While Arizona's 2014 class of prospects may just be the best class of basketball talent the state has ever seen, not every prospect in the class helped themselves with their performances this spring during the April evaluation period. In fact, most prospects in the class did not perform up to expectations this spring. One player that did perform at a high level for himself this spring was Gilbert Christian High School's 6-foot-7, 180-pound junior guard/forward Sam Jones.
While competing with an out-of-state club team, the Double Pump All-Stars (CA), Jones helped improve his recruiting stock a great deal, as his team won a lot of games during the month of April - winning this year's Double Pump Spring Classic in Las Vegas recently. While helping a loaded team of prospects to the tournament title, Jones was a major contributor for the team, as he shot the basketball in fine fashion and showed his consistent ability to make plays off the dribble for himself and others as well.
I caught up with Jones briefly during the event and he advised me at that point in time he had three different scholarship offers for himself. Jones said that he currently holds offers from Northern Arizona, Idaho State and UC-Davis. While Jones told me these offers before the end to this year's Double Pump Spring Classic, his list of schools should now be growing after his performance during the April evaluation period.
Jones' strong play on the club circuit comes after an excellent junior season, where he led his Gilbert Christian HS program to their third consecutive state title - finishing with an impressive 30-3 record on the season. Jones was big for the Knights as he averaged 18.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per/game this past season.
Jones, one of the top prospects in Arizona's 2014 class, continues to impress with his size, length and ability to shoot the basketball with consistency and range.
Jones is among the best pure shooters of the basketball in the state – regardless of class. His size and length make him much more attractive than most shooters, since he is able to get his shot off easily over smaller defenders and moves very well with or without the basketball in his hands. Knocks down big shots and is a clutch shooter. Handles the basketball very well for his size and is a fundamentally sound prospect that has a very good feel for the game. As he continues to get stronger physically he will really see his game progress off the dribble, but he is a good finisher now that finishes well over bigger defenders.
An active rebounder and a good team defender that needs to continue to focus more defensively to reach his full potential. As this area of his game continues to progress, he will become a much better and well-rounded prospect.
Jones will continues to play this summer with the Double Pump program, and will look to garner much more recruiting interest for himself, as he is a rare find - a prospect with size and a pure shooting stroke.
Arizona Preps will continue to follow the recruitment of Jones closely and bring you any updates as they continue to develop.