With Peyton Siva leaving after this season, Louisville was targeting point guards in the class of 2013. When the Cardinals suddenly parted ways with top-10 prospect Anthony “Cat” Barber last week, it seemed they were putting all of their eggs in the Chris Jones basket.
The plan hatched dividends and paid off in a major way: Jones committed to Louisville on Monday.
“Well my recruiting process is over yu guys I will be at Louisville next year I wana thank god n family n friends and coaches for support…” Jones tweeted.
Jones is arguably the best junior college player in the country, starring for Northwest Florida State. The 5-foot-10 point guard from Melrose, Tenn., averaged 18.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists last season, leading the Raiders to a No. 2 ranking and an appearance in the national championship game.
Jones was originally a Tennessee signee under Bruce Pearl but headed to junior college instead of the Volunteers. He had been one of the most sought-after prospects this year, taking visits to Baylor and Oklahoma State. Kansas and Florida State were also in his final five.
Louisville has the No. 7-ranked recruiting class heading into the week, with top-100 prospects Anton Gill and Terry Rozier already in tow. Now that Jones is part of the equation, the Cardinals are sure to move up.
Rick Pitino's troops are likely to be ranked in everyone's top preseason three, but he did need reinforcements for next year. Siva is gone, and Jones should step right in and fill the hole at point guard. The Cardinals have 14 scholarship playersfor next season, though there's a chance Gorgui Dieng, Chane Behanan or Wayne Blackshear could decide to go pro – or someone could transfer.