Michael Jones update

According to his high school coach, North Carolina has backed off in its pursuit of Thayer Academy (Mass.) junior shooting guard Michael Jones.

The 6-5, 185-pound Jones, one of the top all-around off-guards in the nation, is still considering the Tar Heels – but they seem to have fallen behind UConn and Boston College. Duke has also backed off recently.

North Carolina earlier this month added 6-5, 210-pound wing David Noel, who will likely receive a 2003 scholarship – perhaps explaining, or at least contributing to, UNC's apparent lack of interest of late in Jones.

"He's losing interest in both Duke and Carolina because they aren't following up with the same kind of interest they were showing during the summer," Thayer coach Robin Dixon said.

The lack of interest from a few of the elite schools is one reason why Jones will likely play AAU ball this summer, which he didn't do last year. He's looking at joining Gary Charles' Long Island Panthers program.

Jones, who is averaging 21 points per game, is also looking at Georgia Tech and Maryland, according to Dixon.

Jones can explode to the basket, is able to knock down the 3-pointer and has significantly improved his rebounding ability over this season. Although he doesn't have the athleticism of the Stewart twins, Jones is far more advanced in his overall skills.

"He's been our best rebounder and is averaging about 12 or 13 per game," Dixon added. "His jump shot has also gotten much better, but he needs to work on his ballhandling skills and his defense on the perimeter."

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