PITTSBURGH – It hasn't really mattered which age group Derrick Jones is playing with so far at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest – he's been the most talented player on the floor.
The 6-foot-6 Jones has been going back and forth between the 17s and 16s teams in the We R 1 program, but it hasn't affected his play.
“I've been playing good,” Jones said. “I think I've been shooting the ball well, getting to the rim.”
Jones, a 2015 prospect from Archbishop Carroll (Pa.), is one of the best players in the junior class and it wouldn't surprise anyone if he were a five-star player by the end of the spring and summer.
He is a terrific athlete who runs the floor well and finishes at the rim. Jones can handle the ball and makes shots in the mid-range, but is also excellent when going into traffic in the lane. His potential is through the roof at this point.
Given his length, Jones can be a matchup problem – but even he knows he has to put on some muscle.
“Playing with the 17s, you've got to be a little bit more physical,” Jones said. “With the 16s, you have to be physical too, but more physical with the 17s.”
Devin Robinson out to boost his stock
On Friday night, Devin Robinson impressed most onlookers – but he wasn't content. As a result, he came out on Saturday not looking to hunt his shot.
“I didn't focus on scoring,” Robinson said. “If my shot wasn't falling, I was going to try to work on something else: grabbing rebounds, playing defense, whatever.”
Robinson, a 6-foot-7 forward from Christchurch School (Va.), is ranked at the tail end of most top 100 rankings. That's not good enough for the athletic Squires Richmond prospect.
“My stock has risen a lot,” he said. “During the school year, I dropped out the rankings. Now I've got a chip on my shoulder, and I'm trying to get back in it.”
At this point, Robinson is already a matchup problem for most defenders. He's long and athletic, and can score in different ways. He knocked down a couple of perimeter shots, and also finished at the rim in transition. Moreover, he has the ability to guard multiple positions.
He made his case for why he should be among the top 100 players in the country throughout the weekend in Pittsburgh.
“It's my length. I close out shooters, get rebounds. I'm versatile, can post up smaller guards,” he said. “I shoot well too.”
Robinson said VCU is coming at him the hardest.
“I've been there twice,” he said. “It's how hard they practice. They get each other better and push each other.”
He also plans on visiting Connecticut later in the summer.
“Just players I can play with,” Robinson said when asked what he's looking for in a school. “Good academics. A great style of play, you know, it fits my style of play.”
He's ranked No. 102 in 247 Sports Composite rankings.
Saturday's Standout Performers
Tariq Owens, 2014, Baltimore's Finest: Normally overshadowed by five-star teammate Dwayne Morgan, Owens showed out on his own Saturday. He was a major factor defensively, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds. He also had nonstop energy, and got buckets in different ways.
DeShawn Freeman, 2013, NC Red Storm: This is one player mid-majors should really keep an eye on for the upcoming season. If Freeman can straighten his academics out, he could be a late find. He's extremely athletic and is fearless at the rim.
Samir Doughty, 2015, Philly Pride 16s: Doughty was very impressive on Saturday night at the younger age level. He was a handful for the defense, getting the ball in different spots on the floor and making plays. He's got good handle, can find people, but can also get his own shot.
Isaac Fleming, 2013, Team Loaded VA: Looking to make an impression on colleges looking for a spring signee, Fleming led his team to a couple of solid games on Saturday. The lefty can make shots from the perimeter, and is also capable of getting into the lane and finishing.
Cameron Gregory, 2014, Team Takeover Orange: Gregory was one of the more consistently active players we saw on Saturday. He crashed the offensive glass on multiple occasions, and also continued to make plays throughout the game.