St. Mary’s Rob Jones turns down offer to try out for Minnesota Vikings

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Coming off a season in which he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds for St. Mary’s, Rob Jones made it clear that he won’t be trading the hardwood for the gridiron. He declined an offer from the Minnesota Vikings to attend the team’s rookie mini-camp.

“I wanted to see where I can go with basketball first,” said Jones, 23, told CSNBayArea. “Two or three years from now, if I’m not where I want to be with basketball, I can still have that option.

“Football is intriguing, but it’s really a decision I made five years ago.”

The 6-6, 237-pounds Jones certainly has the body to perhaps work his way into the NFL, but he says basketball remains his focus.

At Archbishop Riordan High in San Francisco in 2006, Jones caught 33 passes for 499 yards and seven touchdowns.

Jones reportedly considered playing both football and basketball in college at the University of San Diego. He met with then-coach Jim Harbaugh at San Diego, before Harbaugh moved on to Stanford.

There is a history of large-bodied basketball players taking a shot or succeeding in the NFL. Antonio Gates went from playing basketball at Kent State to being one of the NFL’s best tight ends. New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham played hoops at Miami.

“I played against Jimmy Graham my sophomore year; I’ve guarded him,” Jones said in the same interview. “It’s really cool that those guys had that opportunity to play football. It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind, too. But it’s really my third option.”

His football prospects were moved to the back burner after transferring to St. Mary’s, which does not have a football team.

This past season, Jones helped to lead the Gaels to the NCAA tournament, finishing with a record of 27-6 and losing to Purdue in the Round of 64.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.