Big Things for Little Jones

Carl Jones is quickly making a name for himself. Just a 5-11 guard, Jones has had to hear excuses about his size for why he's not been more heavily recruited. However, this spring, Jones is making it tough on teams to use that excuse any longer. Thursday, Kyle Lamb spoke with his high school coach Sonny Johnson to get the latest on his star-in-the-making.

Sometimes big things come in small packages. That's the rallying cry for a budding Ohio prep superstar making a name this spring.

Carl Jones, a 5-11 155-pound guard from Northeast Ohio power Garfield Heights has positioned himself as a up-and-coming point guard for the Ohio Basketball Club. It comes to no shock to his high school coach.

"No, not at all (surprised)," Garfield Heights head basketball coach Sonny Johnson told Thursday afternoon. "This year I was calling coaches – the Iowas, the Xaviers, the Ohio States to let them know how good he was. They had to see it for themselves."

Playing as a combination, both point and scoring guard positions, Jones averaged 24.4 points and 6.0 assists per game this past season as a junior.

The crux, however, is Jones' size and how he translates into an undersized scoring guard at the next level. Weight, says Johnson, is a bigger issue than his height.

"He's small as far as weight, but he's still 5-11," he added. "The problem is his ability to keep on weight. When he's eating three meals a day and lifting weights in college, he'll be fine."

Thanks to the King James Classic two weeks ago in nearby Akron, coaches are starting to listen to Johnson's pleas.

Jones went on a scoring binge, at one point scoring 30 points or more in three straight games. He's now drawn scholarship offers from Michigan, Iowa, Texas Tech, Missouri, Xavier, Cincinnati, St. Joseph's, Penn State and Purdue among others.

"It comes so easy," Johnson said. "He's blessed with it. He can score at the point and he can score on the wing.

"He's definitely the best scorer I've ever coached," added Johnson, who has coached a couple of sons that played Division I basketball.

The Wolverines have been credited by Johnson as the school that's been in on him the longest. Even during Jones' junior season, Michigan was recruiting Jones and according to Johnson, "saw how good he is."

This past weekend, Jones visited Ann Arbor. He's now been to Michigan, St. Joseph's, Dayton, Xavier, Kent State and Penn State. Jones has visits scheduled indefinitely to Iowa, Xavier and Cincinnati.

But there's one school notably missing from that list – for now.

What about Ohio State? Are the in-state Buckeyes recruiting Jones?

"Not as much as I would like," Johnson responded. "He's an Ohio kid, so naturally I'd like to see them recruit Carl."

Johnson added that Ohio State has been up to Garfield Heights to watch Jones on a few occasions. He also mentioned that Thad Matta and associate head coach John Groce have both maintained dialogue by phone.

"(Ohio State) is just waiting to see if they need another guard," Johnson said of why the Buckeyes haven't offered. "I understand it. They've got a lot of good guards."

The Buckeyes may not have much time to wait.

According to Johnson, Jones will likely make a decision before early July. That leaves Ohio State no more than 1-2 months to make their choice.

In the meantime, Johnson plans to prepare Jones for a more established role at point guard.

"We'd like to see him run the show (next year) as a full-time point guard," he said. "We want him to make everyone around him better…He can pass. He can score but I want him to pass a little more. I'd like him to be more of a passer first and work on being a better on-ball defender. It's not that he can't do these things but we really ask a lot of him."



Buckeye Sports Top Stories