Let's continue taking a look at the state's top breakout performers for this up-and-coming high school season. Another player that I expect to have a big breakout season in the state for the 2023-2024 high school basketball season is St. Mary's High School's 6-foot-7 junior forward Caspian Jones. Jones is already well established as a top-rated prospect, as he possesses Division-I offers, but he has yet to have the season that he is capable of. Last season was impacted heavily by injuries for Jones, so this season will be a big one for him. Jones has worked very hard on his body and game over the spring and summer, in preparation for a big junior season.
Jones is due this season for a consistent and strong performance each night out, as the new look Knights look to compete for the Open Division State Championship this high school season. While the Knights will be very talented this high school season, and led by the strong play of recent Grand Canyon University commit Styles Phipps, a major aspect of the success for the Knights will rely on the performance of Caspian Jones. Jones is a major contributor to the success of the Knights, as he has an excellent body physically, and can provide toughness, rebounding, interior defense and, of course, scoring for Head Coach Damin Lopez. Jones will need to do all of these things this season for the Knights to reach their ultimate team goal. While the Knights are loaded with talent this season and are one of the deepest teams in the state, so are many other teams in the state. The competition this high school season in the state is fierce for the Open Division State Championship, and there are numerous teams in the state this high school season that can compete for it.
Jones had a slow start to his sophomore season due to a brief injury and sickness, so he is looking to have a big junior season for the Knights, as he now looks to join forces with star point guard Styles Phipps and 6-foot-9 sophomore wing Cam Williams to make for one of the state's elite trios.
Jones is a nice overall talent that is just beginning to reach his potential as a player, coming into his own as a player and prospect. He is a versatile combo-forward prospect that is capable of playing inside and out, and will look to mature into a wing prospect with the ability to consistently make plays for himself and others off the dribble. He enjoys having the ball in his hands and creating off the dribble, while being able to make shots from the perimeter, although he is still improving his consistency from longer ranges. He has a very good handle of the basketball that he has developed through hard work, and is much more effective as a playmaker, which he has proven that he can be. He is an active rebounder and finisher around the basket, and also runs the floor very well and looks to get easy buckets in transition. He is a very good and willing passer that sees the floor, and competes hard. He has excellent toughness, and should blossom nicely over time with continued work ethic and hard work on his craft.
Jones received his first Division-I offer from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) this summer, while playing for his Belmont Shore (CA) club program. He is worthy of many more offers for himself, and this season should prove that for Jones. I expect him to garner much more recruiting attention for himself, as a result.
"He has really worked hard," said St. Mary's High School Head Coach Damin Lopez. "People are really going to see this season - he is a player."