NEW YORK - Before recently offering a scholarship to 5-foot-9 Chicago native Tyler Ulis, the University of Kentucky had focused on two point guards, Emmanuel Mudiay and Tyus Jones.
The 6-foot-5 Mudiay out of Dallas (TX) Prime Prep committed to head coach Larry Brown and SMU during halftime of the Elite 24 on Saturday night, while it is widely-assumed that Jones, a 6-foot-1 star out of Apple Valley (Minn.) High School, will head with 6-foot-10 Chicago Whitney Young star Jahlil Okafor to Duke.
Assumptions aside, the fact that Mudiay is not going to Kentucky means the Wildcats are still in the mix for Jones’ services.
“It (Mudiay’s decision) just means I’m still looking at them,” Jones told SNY.tv after scoring 10 points and picking up co-MVP honors in Team Coney Island’s 114-109 win over Team Bed Stuy at Elite 24 under the Brooklyn Bridge. “If he were to have gone to Kentucky, we obviously would have had to have a talk with them because he is a point guard, but I’m still just gonna keep going through my recruiting process with Kentucky still involved and we’ll see where it goes.”
The Wildcats will be in need of a point guard if freshman Andrew Harrison, a projected 2015 first-round pick is one-and-done.
“That’s definitely a big headliner,” Jones said. “I know a lot of people, early in Eman’s process, felt Kentucky was his favorite, but he picked a school he felt best fit him. I congratulated him on his commitment and I wish him the best of luck in his future.
No matter where Jones ends up, at least one NBA player was impressed with his game on Saturday evening.
“He was very good tonight, all the guys were, they’re all super-advanced,” Under Armour-sponsored and Bronx native Kemba Walker told SNY.tv postgame. “I enjoyed the game and enjoyed watching him play. Tyus Jones is really good, he has great pace to his game. I enjoyed his game out here tonight.”
Jones will visit Kentucky by himself Sept. 27-29. Visits to Baylor (Aug. 30-Sept. 1), Kansas (Oct. 18-20) and Duke (Oct. 25-27), the presumed leader, will be taken with Okafor.