Wednesday, September 21, 2011

the recruit: Teven Jones

Name: Teven Jones
Position: PG
Hometown: Waynesboro (originally Kannapolis, NC)
School: Fishburne Military Academy
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 180

24/7: N/A
Rivals: N/A
Scout: N/A

Other offers: none(?)

To start off with, let's not mince words: Tony Bennett had an A-list of desired point guards for the 2012 class and missed out on all of them.  A 2012 point guard was not optional, though.  Sammy Zeglinski is a senior and without a point guard in the 2012 class, Jontel Evans would've been the only one on the roster.  And he'll be a senior when Teven Jones is a freshman.  "I wonder if Malcolm Brogdon can play a little point" is not a succession plan.

So Bennett had to start digging.  Not being retarded, he'd been keeping his eye on backup plans over the summer and spotted Jones in an AAU tournament.  Bennett wasn't the only one; at least one other ACC school, that being Clemson, was telling Jones they'd be watching.

Watching, specifically, Jones play at Fishburne during the winter.  Jones was a two-sport star in high school, and could've played football at a pretty high level.  He amassed over 1,000 receiving yards his senior year.  Jones prefers basketball, though, and without the kind of offers he was hoping for, he decided to prep a year to see if he couldn't raise his exposure level a little.

The plan worked, as he landed in the ACC without even playing a minute for Fishburne.  Bennett offered Jones based on his workouts, and Jones accepted quickly.  Was Bennett the only one?  Jones's recruiting profiles on the various websites don't list a single other offer; then again, those profiles didn't even exist until Jones's commitment, so far under the radar did he fly.  Jones's coach at Fishburne claims he was also offered by other ACC programs as well as Missouri Valley ones (that would potentially be schools like Creighton, Wichita State, Southern Illinois, what have you.)  Nobody's being specific though, so there isn't much to go on.

Said coach claims he will "put [Jones] against any of the top-ten point guards nationally"; an anonymous (why?) source in the same article calls him "a combination of Sammy [Zeglinski] and Jontel [Evans] almost."  By this he means "a tough defender who can shoot," by the way, not "a lousy off-ball defender with a history of injury problems."

To be honest, though, I've never put much, if any, stock in praise from high school coaches, because they're often in selling mode and never, ever going to publicize their players' weaknesses.  We're talking about the 1% of players who are going to play in college, so they're always high school superstars.  Another scouting report comes from a former Fishburne assistant that characterizes Jones as a solid defender who has several tools in his scoring toolbox, but needs to work on his decison-making.  Ominous-sounding for UVA fans that still twitch uncontrollably when remembering last year's ACC tournament game against Miami and the crying need for halfway decent decision-making it exposed; in Jones's defense, he was more of a shooting guard in high school at A.L. Brown in Kannapolis.  This is part of the reason he didn't have any offers; 6'1" shooting guards don't project well.

A year of prep work should be just the thing, though.  Playing at Fishburne isn't exactly ACC-level play but it's better than your average high school league.  When Jones enters UVA in 2012, it's natural to expect that he'll be asked to back up Jontel Evans right away.  Ideally he can handle that job because there's not actually a plethora of 2's on the roster; if Brogdon is forced into point guard work, that'd be a less than ideal rotation.  It'll be a challenge and there will definitely be rough spots, though; first-year point guards in the ACC are always overwhelmed at times.  Whether Jones ever holds down the starting spot at UVA is kind of a question, since a 2013 point guard is a colossal priority and Bennett is devoting most of his free time to landing one.  Assuming he gets a good one, that future recruit may work his way past Jones.  Even so, that might be totally irrelevant.  Point guard situation being what it is, this is as likely as not to turn out to be one of those starter-is-just-a-label things.  It seems to me that in the end, Teven Jones will rarely lack for playing time at UVA.


danielahn said...


I wanted your take on the Jim Reid Defense thus far. Am I crazy to think so far its been porous and appears to not have improved from last year? If this trend continues will his job be in jeopardy?


Brendan said...

My thought is that the defense has gotten stronger up the middle but is still very susceptible to run plays outside the hashmarks. I don't know whether this is personnel or design but I lean toward personnel, as there's an improvement in play when Ausar Walcott comes in for Aaron Taliaferro.

Anonymous said...

Why so down on Brogdon at the point? The kid was recruited to play both on and off the ball, and has been practicing at point (per Jeff White). I'd love to have a 5-star PG, but it's not as if Tony *needs* some jitterbug running in transition; Tony knows his way around deliberately-paced offenses. And with plus athletes like Robinson and now Jones, Brogdon wouldn't even need to defend the point.

Brendan said...

I'm not really "down" on Brogdon at the point, but the fact is we don't have any idea how he'll take to the job. If he were obviously capable of it - or made for it - I don't think we'd even have ever offered Teven Jones. This'll be a better basketball team if Jones and Evans are a solution and Brogdon can play the 2. If Brogdon is running the point, the 2 is someone like Joe Harris, and neither are going to defend point guards effectively.

It's just like you said: Jones frees up Brogdon from having to defend the point, which he probably wouldn't do especially well. (I assume by "Robinson" you mean Justin Anderson - he's not a point defender either. We need him to shut down 3s, not 1s.)

Anonymous said...

You're right that we don't know if Brogdon can play the point at this level. But we do know he's practicing there, and the practice reports have been good on both ends of the floor.

We also don't know whether Jones can play the point at this level, or whether Evans can play the point successfully at this level. Jones is widely considered a guy who's going to need a couple of years of development, and there seems to be a split re whether he's more PG or SG. Evans can't shoot and, so far, plays poor off-ball defense.

If the staff were not at all confident in Brogdon, there wouldn't have been reports that the staff wanted him to try point, we would have taken a Jones-caliber recruit in 2011 after Baron left, and Brogdon wouldn't be playing point now.

So I'd agree that this is a better team if Evans learns how to shoot and Jones is an impact freshman, but it seems to me there are better odds that Brogdon can play the point...