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Piecing it Together: How 5-Star Recruit Derrick Jones Fits into the Syracuse Orange

Philadelphia native Derrick Jones could join the Orange as a 5-star recruit in 2015.

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Derrick Jones could be the third player to join Syracuse’s already impressive 2015 recruiting class.  The 6’6” small forward has generated a lot of interest around college basketball. Jones has drawn significant interest from schools like Indiana, Kansas, and Kentucky, in addition to Syracuse, but many believe that the Orange is the favorite to land the 5-star recruit.

Jones visited Syracuse for the Orange Elite Camp last summer and saw the Melo Center and the SU campus.

Hailing from Philadelphia, Jones is the top-ranked player out of Pennsylvania.  He is the third-best small forward in the class and the fifteenth best player overall, according to 247sports.

The lefty has a lot of length, which makes him a perfect player for coach Boeheim’s zone defense.  He also has the ability to fly high above the rim.  Overall, Jones’ athleticism, length, and versatility are his biggest strengths, three words that describe most Syracuse recruits.

Jones likes to push tempo and run in transition.  He likes to drive the lane and tries to get to the hoop to finish, but can also run the baseline on his way to the basket.  His finishing ability is impressive.  Scouts are already comparing him to Jerami Grant.

Jones, however, needs to improve his jump shooting.  As a forward, he will not have to dribble much, but his handling could still use some work.  He also needs to grow because at 180 pounds, Jones is extremely slim for a wing.

Syracuse has had plenty of success recruiting from the greater Philadelphia area in the last couple years.  Rick Jackson, Scoop Jardine and Rakeem Christmas all came from this area, which Boeheim can use as a selling point.

Ultimately, it looks like Kentucky will be the Orange’s biggest competition for Jones.  Assuming Coach Calipari doesn’t depart for the NBA (which has been talked about this week), he will try to recruit Jones hard.  It’s just another temporary piece to the puzzle for the Wildcats, who lost in the National Championship with a starting lineup of five freshmen.

Jones has said that he wants to attend a school with “a big fan base, lots of fans coming to the games and cheering us on,” so the school that continues setting attendance records seems like a viable choice for Jones.

Look for the Orange to hit the jackpot in the Derrick Jones lottery later this year.

Posted by: Jason Weingold

7 Comments on this Post

  1. Jamesvillecuse

    great except we need bigs and a PG! SF is not a position of need in 2015.

  2. Two things stand out to me reJones. Philly is one and the other is his ability to finish his moves in the paint when he goes to the basket. Inability to finish was at times exasperating this past year even by the the now departed Tyler Ennis. He wasn’t the only one doing the nasty.Rak and CJ were also part of that. Jones would be great to balance Joseph and McCullough’s talents on the court. I presume the kid has some ball handling ability and can get up and grab some boardsaswell as helping the offense from both close and away to the basket. Lack of offense was the number1 cause of us going down and out so early last month.

  3. Jones would be a good fit to Boeheim’s zone operation. He looks promising even though he is a bit skinny. Eat and monga, monga to bulk up.

  4. Barring a transfer or McCullough turning pro, they aren’t going to have a scholarship for Jones. Franklin Howard is declaring next week and expected to pick SU. That is the last available scholarship for ’15 until Grant goes pro. But because the team needs a big more than a SF, the scholarship opened up by Grant will likely go to Bryant or Diagne.

  5. Great,another kid that can’t shoot.

  6. BigDip Lannister

    Jones’ lack of an outside shot can be worked on. As a junior in HS, he has lots of time to perfect a jump shot b4 suiting up, IF he chooses SU, this artcle is based hypothetically….

    In 2015, Lydon will be a stretch PF, & Richardson will be a combo guard behind Cooney, Joseph, & Patterson. In the post, HCJB will have DC2, Oboknoh?, & McCollough. These guys are committed or present, its easier theorizing with the horses in the stable, I can see a bigman or possibly another wing behind Roberson & Johnson, joining the team. A bigman may be necessary if: 1. DC2 has bad recovery, or the trend continues and 2. McCollough leaves

    Scholarship: Ennis has declared, that’s an extra scholarship for the ’14-’15 team, SU could take advantage by signing a guy b4 next season, or saving it for ’15-’16, when Grant, McCollough, could be gone as well, that’s 3 extra schollies over two seasons…. Jones may well be 1 of 3 new recruits to join Lydon & Richardson. A pure PG & a center could be added as well…

  7. More proof that the fizz has no idea what’s going on with Syracuse recruiting.

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