Louisville Adds Nation's Top JUCO Prospect Chris Jones

By Paul Seaver
Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Just last week, it was reported that Louisville and head coach Rick Pitino had halted their pursuit of 2013 point guard Anthony Barber. The news may have come as a surprise because no formal reason was given, but speculation quickly arose in relation to the Cardinals’ desire to add JUCO prospect Chris Jones.

Barber ended his recruitment this past weekend, committing to North Carolina State, while Louisville hosted Jones for an official visit. On Monday morning, Jones also ended his recruitment, verbally pledging to the Cardinals class of 2013.

A 5-foot-10 point guard and original native of Melrose, Tenn., Jones is widely considered as the nation’s top prospect at the junior college level. A one-time Tennessee signee, Jones was directed to the junior college level following his senior year in high school for academic reasons, teaming up with former Vols assistant coach Steve Forbes at Northwest Florida State College (Fla.).

Now a member of the class of 2013, Jones will have two years of eligibility remaining at Louisville and should have no trouble stepping in and emerging as a top talent and contributor in the back court. Senior guard Peyton Siva is entering his final year at Louisville, so Jones should very well be able to step in at that position next season.

Jones averaged 18.0 points per game last season at Northwest Florida, guiding the school to the national championship game in his first season. The guard will once again be among the top players at the junior college level this upcoming season. Baylor landed JUCO point guard Pierre Jackson prior to the 2011-12 season, a former JUCO Player of the Year in his own right who has had an instant impact at the Division I level.

Jones choose Louisville over the likes of Baylor, Oklahoma State, Kansas and Florida State.

In addition, he joins a recruiting class that currently includes Anton Gill and Terry Rozier. With Jones, the Cardinals are sure to have one of the top classes in the nation in terms of looking ahead to the 2013-14 season.

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