Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chris Jones is now a Spartan

So Chris Jones, out of Newark Memorial High, is going to become a Spartan.

The 6-3 defensive whiz originally signed with Fresno State last year but needed a bit more work on his academics and attended Westwind Prep Academy in Phoenix this academic year to get all in order.

But Coach Steve Cleveland decided to move in another direction -- he's in desperate need of a WAC-ready point and has limited schollies available -- so Jones then looked closer to him at what was his original runnerup choice, San Jose State.

What does Jones' commitment mean in the larger context?

For one, he will be a candidate for inclusion on the ALL-WAC Defensive Team from the get-go. Jones will also add a defensive emphasis to the backcourt and wing positions and hopefully be part of a defensive renaissance for SJSU basketball.

Jones has the body -- the quickness and strength -- to play right away and he'll be in the mix for a starting spot. He possesses the ballhandling ability to fill in at the point but 'fits' better at the 2 or three positions. His outside shooting was inconsistent in high school and club team ball and any improvement there remains to be seen and demonstrated. Jones is also proficient with dribble-drives to the rim and has served as a leader on both his squads at Newark Memorial and in club team play during the spring and summer.

One final comment: to date, Coach Nessman has four high school freshman coming to SJSU. How many decades has it been since that happened?

Here's a January 2008 link to a Fresno Bee reporter interviewing Jones at the halftime of a Fresno State - San Jose State game at Walt McPherson Court. You can hear the Spartan Band in the background.

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