Thursday afternoon, Terrence Jones and his Portland (OR) Jefferson teammates moved one step closer to repeating as Oregon state champions. For the 6-foot-7 junior wing, it was just another day at the office as he dropped in 22 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks in a quarterfinal win over Hillsboro.
Balancing a run at a repeat run to a state title with college recruitment has been easy for Jones, though, because he's focusing on the state title.
"I like that people are having to come after us," said Jones. "Just with how the year is going, the way we could end it perfectly is by winning state."
A talented and versatile wing player with size, Jones can handle, pass and has improved as a shooter. He also dominates the glass at times and feels like his junior season has been one of improvement.
"I think it's going well. I've definitely improved and I've gotten better from the beginning of the year until now," said Jones of his junior campaign. "I've been attacking and scoring more. I think that I've improved my basketball IQ and gotten better with the little things."
Playing anywhere from the point to center for his high school team, it's Jones ability with the ball and size that stand out. While that ability hasn't come without hard work in the gym, he also credits something he has zero control over for his development.
"Just having weird growth spurts," said Jones. "I was little at one point in time and playing point guard. Then I grew into a big man and didn't forget the skills."
One program that has turned up the intensity level in his recruitment is Lorenzo Romar's Washington Huskies. The charge has been spearheaded by assistant coach Jim Shaw.
"They (Washington) have been coming down to most of my games," Jones told Dawgman.com. "They've been trying to get me up there and Coach Shaw has been the main guy I've been in contact with."
So far, Jones likes what he's hearing from the Huskies and feels like he's familiar with the program.
"They're good guys," said Jones. "They have a lot of history with guys that are in my circle and people that work in my school. My aunt went to U-Dub and Coach Romar was a player when she was there."
For now, though, Jones attention is fully focused on the two remaining steps he has to repeat as a state champion. After taking some time to clear his head, he anticipates narrowing things down after a summer that will be spent running with the I-5 Ballers and attending some of the top camps in the country.
"Really, I'm just looking for the best opportunity for me," said Jones of what will influence his decision most. "I want somewhere that's going to make me a better person and make my game grow and mature."