Tyus Jones

Tyus Jones, 2014 point guard, on Kentucky visit this weekend

Leave a comment

At this point, John Calipari is just rubbing it all of our faces.

Kentucky isn’t even finished with it’s 2013 recruiting class, with the nation’s top player Andrew Wiggins, as well top 10 forward Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon still considering Lexington as a possible destination. But now Big Blue Nation is working on the Class of 2014.

Karl Towns, has already reclassified and committed to Kentucky. This weekend Kentucky is playing host to the nation’s top junior point guard, Apple Valley High’s (Mn.) Tyus Jones.

Jones tweeted on Friday night that he was on unofficial visit to Kentucky. He will be in attendance for the Wildcats’ SEC home opener against Texas A & M.

The 6-foot-1 point guard has a list of seven other schools besides UK. Minnesota, Baylor, Duke, North Carolina, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Kansas are all in contention for the Apple Valley native.

“He’s that sort of player that’s getting in the lane a lot and knocks down the open shot,” Apple Valley coach Zach Goring told Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader Wednesday. “They control the game. They’re not super explosive or high flyers. They’re just solid and make good decisions. That’s along the lines of Tyus, certainly.

“His basketball IQ is through the roof.”

Goring also said his star point guard rarely discusses his recruitment.

Currently, Jones is averaging 20.3 points and 6.5 assists per game. He is considered the third overall player by Rivals.com and the top point guard in the Class of 2014.

Calipari has already landed a commitment from the top point guard in the Class of 2013, Andrew Harrison – as well as his twin brother Aaron and three other top 20 recruits according to Rivals.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.