The academic situation. Verdell wants to go into business. They have one of the top business programs in the country. We also got a chance to meet with Clyde Turner. He is actually from Champaign Central high school. He was a childhood friend. He was a little bit older, but we went to church together when I was young. We got a chance to get with him when we were up there. He is doing big things up in Minnesota. We just had a real nice comfort level with everything. We have to do more due diligence. We want to continue to watch them during the season. We want to definitely get up there for a game and continue to analyze the situation. I think that we had a great time and really enjoyed everything about it. I think that it is a first class university. It is a first class coaching staff without question. I really enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with the AD (Joel Maturi) there. He seems to be excited and on fire about the direction they are going. Those are things that are important. We just really wanted to get a good feel for the future and mindset of the program. We came away and felt really good about the things that we were able to discover while we were up there."

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