Peekskill's Jones Gains UConn's Interest

Mookie Jones may only be a 15-year old sophomore, but the lanky 6-6 wing forward from Peekskill H.S. in Peekskill, N.Y., is already getting to be a well known name among high major Division I programs.

Jones, who scored 14 points in the Red Devils' 88-62 victory over Kennedy Catholic at the 2006 Westchester Elite Hardwood Classic, displayed versatility and skill as a number of Division I coaches looked on.

Peekskill Head Coach Lou Panzanaro, whose program has produced Duke's Elton Brand and UConn's Hilton Armstrong in the past decade, has seen this kind of thing before.

"He's certainly garnered a lot of attention from many Division I schools," Panzanaro said. "It's similar to what Elton was getting as a sophomore."

While Brand was hulking and carved of granite, Jones is best described as arms and legs. Of course, that would describe why Brand has made a living in the paint throughout high school, college and the pros and why Jones is currently projected to make his living on the wing.

"I think he's a wing forward," Panzanaro said. "He's projected to grow to about 6-8. He can handle the ball pretty well too and he passes well."

Against Kennedy Catholic, Jones was very comfortable on the wing. He possesses a dangerous midrange jumpshot and is blessed with solid ball skills and good athleticism. His length and wingspan can be nettlesome for opponents when the Red Devils extend their pressure defense.

"As you can see, he still has some things to learn," Panzanaro said. "But what I like is that he has great form and elevation, he's an unselfish kid who passes the ball well and he plays hard without complaining ever. I just think he has a great future ahead of him."

Panzanaro said the Villanova and St. John's have already sent coaches in to take a look at Jones this season. DePaul Asst. Coach Gary DeCesare watched him recently at the Winter Hardwood Classic, and Connecticut Coach Tom Moore is planning a trip to watch Jones too, Panzanaro said.

"As good as he is now, give him two more years of age and experience and I think he is going to be a top notch college ball player," he added. "As time goes on, I think he will generate more and more interest."

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