Following Thursday’s commitment of consensus five-star center Will Baker to the Texas Longhorns, it’s clear that the future looks bright for head coach Shaka Smart’s frontcourt, especially with last month’s pledge of Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy’s Kai Jones.
A native of the Bahamas who recently grew from 6’5 to 6’10, Jones has retained his skill set as a former guard, while also displaying a high motor, versatility, and unusual length for a wing player.
This wasn’t the same Kai Jones you remembered from the last time you saw him play at home. This was something different. #BahamasBasketball #KaiJones #BrewsterHoops #PrepHoops #TexasLonghorns @242_jones @BrewsterHoops pic.twitter.com/YxTIojSSPy— 10th Year Seniors (@10thyrSeniors) November 5, 2018
In a video posted earlier this week, Jones shows range well beyond the college three-point arc, ball handling to lead the fast break and finish in traffic, and the timing and ability to get off the floor quickly to block shots.
On one play, Jones only needs one dribble to knife in from the wing before spinning and finishing in the lane with his off hand — that type of body control is extremely rare for someone his size.
On another play, Jones gets a steal before finishing with a dunk thanks to a nice rip-through move.
Now the nation’s No. 53 prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings, Jones will provide even more value than that to Texas as a wing who can play next to two bigs — any combination of Jericho Sims, Jaxson Hayes, Kamaka Heps, and Will Baker.
Imagine the possibilities pressing with Jones, Baker, and Hayes all on the court, as Jones and Baker are both capable of handling the ball in transition or finishing passes from Matt Coleman and Elijah Mitrou-Long.