The recent transfers from Anthony Fields, Tony Chennault and Carson Desrosiers have sent head coach Jeff Bzdelik and his staff scrambling once again to look for remaining 2012 talent that is still out there who could possibly fill gaps left by the departures.
A player that has emerged as perhaps a frontrunner to come in and backup Codi Miller-McIntyre right away is 2012 point guard Madison Jones. Jones plays for Ravenscroft (the same high school as Anton Gill), and has had an extremely successful season leading the Ravens at the point. He is averaging 16.5 PPG, 6.5 APG and 3.4 SPG to lead a high-powered offense.
Jones is listed at 6'1 and 165 pounds by ESPN and brings a toughness factor on the court that is hard to teach to a player. He was seen on campus on Wednesday, and although his offer sheet currently isn't overly impressive (Seton Hall, American, ECU, Georgia Southern, and NCCU), he said in a recent interview that he planned on visiting Maryland. Coach Mark Turgeon has been down to NC recently to see him play.
Click through the jump to get a more in-depth breakdown on Madison and his game!
In addition to the trip that Madison made to Winston-Salem for a visit on Wednesday, Jeff Bzdelik traveled back to Raleigh yesterday to check him out before they left for the ESPN National High School Invitational (Ravenscroft is the No. 7 seed and they play on ESPNU today at around 4:00 p.m. ET).
Jones is a scoring-based point guard, but the times that I have seen him play have left me impressed with his passing abilities as well. Scouts project him as a point guard, but with his jumper he can also slide over to the two spot. A combo-guard like Jones would be a great asset to the team next year because like CMM, he can play the 1 or the 2. That would give the coaching staff more flexibility with the guard rotation of CJ, CMM, Chase and Madison.
Overall, Ravenscroft is a fantastic defensive team, and Jones is no exception to that front. He has all the tools to be a great defender but sometimes lacks the motivation to play on both ends of the floor all the time.
Another concern is his strength. Although I think he is a little bigger than the listed 6'1/165, strength may be a problem if he gets into the ACC and plays night in and night out.
I don't think that he will have any more problems than Tyler Lewis at N.C State though, so if he does come here it will be interesting to see how he does on that front.
CMM and Aaron Rountree have recently tweeted about their excitement over possibly playing with Jones, and it seems that he would accept an offer if the staff gave it to him. At this juncture in the game, I think that Jones would be a great pickup based on who is out there and could provide quality minutes backing up CMM and CJ when necessary.
I hope that we go ahead and pull the trigger before Coach Turgeon swoops in and takes him away from us. It seems like the coaching staff has done a pretty good job so far in getting on him and showing him the love he deserves!
Hopefully a commitment is coming within the next week or so and it would round out the 2012 class quite nicely.