PSU Catches Andrew Jones

DeChellis and company get a commitment from Philadelphia-area post player.

Andrew Jones knew he could play basketball wherever he went to school. He was looking for more than just a college with a basketball team, and wanted a campus with the type of social atmosphere where he felt comfortable. He named Penn State as his choice early last week, helping the program make another inroad in the Philadelphia area.

Jones, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward from Abington Friends High near Philly, offered many reasons for his choice.

“It's a great campus, great people, great fans,” he said. “I took the approach to where if I got hurt, I would have to be at a campus where I would not only want to play for four years, but some place I would want to live. … The academic aspect of the school is just crazy. The Big Ten, the opportunity to play. I loved the coaching staff.”

Hosted by freshman forward Jamelle Cornley, Jones' visit came during Penn State's football victory over Ohio State two weeks ago. That certainly could have added to his perspective of the school's atmosphere. He enjoyed meeting some of the players, including sophomore Ben Luber and freshmen Max Dubois and Joonas Suotamo. Jones felt he really clicked with them.

“I got to met Jamelle a little personally,” he said. “He's a great guy, he showed me the ropes. He basically told me like it was, he didn't try to sell it. He just told me what you were going to get, so that was appealing. … The players don't have any egos. It just seems like the atmosphere for the PSU basketball program, that they want to get it done.”

He was offered his first scholarship by Penn State early last spring, when Ed DeChellis and then-assistant James Johnson visited his school. Iowa, Florida Atlantic University and La Salle were all in the running for his services.

Along with Xavier commit Jason Love, Jones' high school team went 19-10 last year, with Jones averaging 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks per game. They lost a heartbreaker in the Friends Schools League Championship with 11 seconds to go.

Jones knows the Big Ten is full of physical play, so he's working on getting stronger, his only glaring weakness. He's only in his third year of organized basketball and is full of potential. His high school coach, Steve Chadwin, believes Jones has a bright future.

“He runs the floor very well,” Chadwin reported said. “He's 6-9, long and lanky. He defends pretty well, good shot-blocker. He can face up underneath the basket. He's pretty accurate around the basket offensively, plus he's extremely coachable. He communicates well with his teammates and he's got good leadership qualities.”

With Jones' commitment and a pledge from western Pennsylvania standout forward David Jackson, the Lions have filled all of their scholarships for next year. Both player will make it official in the early signing period in November.

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