After a strong junior season for Millennium High School's senior post player, the summer evaluation period has ended before it even began. 6-foot-9, 220-pound senior post Elston Jones led his Tigers to a strong 24-6 overall record last season and a late playoff push, before falling to eventual Division-I state champion Corona Del Sol HS (47-46) in the state quarter-finals.
Jones would have another strong season for himself in the process - averaging 12.9 points and 13.2 rebounds per/game on the season. Jones has been big and consistent throughout his high school career for terrific head coach Mike Lopez, but has struggled with many injuries throughout his career as well.
After a brief spring evaluation period, which was going well for Jones, he suffered a major injury that will cause him to miss the remainder of the NCAA summer evaluation period. While playing for his club program, the Compton Magic (CA), in an event in St. Louis in the spring, Jones tore his patella tendon. The injury came when another player landed on his leg after a drive to the basket. The pressure of the other player's fall caused Jones to suffer the injury.
I caught up with Jones and his mother on Saturday at this weekend's Summer Sizzle basketball tournament at Corona Del Sol HS, and they informed me that Jones will now be out until the beginning to the high school season - maybe longer.
"I will be out until at least October, maybe November," said Jones.
Jones' mother also advised me that her son will not rush the injury, but rather take his time in the recovery process - hopeful not to come back to soon, but when he is fully recovered.
Jones is still being recruited heavily by numerous college programs, and Jones told me that he still plans to make a decision in the fall. He plans to decide on one of the schools that is currently recruiting him already.
According to Jones and his mother, Jones is still receiving heavy interest from Arizona State, Saint Mary's, Loyola Marymount, San Diego State, San Francisco, UC-Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC-Davis, Boise State and Grand Canyon University.
Jones would have looked to generate much more recruiting interest this summer, during the NCAA evaluation period, but now will have to settle with whatever schools are still interested in him - especially after a major injury.
Jones is also a very good student and carries close to a 4.0 CUM GPA.
Arizona Hoop Review Scouting Report: Jones is a big-body low post prospect that is still developing a great deal but is developing nicely for his size and age. Still a bit raw physically and also still growing into his large body, Jones is not real athletic at this point but has excellent length and size, which allows him to get good inside post position. As a result of his left-handed shooting touch, Jones is able to score effectively around the basket and also shoot the basketball out to 15 feet, although he still needs time in the gym to become consistent from the perimeter. He possesses good low post footwork and skills around the basket, and he is difficult to defend around the basket as a result of his left-handed prowess. He is a very good offensive rebounder and finisher around the basket, and possesses a nice left-handed jump hook. He does not mind physical contact. As he matures, look for him to gain a much more physical approach to the game. He is a good passer already and looks for the open man on the floor. He is also a very capable shotblocker, as a result of his nice length – blocking or altering many shots in his area. Jones runs the floor well for his size, but looks a bit unorthodox still overall as an athlete and takes small steps rather than running fluid. He has been injury prone throughout his high school career, so it will be very interesting to see if that changes over time with maturity.