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February 28, 2012

Guess it depends on whether you think Chris Jones is more Shooting Guard or Small Forward. Maybe he’s more of a wing guard/forward. I’m not sure, and that may be the plus. He’s versatile, and players that don’t seem to have  a pure position seem to thrive with Coach Dixon. Think Brad Wanamaker and the way Lamar Patterson is developing. That is what young Mr. Jones may be.

In case you some how missed it, or didn’t read Pitt Script or Cardiac Hill today, then the news is that Pitt added a new addition to the recruiting class.

The basics. Jones is 6-4 (maybe 6-5) and 190 pounds. Scout.com and Rivals.com have him as a 3-star recruit. ESPN.com says 2-star (Insider Subs). His best offers were from low-Atlantic 10 teams like LaSalle and Rhode Island. He has had an excellent senior year, and his high school team is undefeated in NJ.

Jones is averaging 21 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5 assists per game for Teaneck, which is 28-0 after winning its first state tournament game Monday.

“He can play all three perimeter positions,” [Teaneck head coach Jerome] Smart said, “and in high school he can play inside because of his size. He also is very low-maintenance. You don’t have to worry about him.”

After some of the issues this season, I would guess the low-maintenance aspect was an extra plus to the coaches. His fine year has had some interest popping up from Seton Hall and UConn in recent weeks as well.

Pitt’s interest in Torian Graham earlier this month, had suggested that Coach Dixon was thinking about adding another guard/forward/wing player. Graham — by the way still has teams watching him but afraid to touch him with his unknown academic status, baggage and handlers.

Here’s a little more from his high school coach raving about Jones.

“I think he is the second best player in New Jersey after [five-star guard Kyle Anderson, the No. 2 recruit in the country]“, Teaneck coach Jerome Smart told Panther-Lair.com. “That is just my opinion. He handles the ball, he passes, he defends. He does everything at that size. What is so valuable about Chris is that he can defend multiple positions. To a coach, his flexibility is so nice.

“He is such an efficient scorer. He is a low-volume shooter. He has had several games this year in the twenties with ten or fewer field goal attempts. I think coaches like that about him. I think he is definitely a shooting guard in college but he can play small forward in a three guard set as well.”

Versatility seems to be the key word to describe Jones. From the ESPN.com evaluation:

Jones’ versatility is one of his biggest strengths and his floor game lacks a glaring weakness. He becomes more dangerous as he continues to polish up his skills and develop his jump shot. He’s a straight line driver who could continue to expand his handle to allow him to breakdown a set defender with more consistency as well as handle against pressure.

Jones is the kind of player that makes sense to add to the class. There’s time for him to develop with guys like Moore, Patterson, Durand Johnson and Cam Wright all available. As he develops he provides an extra ball handler to help on the floor.

Here’s some more on Jones (Insider subs) that matches up with a lot of the stuff I just linked.

At 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, Jones is a high-level athlete with good size for the wing with a powerful body. He also has a good motor with the potential to develop into the type of defender Dixon values so much.

Offensively, his game is going to need to evolve as he adjusts to a much different role than the one he’s used to. While Jones was once considered to be purely an athletic slashing guard, he proved over the summer he has a deceptive catch-and-shoot element to his game. He also displays a high basketball IQ at times, as he’ll make the occasional back-cut or instinctive read of the defense.

At the high-major level, Jones has a chance to eventually be a productive player, but only if he buys into a more supportive role. He’s going to have to fight for minutes early in his career, learn to maximize the opportunities he finds within the context of Pittsburgh’s offensive schemes and embrace the fact that his greatest value to the team is likely going to be on the defensive end of the floor.

While the addition of Jones fills the open scholarship, it might not be the end of recruiting.

Dixon might not be done recruiting, though. He still could opt to bring in another power forward to add some depth in a depleted frontcourt.

According to this recruiting round-up by Dave Telep at ESPN.com, Pitt is still involved in Jakarr Simpson. Simpson is one of the top uncommitted power forwards





Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged….
And so it seems it is with JD….the heck with the primadonna…get the diamond in the rough people thought was a tweener.
As long as doesn’t dye his hair blond, he is fine by me.

Comment by SFPitt 02.28.12 @ 2:35 pm

His HS coach is very high on him and his stats are impresive. I hope he comes in and doesn’t shy away from tough coaching and physical bb.

Comment by Pittastic 02.28.12 @ 2:43 pm

One of the best signals about Jones is that he improved significantly between his junior and senior years of high school. This is in direct contrast to someone like Epps, who didn’t develop much after his sophomore year, and has continued to struggle.

Comment by Pantherman13 02.28.12 @ 2:53 pm

Is Tilton 6’10″ with the hair cut?

Comment by Dan 02.28.12 @ 4:42 pm

Chris likes his sneakers as much as Tray likes his.

Guessing part of the deal is Sleepy having to move out/Chris in.

Comment by steve1 02.28.12 @ 5:02 pm

Whatever happened to the Jeter kid at Beaver Falls? He’s seems like a better pickup then this guy.

