Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jones' TOC rise unprecedented

Chris Jones’ emergence as a big-time talent this weekend is unprecedented in the 16-year history of the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.

Jones, a 6-foot guard for the Memphis Stallions, was averaging a tournament-high 40 points per game before an injury limited him to 11 points in his final game Sunday.

“In 16 years, I can’t think of one that was virtually unknown,” said All-Star Sports recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons, who runs the club basketball even each year at gyms throughout the Triangle. “I’d never heard of the kid.”

Jones scored 50 and 41 in two games Saturday. Although the tournament roster lists him as a Class of 2010 player, apparently he’s in the Class of 2011.

It’s impossible to say who’s recruiting him at this point because until this weekend almost nobody had heard of him. He plays on a Melrose High team in Memphis where he has been overshadowed by forward Adonis Thomas, who’s considered one of the top players in the Class of 2011.

After this weekend, Jones will be, too. Gibbons compared his shooting form to J.J. Redick’s, and said Jones is an example of a player who will benefit tremendously from his work on the often-criticized summer club basketball circuit.

“He’s just a very complete scoring guard,” Gibbons said.

- Ken Tysiac

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