UAA Finals: Schools watch Derrick Jones; Danjel Purifoy update
On the first night of Under Armour's signature summer event, head-to-head matchups were the highlight. But so were the number of coaches out to watch prospects.
SUWANEE, Ga. -- On the first day of Under Armour's signature summer event, one of the biggest attractions was Derrick Jones, a 6-foot-7 small forward who runs with the We R 1 AAU program.
Indiana coach Tom Crean was there with two assistants, Louisville had one assistant there, Kentucky sent an assistant, Kansas was represented, as was Syracuse. Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie and assistant Ricky Moore were also in the building.
"It's just telling me the coaches really want me bad," Jones said. "It's just great to have the coaches come out and see me play."
Jones could visit a handful of schools in August, including the ones mentioned above, but he did take a trip to Connecticut recently.
"It was good. It was like every other visit," Jones said. "The coaches tell you everything you want to hear because they want you to be at the school. It was just a good visit."
Against Stackhouse Elite, Jones showed off his athleticism and also knocked down a jumper or two -- continuing the momentum he built up with an impressive showing at the Reebok Breakout Classic last week in Philadelphia.
Ranked No. 26 in the 247Sports Composite for the class of 2015, Jones caught the eye of Kentucky recently.
"They were out watching me at the Reebok Classic, and I think they were at the tournament watching me," Jones said. "It was great. [Calipari] told me before the camp started to just go out and play my game because he knew I had the talent to play.
"They produce a lot of lottery picks, like John Wall, Anthony Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist. They produce a lot of lottery picks, and I want to be a lottery pick. I want to go to the school that's going to get me there, and I'm not sure right now what school that would be."
Jones averaged 13.6 points and 5.1 rebounds on the Under Armour circuit during the spring.
Two coming at Danjel Purifoy the hardest
In a game hyped up by the head-to-head battle between Diamond Stone and Doral Moore, it was Danjel Purifoy who seemed to play the most consistent throughout the 32 minutes.
At 6-foot-6, Purifoy created matchup problems due to his ability to handle the ball and play a point-forward role. He was getting into the lane and finding teammates, and his mid-range game is also difficult to handle.
"It just came to me," Purifoy said of his playmaking ability. "I went to one camp in Vegas and started handling the ball and they told me to keep doing it."
Maryland, Michigan, Georgia, Wichita State and Kentucky are all showing varying levels of interest, but Purifoy said two SEC schools are coming at him the hardest: Ole Miss and Auburn.
He recently tripped to Auburn.
"I went there for a visit three weeks before we came up here," Purifoy said. "It was a good experience."
Purifoy, ranked No. 54 in the 247Sports Composite, averaged 12.4 points and 6.4 rebounds on the Under Armour circuit this spring.
Highlights from Day One
Diamond Stone vs. Doral Moore: Two of the more talented big men in the class of 2015, this one didn't exactly live up to the hype. Stone had the better numbers -- 18 points and 12 rebounds -- but he settled for too many face-up jumpers and 3-pointers instead of battling down in the post. Moore, as usual, showed flashes of his potential, demonstrating good face-up touch and shot-blocking ability, but wasn't consistent.
Juwan Evans vs. Justin Simon: Evans was one of my favorite players at the NBPA Top 100 camp, and there aren't many point guards in 2015 I would take over him. Simon might be one of them, as the Arizona-commit has a high ceiling given his 6-foot-4 size and long wingspan. Evans outplayed him for the most part, using his speed and quickness to make plays in transition and in the half-court.
Louisiana Elite backcourt: Playing without Brandon Sampson, Louisiana Elite still had more than enough from the perimeter. Tivonte Hardy and his backcourt mate combined for 43 points, constantly putting pressure on the Carolina Wolves. They were able to knock down shots from the perimeter, make plays in transition, and drive-and-kick in the half-court all game.
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