Comment by Steve11 02.28.12 @ 7:08 pm

I think pitt needs to round out the class with either sampson or jeter. They know jeter will accept a pitt offer, so my guess is they keep him hanging as a last resort. I wouldnt mind either. Sampson is 6’7″ 205 and his game is mainly driving to the hoop, rebounding, and blocking shots but he can shoot mid range jumper. Jeter is 6’8″ 215, athletic, good shooter, but hes more in the mold of a sf than pf, depending on how well he rebounds. Dokish said hes perfect for pitts “mobile 4″ position

Comment by Pk 02.28.12 @ 7:34 pm

watching IU vs. MSU game and Victor Oladipo the starting SG for IU I believe is a kid Pitt could have had or had a good shot at I believe and passed on. At 6’5″ he is far more capable of getting to the rack than anyone on Pitt’s team currently, and he’s a True Sophomore. Can’t really shoot but is a tremendous defender and athlete, who can handle. Coaches have got to be kicking themselves that they went for Wright over him. Neither can shoot, but Oladipo is a far superior penetrator and defender.

Comment by OntarioLett'sGoPitt 02.28.12 @ 7:45 pm

I knew I recognized him from somewhere…

link to theonion.com

Comment by Chuck Morris 02.28.12 @ 7:55 pm

This is very refreshing. Hopefully this is Dixon finding the diamond in the rough before anyone else does just like Adams. I trust Coach.

Comment by Tony C 02.28.12 @ 7:56 pm

link to youtube.com seems like a good kid

Comment by Tony C 02.28.12 @ 8:31 pm

Is this kid 190 or 205 lbs. That’s a 15 pound difference, which is huge. Either way he’s a beanpole and another tweener. I was hoping for someone that was going to push for playing time immediately since we’re not going to have 3 or 4 years with Adams. Pitt under Dixon has always relied on a strong senior class to pull team together, etc. If you think this year’s seniors were lacking, look at next years senior class, Sleepy & Woody. Neither one can play defense, but at least Sleepy won’t have to defend at the 5 next year hopefully. Robinson should get the majority of playing time at PG in the weaker non-con games next year. If he doesn’t, we will know that not much has changed.

Several years of mediocre recruiting or player development has caused a lot of PITT’s problems, which finally caught up to us this year. The trick now is to make this year an anomaly.

Comment by Emel 02.28.12 @ 10:36 pm

Good to see Pitt can still get these North Jersey/NYC kids even though they’ll only be playing two road games a year above the Mason Dixon line.

Comment by Chris 02.28.12 @ 10:36 pm

Oh yea forgot, what’s the word on the beast of Power Forward juco kid from CA. Also I read somewhere that Robinson was recruiting his huge best of a Center teammate at DeMatha. The kid is like 6-8, 260 lbs.
That is a PITT frontcourt player.

Comment by Emel 02.28.12 @ 10:39 pm

the DeMatha center is a junior

Jeter is alive and well and on Saturday, scored 34 of Beaver Fall’s 63 pts. But while Pitt is interested, Jamie hasn’t offered … there must be a reason. If he ‘was perfect for Pitt’, why wouldn’t have he received an offer by now?

Comment by wbb 02.29.12 @ 7:35 am

I still think this down season is due to more the fact that the starting point guard, Woodall, has been hurt basically the entire season, the starting center, Birch, left in December, and Gibbs, the supposed Big East player of the year, never showed up for the season.

I maintain it is too early to say if players like Cam Wright are busts. Almost everyone on here was writing off J.J. Moore and calling him a bust, while I was saying he will get better and make a Sam Young like leap from Sophmore to Junior year. Patience is a virture.

Also, in regards to Chris Jones, I had way too much time on my hands the other night and was reading some NJ high school basketball boards. A lot of the people on the boards who watch him play were saying Chris Jones is the second best player in the state of NJ and will be a NBA 2 guard. He seems to be a guy that has been consistently getting better. I like his upside. Plus he is a winner and putting up numbers on an undefeated team.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.29.12 @ 9:01 am

We needed a guard considering our guards are horrible and turn i over constantly. If our frontcourt with 2 McD AA’s isnt good enough then idk what else we can do

Comment by Tony C 02.29.12 @ 10:25 am

Article on SI.com about UCLA’s woes. Really interesting, maybe revealing in terms of what made Pitt the team it was (ie was it Howland or Dixon that made those teams all along). Maybe relevant as a cautionary tale too. Check it out.

Comment by PantherP 02.29.12 @ 2:18 pm

Interesting note concerning Adams. In the last confrintation between Tilton and Adams, Adams outscored him by 12 points and out rebounded him by 5 bounds. Tilton the top center said Adams is the best player he has played against.

Also, excuse the spelling Twarski top rated center going to Arizona when playing against Adams in the Addidas summer camp was significantly outplayed by Adams.

Comment by drw 02.29.12 @ 3:12 pm

Why are you calling him tilton? His name is nerlens noel. Tilton is his school

Comment by Pk 02.29.12 @ 3:43 pm

[...] would have assumed they would have pulled his offer after guard Chris Jones committed. Like Jones, Keane would definitely be a candidate for redshirting. It doesn’t make a lot of [...]


[...] graduate in 2014. Preferably one who is sure-handed. A good argument could be made that part of the attraction Pitt has for Chris Jones is that he is a good ball handler, in addition to a solid [...]


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