Texas A&M transfer "very interested" in SMU

Jamal Jones is transferring from Texas A&M and Omar talked with him about his interest in SMU!

Earlier this month, Texas A&M leading scorer Jamal Jones announced on his Twitter account that he plans on transferring.

At 6-foot-8 and 190 pounds, Jones averaged 13.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and one assist per game last year for the Aggies. Since announcing his decision to transfer, Jones has been contacted my multiple schools including SMU.

"I'm very interested in SMU. They are headed in the right direction, they got a great coach, and they have a great incoming class," Jones said. "I would have to sit out a year so it would give me a chance to learn the system. I'm interested, but I still got to learn more about them."

Jones started to build a relationship with SMU assistant coach Ulric Maligi, but the two haven't been in contact recently because the NCAA's current "dead period" for basketball recruiting.

"I like Coach Maligi. I haven't talked to Coach Brown yet. He was on vacation when I talked to him," Jones said. "Coach Maligi said they talked about me and they are very interested. I can't really do much during this period. Whenever it's back open, we are going to talk more."

Jones, who is originally from Wynn, Arkansas and attended Searcy HS, was familiar with Coach Brown's background and résumé. Jones called it an "honor" to be recruited by the Hall of Fame coach.

"He coached Allen Iverson and he coached the greats," Jones said. "I mean, Coach Maligi is telling me that I could be a pro. That's coming from Coach Brown, so that means a lot. He knows his stuff, so I believe in him. I trust him and I don't even know him yet. I'm very interested to hear what he has to say."

Jones has been to three schools in three years looking for the right system and fit. He committed to Ole Miss as a three-star in the class of 2011, but only played in five games for them. The following season, Jones played for Lee College in Baytown, TX. He averaged 18 points, five rebounds and two assists per game, which had him rated as a top-five junior college recruit in 2013.

Jones and the Aggies played SMU early last season when the Mustangs won 55-52 in the Corpus Christi Challenge. Jones only played five minutes in the game and was held scoreless, but says the Mustangs left an impression on him.

"Their style of play fits my style perfectly. Coach Brown runs good sets. He runs a pro offense, sort of," Jones said. "He is also a players-coach and knows how to utilize mismatches. That's also what I'm looking for: a coach that just knows how to coach a player of my style."

Jones says he has a very unique game. At 6-foot-8, he can stretch the floor with his shooting ability or attack the basket with his strength.

"I'm different than most. I'm 6-foot-8, but I play like a two guard," Jones said. "I was 40 percent from three this year and led our team in scoring. I was tenth in the SEC in scoring. I like to get to the basket and make plays for others. I like being able to get the rebound and push it to make plays. I just like making plays."

Jones has his old JUCO coach, Roy Champagne, helping him with the transferring and recruiting process. The only other schools Jones specifically mentioned were Memphis and Western Kentucky, but over 10 schools have already contacted him.

"I'm just really waiting to hear from the coaches and see what they have to say. I'll see if they want me to come see them. After I see all the facilities and build relationships with the coaches, I'll make a decision," Jones said. "I'm going to try and take three visits at the most. I'm not really sure who is getting a visit because it's early in the recruiting process. I haven't even got a chance to talk to Coach Brown yet."

Jones hasn't graduated yet, so he will have to sit out a year under NCAA transfer rules. However, although he is listed as a junior, Jones says he may have more than one year of eligibility left.

"I could possibly get two years back from my freshman year at Ole Miss, but that's something to figure out later," he said. "All I know is I can't go to anymore SEC schools and probably nobody on their schedule, but he didn't say that for sure. He just said no SEC schools for now."

Jones has had an interesting three weeks since his release and doesn't want to drag out his decision process for too long. However, after playing at three schools in three years, Jones knows it's important to make the right decision.

"There were a lot of reasons I felt like I needed to leave A&M. We left on good terms, but I just need to be in a different situation that fits more of my style," he said. "I don't know where that is yet, but it might be SMU."


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