Tyus Jones is the top-ranked prospect in the ESPN 60 for 2014. Some analysts consider Jones to be the nation’s top floor general, regardless of class. That kind of clout has heavyweights like Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State and Kansas, among others, all giving chase. Jones, a junior at Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.), has agreed to give USA TODAY HSS exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a monthly blog.
What’s up world!
Happy New Year! This is my first blog for 2013 so let’s get this kicked off the right way.
OK, well we’re well in to the season now and my team is playing really well right now. We’re 13-1, and I like how we’re clicking. We dropped that one game early and, to be honest, that kinda helped us so I like where we’re at.
I’m averaging 20 points, seven assists and four rebounds a game.
The only bad thing is that I’ve had to deal with a few injuries this season. First, I hurt my back and that kept me out about three weeks. Then I sprained my ankle and that had me out another game.
Now I’m back to 100 percent and of course I’m feeling good about that.
Most of you know that I had my unofficial visit to Kentucky the weekend before last. I had a great time down there in Big Blue Nation. I definitely see what people mean when they say that Kentucky fans show a lot of love because they definitely let me know that they wanted me down there.
I got there Friday night and it was so late that we just went straight to the hotel and rested. But that Saturday we woke up and had breakfast with the team and spent some time with the coaches. Then I went to Coach (John) Calipari’s office and talked with him for a while. It’s always cool talking to Coach Cal.
After that we watched a walkthrough practice that the team had before their game. I had a ball at the game. I sat right behind the bench and got a real feel of how they do things there. It’s pretty intense and I like that.
During the game a lot of the fans were telling me things like “This is your home” and “We want you here bad!” Things like that. Their fans go hard there. No question.
When I got back to the hotel that night I ran into this older lady and she was telling me about how she took her grandkids to the game earlier that day. Then she asked me what I was down there for and I told her that I was a recruit visiting the campus. When I said that she started to ask more questions and then she said that her son was telling her that a recruit was gonna be on campus that weekend. Then it hit her that I was the guy that her son was talking about. So she got a little more excited and started telling me about why I should come there and how much she loved Coach Cal and things like that. It was so cool to see how passionate this older woman was about Kentucky basketball. I don’t think I’ve ever been recruited by a grandmother before. It just showed me how big the program is to its fans. I love that.
Sunday we toured the campus and met with some academic advisors and came back to meet with the coaches. Then we headed out.
I had a great time there in Kentucky. BBN lived up to the hype for sure!
My next visit will be to Kansas for an unofficial from Feb. 23-24. I’m definitely looking forward to that one.
Everyone always asks me when I’ll decide. I don’t really have a timetable for a decision though. There are so many things that go in to making that decision and I don’t want to rush it. I do think that I need to be getting these visits in to see the schools so I can learn more about them. I think it will just hit me one day and I’ll know where I’m going. That’s how I think it will happen.
Most of you know that my man Joel Berry committed to North Carolina recently and I think that’s a great pickup. I was really happy for him because that’s where he always wanted to go. Joel is one of my best friends. We grew a tight bond over the summer and that’s something that you can’t really replace so I called him and congratulated him. We had a long talk and I know he’s gonna kill it for UNC.
That pretty much takes them off of my list because you don’t really see two point guards going to the same school in the same class. That’s no dis to them. Hey they got a great point guard, and I’m just glad it worked out for everyone.
One of the best things about the process is being able to talk to all of these elite coaches on a regular basis. I like hearing from them and how their seasons are going and things like that.
I talked to (Duke assistant) Coach (Jeff) Capel later that night after they had the big loss to Miami. He was basically just telling me that they were just going to move on and work even harder. He just said things weren’t clicking and they were gonna take it as a learning experience. Everyone was obviously talking about Duke that night, so it was cool to hear from the staff there and have them include me like that.
I talked to (Michigan State) Coach (Tom) Izzo recently and he’s just genuinely a great guy. I love talking to him. He was just encouraging me to not let little injuries and things that I can’t control get to me, just to keep my focus and go hard. I thought that was great advice.
OK, so stepping away from basketball, I’ve got to tell y’all I’m a big music fan.
Right now, I’m listening to a lot of Chief Keef, J. Cole, Lil Wayne and guys like that.
But I’ve gotta be honest and tell you guys that I’m a big, big Soulja Boy fan.
Everybody makes fun of me for that, but that’s my guy right there. I’ve just always vibed to his music ever since he came out. People clown me but I can even do some of the dances. I’m not even kidding!
My boy Jahlil (Okafor) definitely clowns me the most for liking Soulja Boy. But I don’t care; that’s my dude!
OK guys, well I’ve got to get out of here and go listen to some more Soulja Boy but I really appreciate you reading my blog.
Check back soon for my next entry and thanks again.
Don’t forget to follow Tyus Jones on Twitter: @Tyusjones06