I got the chance to catch up with class of 2014 star point guard Tyus Jones last night to talk about his recruitment, how his AAU season is going and much more. The Minnesota native has been one of the stars throughout the Nike EYBL this summer and is fourth in scoring with over 20 points per contest, first in assists per game with close to seven and was one of the best players we saw during the Hampton session. Be sure to join over 5,000 other people and follow Jones on Twitter.
So how has your recruitment been going lately?
It’s been going well, I can’t complain, I’ve been talking to a couple coaches. I’ve talked to Indiana, recently, as well as Duke, Ohio State, UCLA, Michigan State and the University of Minnesota. Those are the most recent schools I’ve talked to.
Do you have a list at this point? Is anyone standing out?
No, I haven’t started to narrow down a list yet. I’m just really open to everything right now and haven’t started to think ahead as to who would be on my list or who wouldn’t be on it.
Who has offered you?
University of Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Marquette, Baylor, Duke, Providence, Arizona and Indiana.
Who has shown interest but not offered?
Florida, I’ve gotten a little bit of interest from Kansas, UCLA and Florida State.
What are you looking for in a school?
Tradition, coaching style and style of play is key. Academics is what you look at first and foremost so that’s a big thing. The type of players they have there as well as the recruits they have coming in so there’s a lot that goes into it.
What type of playing style do you want to play in?
A more fast paced, not really a slow down style, more up-tempo and [a style] that gives you freedom to just run and play basketball.
Are there any current college or high school guys you have been talking to throughout the recruiting process?
Not any committed guys, but I’ve definitely talked to [class of 2014 center] Jahlil [Okafor] quite a few times about the possibility of going to the same college and that’s definitely a possibility. [Class of 2014 shooting guard] Theo Pinson is another a good friend of mine and we’ve also had a few conversations about it.
What schools have you guys been talking about?
We just look at the schools who have shown a lot of interest in us which as of now would be the University of Minnesota, Michigan State, Arizona, Ohio State and Duke, those are the main ones who have shown interest in us.
How much do those guys impact your recruitment?
I don’t think it would be a major or deciding factor but it could play a small role, it could determine something little but it’s not something major I’ll base my whole decision off of.
Does location matter to you?
Not a whole lot. It would definitely be nice to stay close to home but if it’s the right school and it fits me I’m not going to turn it down because it’s a ways away from home.
What schools do you want to visit this summer?
I don’t have any planned as of now but I was planning on taking an unofficial to Baylor but I couldn’t end up doing that because I ended up getting sick. I might end up going down there a little bit later this summer but other than that I don’t have others planned.
Who have you already visited?
The University of Minnesota, Ohio State and Michigan State. It was just convenient, just kind of picked them at random, it’s not a preference over any other schools. Those are closer to home so it definitely worked out and it was convenient.
What has been your favorite part of the recruiting process?
Just building relationships with the big name coaches. You see these coaches all the time and you hear about them so just being able to talk to them and have a conversation with them is pretty cool. When you take a step back and look at it, it’s crazy because not a lot of people can say that they have a relationship with those big name coaches.
What has been your least favorite part of the recruiting process so far?
I don’t think there are any negatives right now. It definitely gets kind of hectic because college coaches can’t call me so I’m being asked to call a lot of coaches so it’s kind of crazy, but I don’t think I’ve seen the busy part of the recruiting process yet.
What are you trying to improve on?
Leadership, being more vocal and then focusing on the little things in the game because that makes a good player great when they can do the little things.
What’s your favorite basketball memory?
Winning the gold medal for the USA team would have to be my favorite. It was unbelievable. Being able to play for your country is an amazing feeling and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was a great, great time and I had a blast. I look forward to going back out there and trying to do it again this summer.
Why do you play the game of basketball?
Ever since I was little I’ve just been around it. It’s kind of in my blood and I just love it. It’s the funnest thing in the world to me, I couldn’t live without it.
What’s one thing that people probably don’t know about you?
I’m just a laid back kid, I don’t like to be in the spotlight too much. A lot of people that I’ve known like to be the center of attention but I’m just kind of laid back and relaxed.
What are your goals for this summer?
Just to get better individually and make sure our team is getting better. Winning is our ultimate goal, you always want to win when you’re a competitor so that’s the main thing. You want to have fun out there and enjoy playing the game that I love.