Top Juco Point Guard Chris Jones commits to Louisville
The former Northwest Florida State also visited Baylor and Oklahoma during the process and called-off visits to Kansas and Florida State after officially settling on the decision Monday.
The 5-foot-11 Chris Jones, who led North West Florida to a championship game appearance last season after they ranked No.2 and also bagged the first-team All-American title averaged 18 points and 4.6 rebounds for each game. Chris Jones also further expanded his with 4.2 assists per game last season.
"He's a fierce competitor, won a state championship in high school, played for a national championship last year in juco,” Northwest Florida State coach Steve Forbes praised Chris Jones. "Now he has the opportunity to compete for a national championship at the next level and play for a Hall of Fame coach."
With two-years of eligibility remaining, Chris Jones, who ranks at No.67 as a high school senior could serve as Louisville senior point guard Peyton Silva’s replacement, ending Cardinals coach Rick Pitino’s search for a reliable player at the position.
“You don’t have four years; you have two years (as a junior college player),” continued Steve Forbes. “And with Peyton Siva graduating, he has the opportunity to step in and play, and play on a team that’s going to be really good.”
The former Memphis high school standout has high expectation of playing under Rick Pitino, and Chris Jones believes the coach has “big plans” for his role on the team.
"He wants to put the ball in my hands and let me do my thing,” said Chris Jones regarding the level of confidence Rick Pitino had in him. “He wants to win a national championship and help me get to the next level. He said he's ready to coach me."
Jones was a priority for programs because of his background, resume and overall talent level. Forbes, his junior college coach, was an assistant at Tennessee. He has seen his share of players in the JC ranks.
Steve Forbes voiced that he’d put Chris Jones “over anybody’ across all classes in 2013, and trhe 2012 Panhandle Conference player of the year will “rise to the occasion” while playing for the Louisville, which is heavy in point guards but lacks depth.
“He’s going to do a really good job of getting people involved in the offense, but he can go get his shot at any time,” Steve Forbes identified multi-skill set Louisville can benefit from Chris Forbes. “He can put a lot of pressure on the ball…He can defend. He can move his feet and guard the ball.”
Steve Forbes offered that Chris Jones was the “best I’ve seen” over a couple of years and his competitive spirit gives him an edge over competition and colleagues alike. Chris Jones’ former junior college coach added that the player had proven to be a “good distributor” who “gets guys good open shots.” Now that Chris Jones is to play amongst the talented lot of Louisville, Steve Forbes expected the guard’s game to further improve.
"He has few holes in his game,” said Steve Forbes.