With the 2012 AAU/club basketball season now in full swing and with several Arizona events already under our belt, one player that you will not see this spring in competition in the state of Arizona, atleast this spring, is Basha High School's 6-foot-7, 220-pound junior post Torren Jones.
Jones has decided to take his game and his college recruitment to the state of California, where he will compete and travel this spring with the Nike-sponsored California Supreme. Jones also played for the Supreme last spring and summer - one of the top sponsored Nike sponsored programs in the country.
Jones had also considered playing with his cousin and Basha HS teammate, Joran Hopkins on the Arizona version of the Compton Magic - The Magic, but the lure to play on the Nike sponsored circuit was too much to walk away from for Jones. The Magic is an Adidas-sponsored team.
It will be very interesting to follow Jones' recruitment this off-season, to see just how much his college recruitment changes or develops, as a result of the move. Jones was once the highest recruited prospect in Arizona's 2013 class, but has seen his college recruitment tail off a bit over the past two years. Jones received a scholarship offer from the University of Arizona as a mere freshman - before he ever played a varsity high school basketball game at Basha. But that offer came from former U of A head coach and current Grand Canyon University head coach Russ Pennell. Since current Arizona head coach Sean Miller has taken over the helm at the school, the Wildcats have been reluctant to seriously recruit the talented post prospect.
Jones has still been hearing from numerous high-major programs this fall and spring, so his recruitment could shape up very nicely with a strong performance this off-season. A very strong performance this spring for Jones and he could have every school calling once more heading into the July recruiting period.
Many evaluators of Jones as a player have commented that he has not developed as a player throughout his high school career. While he has an excellent body combined with excellent athleticism and a very good motor, he has not spent enough time in the gym on his footwork, low post skills or perimeter jump shot. While he is still able to overpower most post opposition, as a result of his size, athleticism and strength, Jones is still a project offensively - so a big psring and summer performance will be needed to answer the doubters.
Either way, Jones is a nice-looking prospect physically and has a striking similarity to the NBA's Kenneth Faried, so he has the potential to become a big-time talent for the future.
Where Jones will need his most focus will be in the classroom, as he will need to continue to work very hard to give himself an opportunity to become qualified academically.
So this will be a very big spring and summer for Jones, as he looks to climb back to the top of our player rankings among the 2013 class. A strong off-season will definitely do it, as we currently have his high school teammate and relative Joran Hopkins at the top of the class currently.
We will also continue to follow Jones' recruitment closely this off-season, and follow up with clear recruiting updates of Jones in the near future.
Arizona Hoop Review Scouting Report: Jones is a nice athletic talent with very good size on his 6-foot-7 frame. An excellent athlete with a very good motor, Jones is still raw offensively and as he figures it out, he will see a serious improvement in his overall approach to the game. Currently, he is a rebounding and shotblocking force that gets his baskets off put-backs, slashing moves to the basket and in the open floor. An improved jump shot and more efficient low-post moves will be important in his arsenal for the future, but he is able to overpower most defenders still at this stage in his young career. An excellent rebounder that is difficult to keep off the offensive glass. An active shotblocker. Runs the floor with vigor and is a very good finisher. A good low-post defender that is capable of guarding quicker players on the perimeter, but he needs developemnt in his defensive principles. Capable of getting in foul trouble quite often. A big-time talent with major upside as a player. With dedication to his craft, has the physical tools to become a force in the future. Competes. Has a very good attitude on and off the floor.