Interest is high early on for a number of high-major programs in 2015 Archbishop John Carroll (Pa.) wing Derrick Jones, who already has a couple of offers.
Jones is an AAU teammate of Penn State commits Julian Moore and Isaiah Washington.
The 6-foot-6, 170-pound small forward currently has offers from Penn State and St. Joseph’s and legitimate interest from Villanova, Temple, Rutgers, Xavier and Pittsburgh, among others, according to high school coach Paul Romanczuk.
Gaining valuable playing time as a freshman, Jones excelled on the defensive end of the court despite his thin frame.
“Derrick is very athletic, active, long, plays a lot bigger than his size because of his length,” said Romanczuk. “He’s most effective as a defender, rebounder. He blocked a lot of shots as a freshman. He’s very thinly built, but because of his activity and athletic ability, he’s an effective player on defense.”
The offensive end of the floor is where Jones has unlimited potential, despite being somewhat raw.
“Offensively, he’s becoming a pretty good shooter from the perimeter, he’s very good in transition and on the offensive glass,” said Romanczuk. “There’s really not much of a ceiling for him, he’s a very talented young guy who is just scratching the surface.
Throughout the summer playing his AAU ball for We R 1 - the same AAU program as Penn State 2013 verbal Julian Moore and 2014 verbal Isaiah Washington - Jones was honing his ball-handling and shooting, which will allow him to stretch his game farther away from the basket.
“I think their message right now is it’s early in the process, and they’re trying to start a relationship,” said Romanczuk. “It’s tough early on here for collegiate teams because of the NCAA rules prohibiting coaches to directly contact the players until this coming June.
“Any coaches will call us to talk, or Derrick and his parents are allowed to call the coaches. They want to just start forming a relationship with him because they know how talented of a prospect he is.”