Derrick Jones is one of the most talented players in the 2015 class. The general consensus has been that Syracuse and Kentucky are the two schools on Jones the hardest. His head coach at Archbishop Carroll High, Paul Romanczuk, says that is not necessarily the case.
"I don't know if those are the two that have recruited him the hardest," coach Romanczuk said. "I have not even heard from Kentucky. I'm aware that they've offered and all of that, but I have not talked to them. As far as who's recruiting him the hardest, Syracuse has been to our open gym twice already with coach (Jim) Boeheim coming.
"All the local schools in this area have been to our open gyms and are recruiting him. Temple and Villanova, Penn State is there. I think it might be premature to say Syracuse and Kentucky are recruiting him the hardest."
The lead recruiter for Syracuse has been Gerry McNamara. Coach Romanczuk says he and the Orange staff are in constant communication as they recruit the 6-foot-6 wing.
"I think that, just from what coach McNamara has said, Syracuse does not recruit a number of guys," coach Romanczuk said. "They don't recruit 20 or 25 or 30 guys. It sounds like they really recruit a few kids and try to really hone in on them. They do a great job recruiting a few rather than a good job recruiting many. That sounds like it's there philosophy. They've been on Derrick since probably midway through last season is when I heard from coach McNamara.
"I've heard from him quite regularly since then. They've come down and watched Derrick play a bunch of times and followed him all through the spring and summer. I think they offered him in the spring or AAU season. They've definitely expressed how well he would fit into their system and how much of a priority he is for them. I know he's one of their top priorities in that class if not the top priority."
Coach Romanczuk says the five star forward is not as outspoken as others of his talent level. He believes Jones is still early in the process and not approaching a decision.
"He's a pretty quiet guy so you can't really tell a lot out of him," coach Romanczuk said. "I think he's still very open to the recruiting process. It's still just the beginning of his junior year. I know some kids make their decisions a lot earlier than that it seems like. It would be my thought for him and hope for him is that he goes through and learns as much as he can about each of these schools recruiting him.
"Whether it's watching them play, going up and watching them practice or visiting the campus. I'm shocked when I hear of a kid committing to a school when he hasn't even visited the campus. I would like for him to take his time here and I think that's where his parents are as well. I don't think it's going to be a situation where he's committing without taking more visits and feeling things out."
Jones was one of several talented players on the Syracuse campus for their elite camp at the end of August. Coach Romanczuk says that was a great experience for Jones, who may visit again during the season if he can work it out around his busy basketball schedule.
"He did enjoy his visit up there to Syracuse for their elite camp recently," coach Romanczuk said. "I know Syracuse is high on his list but I don't know if he has favorites or anything at this point in time. I'm sure he would like to try to get up there again if he can. It's going to be tough during our season to get up there, but I'm sure that is something he would like to do again."