Thanks to class of 2013 shooting guard Matt Jones (Duke) for doing the interview with us. The Texas native talked to us about who he’s recruiting to join him at Duke, how good of a shot he has with them, something most people don’t know about him and much more. Be sure to join over 4,000 other people and follow him on Twitter. As we noted in our Nike EYBL recap earlier this week, Jones has a beautiful stroke and is the best shooters in the country.
Why did you commit to Duke?
How they play — being a shoot guard and looking at their past shooting guards like J.J. Redick — and how they see me playing there. The feeling at Duke, the environment and everything around it just made me want to go there.
Did the coaching staff compare you to any past shooting guards?
They compared me to J.J. Redick, not his shooting ability because I have a long way to go in that, but how they would use me. They compared me to Trajan Langdon too. It’s great to be compared to those guys.
Why did you commit at the time that you did?
It just felt right; my mom and my family supported my decision. I just felt like it was the place for me.
What was your favorite part of the recruiting process?
Just talking to different colleges — these are coaches you see growing up on TV. It was just really cool to talk to them on the phone and in person.
What was your least favorite part?
It wasn’t really bad since I had people balance it out for me but talking on the phone every night was tough because sometimes you just want to be by yourself.
What do you like about Duke that isn’t basketball related?
Just the people around them, there’s so much support. Also how private it is, there aren’t that many people around and I like that private life.
Are you recruiting anybody to join you at Duke?
Yeah, I’ve been recruiting [class of 2013 prospects power forward] Julius [Randle], [small forward] Ishmail [Wainright], [shooting guard] Allerik [Freeman] a little bit and [point guard] Anthony Barber. I’m not banging hard on them I’m just whispering in their ears about Duke.
Who do you think you have the best shot at persuading?
Ishmail and Julius probably. I talk to them the most. I know Julius like Dukes a lot — they all like Duke a lot. I just have to stay in their ears and make sure Duke is number one at the end of the day.
What are some of your goals for your time at Duke?
Of course winning a National Championship, that’s another reason I picked Duke was to win a National Championship. I want to become a better person and a better man and I feel like [head] coach [Mike] Krzyzewski can turn me into both. I think he’ll help me learn to make the right decisions, how to handle situations and just leaving a good first impression.
Are you looking forward to any games in particular?
I’m definitely looking forward to the Carolina rivalry. It just feels like a wonderful atmosphere and I can’t wait to experience it.
Are you looking forward to playing against any particular players in college?
It’s always going to be fun playing against the people you played against during AAU. If we played Julius and he didn’t pick Duke, I’d probably look forward to playing against him.
What has been the coolest part of the recruiting process?
Hanging out at football games and being behind the scenes and seeing stuff that normal fans don’t get to see and going into the locker rooms before the games is pretty cool.
What’s your favorite basketball memory?
Probably my freshman year in high school when I hit the game-winning shot to win the district for us.
What’s one thing people probably don’t know about you?
Singing. If you knew me, you’d know that I sing 24/7 non-stop. I don’t really have any favorite songs, I just sing what’s in my head.
What are some things that you’re trying to improve on this summer?
Just ball-handling, being more of a leader and playing with confidence.
Why do you play the game of basketball?
I love it. I see it as a blessing that God has given to me, my family, my friends and the people that I love.
What are your predictions for Duke next year?
I think we’re going to be good next year with Mason [Plumlee] coming back. We’re going to have a lot of veterans and I think Alex Murphy, Rasheed Sulaimon, Quinn Cook, Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins are going to be good, we’re going to be pretty legit and we should be contending for a title next year.