De-Committed from IU, E. Jones Eyeing Mizzou

After changing his mind and taking back his verbal commitment to the home-state Hoosiers today, 6-foot-4 Fort Wayne (In.) shooting guard Eshaunte Jones was added back onto the list as one of the top-40 uncommitted rising seniors in the nation. And Inside Mizzou has learned that Missouri is one of the top schools on his freshly re-opened list of potential schools.


"He likes Missouri. Missouri's right up there as one of the schools he's seriously looking at," said Eric Vaughn, Jones' coach with the IJN Elite summer basketball club. "I would say Missouri would be one of the top schools. He really likes Mike Anderson and T.J. Cleveland."

Jones scored 27.7 points per game last year and was the third leading scorer in Indiana, sitting behind only Eric Gordon and Deshaun Thomas – top-five players in the Classes of 2007 and 2009, respectively. He committed to IU but didn't feel strongly enough about his decision, deciding instead to re-open his recruitment. He'll most closely consider Indiana, Mizzou, Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Tennessee, Vaughn said.

"He just wanted to make an informed decision," Vaughn said. "He has four years to go to college and he wants to go to the right one."

Could Missouri be the one? That remains to be seen, but it's certain he'll be making a visit to Columbia at some point to check out the program, the coaches and the campus, Vaughn said.

"He should average 20 a game as a freshman at Missouri, if he chooses Missouri," Vaughn said. "I'm watching the NBA Draft right now, and I should be going to New York with him" when he's drafted in the NBA … He could be a one-and-done.

Jones is rated the 73rd-best rising senior in the nation by Scout.com. A lean 170 pounds, he's an aggressive scorer, a good passer and a deadeye shooter from deep. He shot 41.6 percent from 3-point range last season despite attempting a boatload of shots from behind the arc (233).

"I'd take him over almost any shooting guard in the country. The only three players I'd take before him are [2008 all-Americans] O.J. Mayo, Eric Gordon and Derrick Rose, regardless of class," Vaughn said. "And this isn't just an AAU coach talking – I've been doing this a long time and have seen a lot of great players … I don't know why he's not a top-ten guy. There's no better combo guard in America."

Jones was recruited first by MU assistant T.J. Cleveland, and then by Anderson as well. He's planning to spend his senior year at Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) in an effort to shore up his grades. He won't be making a decision until this fall after making several visits and trying to make a commitment to a school he feels 100 percent comfortable with.

Will MU be that place? Inside Mizzou will keep you updated.

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories