Jones Lists Big East School as Favorite

Brooklyn-native Phil Jones, a 6-foot-10 center at Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina, lists one noted Big East program atop the other schools on his list.

Phil Jones is an extraordinarily rare commodity out of the class of 2006 this spring: a capable, and unsigned, 6-foot-10 low post player. The native of Brooklyn and student at the Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina recently was in New York on spring break and lent some insight into his recruitment and how things may shake out.

A number of major conferences are represented on Jones' list. However, one program clearly strikes Phil's fancy.

"Connecticut is the number one school on my list right now," said Jones. "I feel like that'd be the best situation for me. But I still plan on taking all of my visits."

In addition to UConn, Jones lists Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Cincinnati. Indiana and Cincinnati recently jumped into the fray after making new head coaching hires. Jones plans on visiting UConn in early May. He still has all five of his official visits to use. Beyond UConn, other trips could be in the offing.

"I plan on visiting IU, Kentucky, Cincinnati- I plan on visiting all of those schools," said Jones.

Jones seems to have adjusted well to life in North Carolina. After originally attending Samuel Tilden High School in Brooklyn, where he played for Coach Eric "Rock" Eisenberg, Jones bounced around the prep scene quite a bit, with stops at Lutheran Christian in Philadelphia and Genesis One in Mississippi. He appears to have found some stability playing for Coach Billy Reid at Laurinburg.

"It's been good," said Jones. "It's not New York City, but it's been cool. Basically I'm just going to finish up school, graduate, and make my decision. That's pretty much it."

A space-eater who can score with his back to the basket and use his body on the low block, a noticeably slimmer Jones has made strides with his conditioning since enrolling at Laurinburg.

"Mainly, I've been working on my conditioning," said Jones. "They've got me on a conditioning program down here, and I've lost about 30 pounds."

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