Phenom Hoops continues to reach out to players around the country to check in on the latest, learning about their game, the latest going on as we start the season, and their recruitment. Our latest 1-on-1 is with one of the top 2024 prospects in the country, as we recently spoke to 2024 Ryan Jones Jr. from The Rock. His season is already underway and he has made some recent trips that included a few stops in North Carolina.

We discuss the latest with him and his thoughts.

Phenom: How has everything been going as far as basketball for you?
Jones: Everything has been going great for me, coming back from USA basketball to my high school team with things I need to work on and things I need to keep excelling at.

Phenom: The season is here. What is your excitement about this season at The Rock?
Jones: I’m most excited about going on the journey with my teammates to win a state championship, and improving on my skills in all aspects.

Phenom: What are your thoughts on this year’s team? What are you looking to provide more for this year’s team?
Jones: I really love the fact that my team is young this year and they are closer to my age so I feel like on the court our chemistry is going to be amazing and I look forward to being more of a leader and bringing energy in different places needed on the court.

Phenom: What have you been working on in expanding your game?
Jones: I have been working on not settling for shots and being an aggressive driver to the rim, and handling the ball more.

Phenom: You will be relied on more this year.  How are you embracing being more of a leader for this year’s team?
Jones: I am embracing it well; I am being more talkative and encouraging my teammates more which will have a big part on this year’s season.

Phenom: You also have been recognized early as one of the premier talents in the country for your class.  What was that moment like for you and how are you taking all that in?
Jones: It was a great moment knowing that I was one of the top players in my class but knowing I still have a lot more to work on till I get where I want to be. And I have been staying extremely humble and not getting caught up in all of the rankings and things like that, just working hard on and off the court.

Phenom: How did everything go this summer for you and what were you able to show more about your game?  What also did it show you?
Jones: This summer went well; a lot of training and recovery was taken place this summer. I did not play in AAU tournaments a lot this summer because I was getting my body ready for USA basketball. I was able to show that I can be a great leader on the floor and my ability to shoot and make plays for my teammates.

Phenom: You also had a chance to play for Team USA.  What was that honor and experience like?
Jones: The experience was great and an experience that I will never forget. It was great being one of the dudes being able to represent your country playing the game I love most and being coached by some of the best coaches and playing with some of the top players in the country.

Phenom: Your recruitment has really taken off.  What are your thoughts on earning the attention of college coaches and earning offers early in your career?
Jones: I think it’s great that I am getting in contact with college coaches and building a relationship with them, so moving forward it will be somewhat easier in the future to narrow a school down because I will know what they are all about.

Phenom: What have those coaches said that they like about your game?
Jones: They love my ability to shoot and my work ethic, plus they love how I am versatile and how I am a hybrid forward.

Phenom: You have some big early offers, including ones from Illinois, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss to go along with La Salle and Cleveland State.  What are your overall thoughts on those programs early on?
Jones: I think they are great programs and building a relationship ship with them will be great for the future.

Phenom: You recently took a road trip around North Carolina. What was that overall trip like?
Jones: The road trip was great, North Carolina is a beautiful state with great campuses and the weather is amazing.

Phenom: You first visited UNC. What was that experience like for you, what did you talk about with the coaching staff, and what did you get to do while there?
Jones: The experience was great. I loved how they embraced me as if I was already there at their school and on the team. We talked a lot about the history and the players who have come through UNC. While I was there, we went to the museum of UNC and walked around campus, plus I watched practice.

Phenom: What has been their interest in you?
Jones: They are very interested in me.

Phenom: You then took a trip to NC State, where you earned an offer. What was that like, what all did you get to see there, and how did you hear about the offer?
Jones: That trip was great as well, the campus is beautiful and they treated me like I was there already as well. I got the chance to see practice and went to a football game as well as touring the campus. This offer was my first face-to-face offer and I got it while I was there.

Phenom: Lastly, you took a trip over to Duke.  That had to be a special trip. What was that like, what did the staff say, and what all did you get to do and see?
Jones: Yes, that was a special trip and it was great with all that I saw. We toured the gym and all the history that had taken place there and the tracing facilities.

Phenom: What has been their interest your way also?
Jones: The staff said they are interested in me and will be keeping an eye out for me and will be keeping in contact with me.

Phenom: What other schools have been showing interest your way?
Jones: Baylor, Kentucky, Florida State, Kansas, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Syracuse,

Phenom: Do you have any other visits planned coming up?
Jones: Yes, I do!