Fit At Both Ends

The offensive abilities of West Virginia basketball signee Kevin Jones have quite rightly drawn a great deal of attention, but his skills also translate well to the defensive end of the floor.

"His defensive ability is very good right now," said Kevin's brother Gerard, who helped shepherd Kevin through the recruiting process, said. In high school, he can guard anywhere on the floor, from the one to the five. In college, we want his adjustment to be a smooth transition to where he can guard either big or small forwards."

That process is already underway, as Gerard is helping his younger brother work on the defensive skills he will need to defend players that are both bigger and smaller than he is. The reputation of WVU head coach Bob Huggins, who specializes developing players such as Jones, was one of the big reasons the Mount Vernon player chose the Mountaineers.

"His resume with Kevin's type of player – a tweener – was one of the big things," Gerard noted. "It's not so much about being a power forward or a small forward with him. He has a reputation of developing players, and of concentrating on defense. In the research and all the discussions we had with different people, we learned that those are the things that would be really important for him to work on. Huggins does all of that."

Of course, Jones is also an outstanding offensive player who can score from anywhere on the court – versatility that again fits the Huggins mold well.

"Kevin is a scorer. Just natural born," Gerard stated plainly. "He can score from three, or from two. He can go outside or inside. He reminds me of a Glenn Robinson, a Glenn Rice or a Robert Horry type of player."

While Gerard certainly has pride in Kevin's abilities and talents, he isn't about trying to hype his brother to the heavens. He knows there is a lot of hard work ahead to help him make the transition from high school to college, and will be working with him to meet those goals. He has been a solid presence throughout the recruiting process, and has helped shield Kevin from some of the grind that comes with being a highly-regarded player.

"I didn't want playing basketball to be a curse," Gerard said of his motivation to help guide Kevin. "You don't want a kid to be so worn out that he doesn't like playing any more. We wanted to keep the whole experience positive, and I think we were successful."

West Virginia might have been perceived to gave gotten something of a push from Lowes Moore, the Mount Vernon native who had an outstanding career at West Virginia, but that wasn't the case, according to Gerard.

"Lowes did a great job of letting Kevin make up his own mind. Every now and then he might give him a nudge, but Mount Vernon has sent a lot of great players to a lot of great programs. If it was a thing where Mount Vernon didn't produce many talented players, it might have been different, but Lowes didn't push. He explained to us about his experiences at West Virginia, and he said they treated him really well."

After this afternoon's press conference, Jones is staying busy with interviews, but he is taking the time to feel the excitement of making his college choice.

"He was very excited," Gerard said. "He is a very humble guy. He is going to West Virginia to get better. He wants to develop and be the best college player he can be."

BlueGoldNews.com will have an interview with Kevin Jones later this evening.


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