Snap Decision

Jamal Jones, a 6-foot-8, 180-pound wing prospect by way of Searcy, Ark., committed to Ole Miss Monday, becoming the third member of the Rebels' signing class of 2011.

Jamal Jones visited Ole Miss officially over the weekend.

He toured the Rebels' sparkling practice facility, hung out with players and coaches and joined over 60,000 fans inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for a primetime meeting between Ole Miss and top-ranked Auburn.

But the highlight of the trip, what he recalls immediately when asked, is a sit-down talk with fifth-year head coach Andy Kennedy. Kennedy explained Jones' potential, how his best days of basketball were in front of him and why Jones was an ideal fit in his dribble-drive system.

Jamal Jones

Apparently Jones got the message.

Jones, a 6-foot-8, 180-pound wing prospect by way of Searcy, Ark., committed to Ole Miss Monday. He becomes the third member of the signing class of 2011, joining guard Ladarius White and forward Aaron Jones.

"When Andy Kennedy sits across from you and tells you how good you can be, that fires a 17-year-old up quite a bit," Searcy Senior High School head coach Jimmy Summers said. "He's just really excited about his opportunity, and I think he's probably moved his commitment level up to another notch from where it was initially."

Jones said Kennedy laid out a plan for his freshman season while on his visit, presenting two scenarios of either significant playing time or a redshirt. What his role will ultimately be, Jones said, is up to him.

"He said it depends on how hard I want to work. I can either come in and start as a true freshman, or if I don't want to work hard, I can redshirt. He said it's all up to what I want. He holds you accountable for everything," Jones said.

Before his decision, Jones held offers from Ole Miss, Arkansas State, UALR and Southeast Missouri State. He was also getting looks from, among others, Portland State, SMU and Creighton. Jones was extended an Ole Miss offer while on his visit.

"We talked about it last night, and they gave me every option," Jones said. "They gave me everything about their school; the pros and cons. I just felt like Ole Miss was right. I'm not the type of dude to wait around. If I feel like something's right, I'm gonna run with it."

Jones averaged 17 points and 9.6 rebounds a game as a junior. He also contributed 3 steals and 4.5 assists. Jones, who was most impressed with the Rebels' style of player while on his visit, projects as either a two-guard or three at the next level.

"He's so gifted athletically," Summers said. "Sometimes you watch him, and it looks like he's not running hard, but nobody can catch him. He's so long and smooth in handling the ball. He just gets it done. He's kind of lived on that his sophomore and junior years for me. Now he wants to turn that switch up. If he turns it up, there's no telling how good he could be."

Jones chose Ole Miss over Arkansas State.

"I kind of knew that it was a good fit for me (last night)," Jones said. "It was a great visit. I loved it. I watched them practice and loved their style of play. I loved everything about it, so I just went ahead and got it done."


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