Derrick Jones is in the midst of a very busy weekend.
The 6-foot-6 2015 forward from Radnor (Pa.) Archbishop Carroll and the WE-R1 AAU club is currently in Colorado Springs, Colo., trying out for the USA Men’s U16 National Team. (He is No. 34 in the picture at left).
After hopefully making the 12-man roster, Jones will fly Sunday to Philadelphia in time to play in the Mary Kline Classic Underclassmen Game at Philadelphia University.
“I’m leaving early,” Jones told SNY.tv by phone. ”I should be getting to Philly at like 2.”
Before the Mary Kline, though, Jones is focused on making the USA roster that will compete in the FIBA Americas Championship later this month in Uruguay.
“It’s an honor just being able to be one of the top players in the country, put this USA on my chest, and come here and try out for the team,” he said.
“It would be great just to make the team, it would be so great.”
Complicating matters for Jones is that he is battling an injury throughout the tryouts.
“I think I pulled my groin a little bit but I’m going to be fine,” he told SNY.tv.
As for recruiting, Derrick Jones Sr. previously told SNY.tv that his son is “leaning toward Syracuse” and he also “would love to go to Kentucky.”
Derrick is a little more guarded on his passion for Syracuse, even though he says Orange assistant Gerry McNamara is recruiting him the hardest among all his suitors.
“I mean, I like the school [Syracuse] but I’m so young I don’t know what school I’m going to go to right now,” he said. “I’m still a sophomore so I still have three years to decide.”
Three Syracuse commits will be on display in the Mary Kline senior game — Tyler Roberson, B.J. Johnson and Ron Patterson.
It’s not hard for Jones to imagine following in the footsteps of small forwards like C.J. Fair and Johnson.
“That program is just a bunch of lanky small forwards,” he said. “All of them are real long and real athletic. That’s the game I play, I’m very long and athletic. I can get on the glass, I can get up high on the boards and get a lot of rebounds.”
Jones said UCLA, Stanford, Rutgers, Xavier, Villanova, Temple, St. Joe’s and Cincinnati were also recruiting him.
“I know I’m going to go visit UCLA and Syracuse,” he said. “I already went to visit Temple.”
For now, though, he’s just trying to get through this weekend.
Photo: USA Basketball