Sweet Seven Scoops: Andrew Jones Playing for 5-Star Status, Shoe Rivalries, & More

Posted by Sean Moran on December 9th, 2015


Seven Sweet Scoops is a weekly column by Sean Moran, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week throughout the season he will bring you seven notes from the high-stakes world of college basketball recruiting. We also encourage you to check out his contributions at The Intentional Fouldedicated to recruiting coverage and analysis. You can also follow Sean at his Twitter account @Seanmohoops for up-to-date news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Note: Scout.com used for all player rankings.

1. Andrew Jones Makes a Play for 5-Star Status

Shooting guard Andrew Jones was one of the hottest names on the summer AAU circuit and his rise is still going strong with the tip of the high school basketball season. The wiry point guard from Texas recently averaged 33.0 points and seven rebounds over two games in the prestigious Thanksgiving Hoopfest against two of the top guards in the country. In his first game, Jones dropped 37 points against 2017 guard Trae Young and then in a mano y mano battle against future Kentucky guard De’Aron Fox, he scored 29 more. When offers started pouring in last summer, it looked like Jones’ recruitment was going to end quickly with official visits to Arizona and Louisville. Now, Jones is also considering SMU, Baylor and he has an official visit next weekend in Austin when Texas takes on North Carolina. The Irving, Texas, native is currently ranked No. 30 in the 2016 class and will make a strong push for McDonald’s All-American status as his senior season progresses.

2. Shoe Wars: Getting Ready for 2016

All eyes will be on New York City come the weekend of April 15-17. That weekend marks the first live recruiting period for college coaches and both Nike and Under Armour will be hosting their inaugural AAU events in the basketball mecca. This will be Nike’s first foray into New York City since the company kicked off its Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) and will coincide with the Jordan Brand Classic, an All-Star event at the Barclays Center for some of the top players in the class of 2015. Last year, Under Armour had one of their AAU weekends just outside of New York City, but two of the main players in grassroots basketball are raising the bar this year. You can certainly bet that all of the college coaches that will be out on the road in April will appreciate both rivals hosting their events within easy driving distance of each other.

3. The Curious Case of Marvin Bagley III

As a freshman, Marvin Bagley III was head and shoulders above his peers. Easily the top player in his class, the 6’10” Bagley led Corona del Sol to an Arizona state championship and then dominated the U-16 level at the Nike Peach Jam. He then transferred to Hillcrest Hoops Prep School in the Phoenix area where he briefly teamed with DeAndre Ayton to form the most imposing frontcourt in high school basketball. He scored 51 points in an early game and then abruptly left the school with his father explaining, “We just needed immediate separation from that negative crowd.” While Bagley’s father secured a Nike sponsorship for AAU play, Bagley III was seen visiting prep powers Oak Hill and Huntington Prep last week. Where will the the top sophomore in the country wind up?

4. Marshall County HoopFest Featured Prep Talent Galore

It’s rare to get all of the top prep basketball talent together in one place, but the Marshall County HoopFest manages to perform the trick almost every year. This year’s loaded showcase featured three days of games and was highlighted by the top small forward in the country Josh Jackson competing against five-star small forward Miles Bridges (Michigan State), followed by Jackson going against the top 2017 point guard Trevon Duval and one of the smoothest shooters in the country in 6’7” Terrance Ferguson.

5. Chicago Elite Classic

The 4th annual Chicago Elite Classic represents the unofficial tip-off to the Chicago high school basketball season. In the first year, Jahlil Okafor put on a show as a junior and in year two both Tyler Ulis and Cliff Alexander had stellar performances. Last year it was out-of-towner Rawle Alkins who made the biggest impression. The Classic usually pits some of the top out-of-state teams against the top teams from the Chicago area, but this year was a little different. The two-day event culminated with a Chicago public school battle between Whitney Young and Simeon, won by the latter. Other top teams include Mater Dei (CA), DeMatha (MD), Gonzaga (DC), and Chaminade (MO). The talent included the No. 3 ranked player in the country in Jayson Tatum (committed to Duke) and the No. 7 prospect in Markelle Fultz (committed to Washington).

6. Five-Star Center Marques Bolden Nearing Decision?

Center Marques Bolden from DeSoto (TX) High School is ranked No. 12 in the Class of 2016 and is one of only a few uncommitted five-star prospects. The big man can run the floor well and is a beast in the post when he decides to take advantage of his combination of size and strength. Right now Bolden is considering Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Oklahoma and TCU. Kentucky and Duke have the top two recruiting classes in 2016 and adding another five-star player to either would be a stellar conclusion to an already fantastic recruiting year.

7. Roy Williams Staying Active

One night after watching North Carolina take down Maryland in the biggest game of its young season, Roy Williams was down in Florida watching five-star forward Kevin Knox. The 6’7” Knox is ranked No. 10 in the Class of 2017 and scored 32 points in front of the Tar Heels’ head coach. Earlier this year, the bouncy Knox came out of nowhere to excel at the USA U-16 tryouts and eventually was a key contributor to the gold medal winning squad. Given his recent ascent, Knox is receiving interest from UNC and a plethora of high major schools including Auburn, Alabama and Duke.

Sean Moran (79 Posts)

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