Originally one of the top prospects within the class of 2011, Chris Jones had plans to play for Tennessee out of high school.
However, a coaching change involving Bruce Pearl and some academic issues back in 2011, ultimately forced Jones to head to the junior college level.
Former Tennessee assistant Steve Forbes took the head coaching position at Northwest Florida State College following the Vols’ coaching changes and in turn Jones followed. The former staff at Tennessee was removed due to NCAA violations, which ultimately led to Cuonzo Martin, now entering his second year in Knoxville, to take over the program’s reigns.
Now, with the 2012-13 season approaching, the time has come for Jones to resurface. The former top-100 recruit is highly-regarded as the top JUCO point guard, and many colleges are already on board with his second round of recruitment.
CBSSports.com‘s Jeff Borzello tweeted on Friday afternoon that Jones had lined up five official visits this fall, yet the dates were not enclosed.[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/jeffborzello/status/239151044955877377"]
Oklahoma State, Baylor, Florida State, Kansas, and Louisville are all expected to have Jones on campus this fall in their hopes of landing the talented point guard. However, Memphis, where Jones is originally from also remains very high on Jones’ list.
Jones stands at 5-foot-11 and his skills are undeniable. Academic and qualifying issues usually surround prospects who need to spend time at the junior college level, so many of the top programs in search of Jones’ future services hope he can become a valuable commodity down the line.
Current Baylor point guard Pierre Jackson, who is entering his senior season for the Bears, spent two seasons at the JUCO level before heading to Waco. Jackson was the junior college Player of the Year in 2011 and instantly contributed last season for a Baylor squad that advanced to the Elite 8.
Jackson has the potential to be among the best players in the Big 12 this season, and his success after a stint at the junior college level only adds to the impact that these transfers can provide.
Jones can certainly be a star at the Division I level in the coming years and for now, five schools appear high on his radar entering the fall months.
Jones was an NJCAA first-team All-American last season.
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