2020 Darrick Jones Jr. has been a prospect that has always brought intrigue immediately once he stepped on the floor. His unique set of skills to go along with his athleticism stands out immediately on the court and he has continued to showcase his skill set at the highest level.
Phenom Hoops remembers watching Jones and his athleticism at the Virginia Top 80 and we have continued to watch that with his play at Oak Hill.
His recruitment has recently taken a dramatic jump, as Jones continues to announce new offers at all levels on a daily basis.
With all the latest news coming from Jones, Phenom Hoops wanted to reach out to him to learn about more about his interesting summer and his thoughts on everything that has been going on over the years, in his own words.
That is why he was a great candidate for our next PHR Prospect Q&A. See what Jones had to say.
Q: It has been an exciting year for you. First, what was it like playing with Oak Hill and being able to showcase your talent at such a high level.
Jones: “I’ve grown so much since I began at Oak Hill my sophomore year. Being able to play with and against some of the highest level of talent has been a great experience. It has given me the opportunity to learn and develop my game a lot. Coach Smith has always been honest with me and told me the truth about where I stood, and I will always appreciate that. It helped me own my development and get better each year increasing my opportunities to show my results in games. I can see the improvement I have made so far looking at my game stats and film from my sophomore to junior year. And, it also showed based on my increased game minutes during my junior year. I hope the trend will continue my senior year, as I have not taken my foot off the gas pedal. I know my experience at Oak Hill will help me have a successful experience in college.”
Q: What has the summer been like for you? What have you been working on and what all did you get to do, basketball wise?
Jones: “My summer has been busy but in a good way. I started off with reviewing and analyzing my game footage and stats from my junior year in high school which helped me prioritize what to work on this summer. I have been focusing on my ball handling and shooting. I will continue to work on these areas in preparation for my senior year.
I had a great opportunity to work and participate in the Nike Hawaii Island Hoop Camp in Kona, Hawaii. I had a great time working with the campers on the island and made some new friends too.
I also had the awesome opportunity to play at Dyckman Park this summer as well. I loved the people and the experience and can’t wait for the opportunity to play again before the summer is over.
I finished my AAU career with Team Thrill UAA 17U this summer. We made it to the semifinals in the UAA Finals. I appreciate Coach Mookie Dobbins and the Team Thrill organization for working with me and keeping me in the mix although I missed a lot since I was still at school during AAU’s late spring sessions.
I finished up the live period last month at the NCAA Camp – Session II at UConn. I think it was a great experience. It provided the opportunity for a lot of players to truly showcase what they can and cannot do on the court.”
Q: What has been your overall goal in working with your game? And also, how would you best describe your game?
Jones: “My overall goal in working with my game is to show that I am more than a dunker. I would describe my game as a player who can get out in transition and make plays for his teammates.”
Q: Recruitment has been picking up with you. What has been the latest with you in what college coaches have been saying?
Jones: “The latest I’ve been hearing is “I didn’t know you could shoot.” I’ve also heard them say I am a very strong defensive player and active on both ends of the court. Many times, I have been told I have the solid skill sets, but not afforded a lot of opportunities to show them.”
Q: You have picked up a lot of offers lately. What have you found interesting about these programs? Has any of these offers really stood out to you?
Jones: “I am in the beginning stages of my recruiting process and still in the process of scheduling visits, etc. with the schools who have offered. So, to be determined.”
Q: You hold offers from ODU, Virginia Tech, Winthrop, UMass, Radford, St. Bonaventure, Howard, Hofstra, UMBC, Towson, and James Madison. Do any of these schools stand out and if so, why? Who do you have the strongest relationships with?
Jones: “All of the school currently recruiting me are great, and I appreciate their interest in me as a player and as a student. More to be determined as I continue through my recruiting process.”
Q: What has college coaches been saying that they like about your game and what you can provide on the court?
Jones: “I’ve been told they like my ability to be a versatile guard, being able to play multiple positions.”
Q: Have you been able to visit any schools that have offered? Or do you have plans to do so?
Jones: “I am in the process of scheduling visits to the schools for September and October. More to come soon!”
Q: What other schools have been showing interest your way?
Jones: “Other schools showing interest so far are Buffalo, St. Louis, UNLV, and Nevada.”
Q: What are you looking for in a program overall?
Jones: “A program to believe in my ability to help the team.”