Junior to Watch: Michael Jones

He doesn't play AAU ball and doesn't have the big-name recognition of more heralded juniors such as Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart or Shannon Brown, but Thayer Academy's (Mass.) Michael Jones could be every bit as good a swingman as there is - in the entire nation.

The 6-5, 185-pound Jones can do it all. In a game last week against a loaded Worcester Academy squad which already features six D-I recruits and three more that will sign D-1 scholarships in the future, Jones finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and was 7-for-13 from the floor.

Jones was arguably the top player on the floor, which is saying a lot considering Georgia Tech-bound senior point guard Jarrett Jack led the Worcester team.

Jones, who can bury the 3-pointer and also drive to the hoop, plays much bigger than 6-5 and also gets his teammates involved. He's got great quickness and strength, also works hard on defense and hustles for every loose ball.

"He's so athletic, but he's still got plenty to learn," said Thayer coach Rob Dixon. "He's a good shooter and a great athlete."

The three schools that sit atop Jones' list are UConn, Duke and North Carolina, although he admits that the Huskies are the most extremely interested.

Jones is smooth and similar to Ray Allen in a sense that he doesn't say much while on the court, and can score from a variety of ways. However, he'll need to work on his ballhandling skills before he gets to college.

Jones, who is averaging about 17 points and 10 boards per contest, doesn't have a clear-cut leader at this point.

"But I'm not that far away from making a decision," he said. "I'm actually pretty close."

Jones and his Thayer teammates opted not to play AAU ball during this past summer, instead choosing to work on their games and lift weights. However, he made his presence felt at this past summer's Nike Camp, attracting the attention of many big-name coaches.


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